The Telegraph
Tuesday , April 23 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Civic body mulls expansion

Residents of upscale areas on the outskirts of the city are unhappy with the plan to bring them under the jurisdiction of Patna Municipal Corporation.

Areas like Patliputra, as well as Mainpura and Kurji, are within the city, but they are not under the jurisdiction of the civic body.

Instead, local village panchayats take care of their civic requirements.

Urban development and housing minister Prem Kumar has directed the divisional commissioner and the district magistrate to commence the demarcation of the new ward limits for these localities.

“I have directed the divisional commissioner and the district magistrate of Patna to start the demarcation of the new ward limits in Patliputra, Kurji and Mainpura and send the corresponding proposal to the department at the earliest. The department would take requisite action as soon as we receive the proposal,” he said, adding that the notification of the inclusion of these three localities has already been issued by the department.

Once brought under the jurisdiction of the PMC, the residents of the localities could get better water supply and waste management.

Kumar, the minister, said the need was felt for extending the jurisdiction of the municipal corporation because the city has expanded over the past few decades.

“Though Patna has expanded over the past couple of decades, the municipal limit of the city has remained unchanged. Since the new localities have not been notified as urban areas or within the municipal limits, residents are often deprived of essential civic services,” he said.

The citizens would not be the only beneficiaries of the proposed expansion; the civic body would also gain in holding taxes.

“There are a large number of residential and non-residential properties in these areas, which are not registered for holding tax. Once they come under the jurisdiction of the PMC, it would be able to collect holding taxes from property owners,” said the minister.

Residents, however, are not too happy with the idea of including them in the PMC limits.

“Till now, we have arranged for our garbage to be carted away and maintained our street lights. Anyone can see that we have done a better job than what the civic body has done for the rest of the city,” said Akhauri B. Prasad, the owner of house number 158 in Patliputra Colony.

He added that the holding tax in the area would also increase astronomically if it comes under the jurisdiction of the PMC.

At present, Patliputra Co-operative Society, established in 1952, looks after the area, which has around 300 houses.

Town planners, however, feel that inclusion of these areas within the municipal limit is a good idea.

R.S. Chaudhary, the former chief town planner of the urban development department, said: “Back in the 1950s, when the Patna Regional Development Authority was constituted, the owners of most of the houses in localities like SK Puri and Patliputra were against the idea of including their neighbourhood in the jurisdiction of the civic body. But they have benefited after coming under the jurisdiction of the PMC.”

Besides Patna, the government has also issued instruction for fresh demarcation of fringe areas of 141 urban local bodies in the state.

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