The Telegraph
Wednesday , May 7 , 2014
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Swanky bus, Wi-Fi link soon after polls

- Departments wait for withdrawal of model code

The execution of three ambitious projects would start shortly, as the model code of conduct would be lifted after the conclusion of the 45-day-long parliamentary elections.

The much-awaited schemes include two projects sanctioned under the centrally sponsored Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) — Patna solid waste management and city service buses. The other is the city Wi-Fi project. Bihar State Electronic Development Corporation Limited (Beltron), a wing of the state science and technology department, is responsible for its execution. The access gears under the Wi-Fi project has been installed on the stretch between National Institute of Technology, Patna, and Income Tax roundabout.

As the election code of conduct mandates that no new project should be launched or their tenders should be floated till the counting of votes (scheduled to start from May 16), the JNNURM buses could not hit the streets, nor the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) could award the tender for the solid waste project. The city Wi-Fi project could not be launched formally either.

Here’s how these projects are expected to come on ground:

Clean Patna

Scheme: Patna solid waste management project (JNNURM). The ministry of urban development approved the project on March 28, 2007

Execution agency: PMC

Scope of work: Door-to-door garbage collection, placing public bins and supplying municipal equipment, including tippers and compactors, to cart away garbage from streets

Project cost: Rs 36.95 crore

Way ahead: Kuldip Narayan, the commissioner of PMC, said: “I have asked the chief engineer to finalise the bidding process for the solid waste project in 10 days and ensure that the tender is awarded immediately after the code of conduct is lifted”

Swanky buses

Scheme: Introduction of low-floor buses under JNNURM. The central sanctioning and monitoring committee of JNNURM had approved the projects in its 69th meeting on February 20 and 21, 2009

Execution agency: Urban development and housing department

Scope of work: Supply of 260 low-floor buses to be operated in urban areas in Patna and 40 buses in Bodhgaya

Project cost: Rs 45 crore

Way ahead: “The buses are standing at the depot of Tata Motors for over a month now and they are likely to be delivered within a couple of days after the code of conduct is lifted,” said a senior official of Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited

Free connectivity

Scheme: City Wi-Fi. The project was approved by the science and technology department

Execution agency: Beltron

Scope of work: Total 70 wireless access points to be installed at an average interval of 300m on streets from NIT to Gandhi Maidan via Ashok Rajpath, further to Dakbungalow crossing via Fraser Road and then straight on Bailey Road up to Saguna Mor

Project cost: Rs 3 crore

Way ahead: “Total 27 access points comprising routers have been created in the first stretch of the city Wi-Fi project covering a stretch of around 10km between NIT-Patna on Ashok Rajpath and Income Tax roundabout on Bailey Road. The final tests for Internet surfing are being done by the technical experts at present. The groundwork on the remaining stretch has also started and we are likely to hold a formal inauguration of the city Wi-Fi project after the code of conduct is lifted,” said a senior official of Beltron

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