The Telegraph
Wednesday , September 3 , 2014
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Guard shift for clean Chhath

The Patna district administration has urged the urban development department to hand over ghat-preparation work during Chhath to BUIDCo.

The request comes after Patna Municipal Corporation failed to handle civic issues in the city. The urban development department has given permission for the same.

A source in the Patna collectorate told The Telegraph: Last week, district magistrate Manish Kumar Verma shot a letter to the urban development department secretary Sandeep Poundrik with a request to allow Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation (BUIDCo) to prepare and clean the ghats before, during and after the Chhath. The department has given the permission.

The development assumes significance as Patna is home to 76 ghats out of which around 50 are used by devotees during Chhath. Past experience tells there has hardly been a year when the preparation of these ghats by the PMC has been satisfactory. A flaw in safety arrangement at one of these ghats led to a stampede in 2012 during Chhath, killing 18 devotees.

A few days back, the urban development department had decided that Rs 23 crore, meant for solid waste management that was lying unused with the PMC for the past seven years, would be taken back and handed over to BUIDCo. The money was given to PMC for the solid waste management project. During a press conference on Tuesday, urban development minister Samrat Choudhary iterated that files regarding the solid waste management project have been sent to the chief minister for approval.

Justifying the move of the district administration, the official said: The PMC has already embarrassed the government and the residents after it failed to do much when many areas of Patna witnessed severe waterlogging. Problems persist in the functioning of the PMC and the district administration does not want to be a part of that scenario. We want to deliver good work to the people.

Even chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi had openly expressed his disappointment over the PMCs functioning, stating that no work had been carried out in the PMC jurisdiction because of internal conflict. The chief minister expressed shock that the PMC could not even cover manholes, which resulted in unfortunate deaths.

Asked about the initiative taken for Chhath or whether the practice would continue for other works too, the official said: It is just the beginning. The idea is to off-load the work of the PMC in the coming days and deliver the best to the people. People should not face any problem or should not land in trouble because of internal conflict in the organisation. The district administration would ensure that devotees dont complain regarding Chhath preparations.