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Plaster peels off, student injured

A college girl suffered minor injuries when plaster peeled off a staircase in the decades-old Maurya Lok Complex on Tuesday afternoon.

The commercial complex of the city is in a dilapidated condition with plans for renovation going on for quite some time. Around 1pm on Tuesday, a chunk of plaster fell from the Block-D stairs injuring Sikha, the student.

The plaster on the external façade of Maurya Lok, which has over 300 shops and 100 offices, including the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) headquarters, is damaged and the masonry work is also exposed. The electrical wires are badly entangled, giving an open invitation to major fire outbreaks because of short circuit.

With incidents like these happening every now and then, shopkeepers are fuming over the ignorance of the civic body.

“We have been demanding its renovation since the past five years but in vain. The civic body has been collecting taxes from us under the maintenance head but no such work has been done over the past three decades. Moreover, funds to the tune of around Rs 45 lakh was withdrawn under the respective head over the past seven years but there is no record of their utilisation,” said Rajesh Kumar “Dablu”, president, Maurya Lok Shopkeepers’ Association.

The complex is proposed to undergo a facelift according to plans of legendary architect Hafeez Contractor. The renovation plan prepared by Contractor leaves the existing five blocks in their original shapes and envisages resurfacing of the damaged walls and interiors.

Though Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation (Buidco) had handed over the proposal to execute the project in public-private partnership (PPP) mode to the PMC in June 2012, the corresponding no-objection certificate from the civic body is still awaited.


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