Patna air pollution worse than that of Delhi
The onset of winter has started playing havoc with Patna’s air quality. With the fall in temperature making the air denser, particulate matter is found hovering around in the lower parts of the atmosphere. Most people in the city felt a sharp fall in the air quality on Wednesday, and some even described the air unbreathable.
In fact, the city’s air quality index (AQI) released by Central Pollution Control Board for the day was recorded at 404, higher than Delhi’s 308. This set alarm bells ringing as Patna’s AQI crossed the 400 mark for the first time this year. Bihar State Pollution Control Board now plans a few measures to contain the menace. The nauseating truth is that Patna is currently the country’s sixth most polluted city.
Red carpet for Chinese team
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Patna, Magadh University colleges and Bihar Museum are getting ready to welcome a 100-member delegation of Chinese youths. Comprising both students and young teachers of Chinese universities and also doctors and engineers, the foreign team will have a first-hand knowledge of Bihar’s Buddhist heritage and the state’s progress.
The two-day visit starting November 18 has been organised under an Indo-China agreement signed by the ministry of youth affairs. “We are making all arrangements for making the Chinese delegation feel comfortable and learn as much about Bihar as they can in a short visit,” said Magadh University vice-chancellor Qamar Ahsan.
‘Home delivery’ service under the lens
‘Home delivery’ is a popular phrase in Patna with a meaning that has little to do with the online retailers or childbirths. The two words, which imply supplying smuggled liquor at one’s doorsteps, gained the new meaning after prohibition was enforced in Bihar last year.
When the Opposition RJD attacked the government over the failure of prohibition and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav talked of ‘home delivery’ of liquor, the ruling parties snubbed them. But Patna police busted two liquor smuggling gangs engaged in ‘home delivery’ in the city on Tuesday. The kingpins, who included an MBA-degree holder, were plying their business in high-end sedans such as Honda Amaze. The arrest of 16 people and seizure of 165 bottles of liquor from them has silenced those who denied ‘home delivery’.
Weaving up the warmth
Although the chill is yet to set in and the nip in the morning and evening air says that winter is around the corner, Patnites are bracing for the cold season. After all, the meteorological department had said recently that Bihar might face one of the coldest winters in many years. So the marketplaces and roadsides in Patna are lined with shops selling colourful warm clothes.
Like previous years, shops owned by Tibetans and Nepalis remain favourite haunts for those seeking woolen garments. But many Patnites are also game for the quaint pleasures of wearing hand-knitted woolen pullovers. Quite a few women in the city are offering the knitting service. Just provide them the wool, specify a colour and pick a design, and they will deliver a sweater just before the chill begins in right earnest.
Anand S T Das
Our correspondent in Bihar