The Telegraph
Friday , August 22 , 2014
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Civic body bifurcation plan
Division of work to better services

The urban development and housing department — the parent body of Patna Municipal Corporation — came up with a plan to bifurcate the civic body for better services on Thursday, the day it succeeded in flushing out water from most parts of Rajendra Nagar.

According to the proposal, the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) would look after only basic services, including drainage, water supply and sanitation related works. Patna Planning Authority, a new body proposed to be constituted soon, would be responsible for the implementation of the new master plan for the city. It would also look after the regulation of development works, including approval of building plans and maps.

At present, PMC looks after these besides managing the basic services.

Urban development and housing minister Samrat Choudhary said a formal proposal in this regard would be sent to the chief minister for approval. “It has been observed of late that more than half of the PMC employees are busy with the measurement of buildings. This, in turn, seems to be affecting the basic civic services. So, we want to divide the PMC into two. One part would look after the development works, including approval of building plans and maps, in the municipal area. The other would be solely responsible for basic municipal services like drainage, water supply and sanitation works,” said Samrat.

A civic body official claimed that by mentioning “measurement of building” Samrat referred to the work being done by PMC to control unauthorised building construction activities in the city in pursuance of regular directives issued by Patna High Court.

Following the court’s directives in the Narendra Mishra case against mushrooming of illegal buildings in the city, the PMC has initiated vigilance cases against around 450 buildings till date. Another 400 buildings are being measured by PMC to assess violations.

Deliberating on the duties being planned for the PMC commissioner, Kuldip Narayan, Samrat said: “Kuldip would be put in the Patna Planning Authority, so that he can continue with the execution of the high court’s directives related to building construction activities. Another IAS officer would be appointed as the chief executive officer or municipal commissioner for the new PMC. This would ensure smooth disposal of civic services to the residents as well as effective implementation of the building bye-laws,” said Samrat.

On the formation of Patna Planning Authority, urban development and housing secretary Sandeep Poundrik said: “The department will send a proposal to the state cabinet within a few days for its creation. The authority would be created under the provisions of Urban Planning and Development Act, 2012.”

The act envisages three steps for the implementation of the master plan. First, declaring the planning areas. Second, preparing the master plan and the third is the creation of the planning authority. “While the first two steps have been completed, the third one would be fulfilled with the creation of Patna Planning Authority,” said Poundrik.

Locality dries up

The Rajendra Nagar residents, reeling from severe waterlogging from August 15, heaved a sigh of relief on Thursday.

The Telegraph found most of the streets up to Bazaar Samiti — the eastern tip of the locality — dry. There was no water on the main roads, including Stadium Road. Most of these streets were under thigh-high water for the past six days.

The residents were visibly relieved after the excess rainwater was drained out. “There was knee-deep water in front of Congress Maidan till Wednesday night. The officials of the civic body came with pumps on Thursday morning and drained out all the water within a few hours,” said Subodh Kant Jha, a priest at Mrityunjay Mandir in front of Congress Maidan.

Minister Samrat Choudhary said boats were in use in the Rajendra Nagar and Kankerbagh areas for around one-and-a-half months after a heavy downpour in 1997. “Excess rainwater remained accumulated in these areas for 15 days in 2008. But this time, we have been able to flush out the excess water from most of the main roads within a week of heavy rainfall,” said Samrat.

Paundrik, the urban development and housing secretary, said: “Water has been flushed out from around 90 per cent of the areas in Rajendra Nagar. Water would be drained out from the rest of the areas by Friday afternoon.”

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