Waiting for a high-rise makeover
The quaint Gardanibag area of the Bihar capital is set to have a new, upscale look in near future as the state government plans to build an array of ultra-modern multi-storied buildings there. As per the scheme’s master plan, the buildings will be both for residential and non-residential purposes. An “urban centre” planned in the area will also have a hospital, a business centre, a park, a playground and parking space among a host of other facilities. The non-residential buildings would house the offices of several central and state government departments. Land measuring 14.5 acres and 13.16 acres has already been allocated for construction of residential buildings for judicial officers and administrative officers respectively. An area of 23.99 acres has also been earmarked for building residential quarters for the state government’s grade III and IV employees.
Flying kites, defying the chill
Despite the severe cold-day conditions prevailing in Patna, the city people came out in large numbers to fly kites on Makar Sankranti day. The spacious Gandhi Maidan and the banks of the Ganga saw people of all ages enjoying a walk and flying or watching colourful kites. Big designer kites shaped as eagles and cartoon characters remained a major attraction at the ‘Patang Umang Utsav’ organised by Sri Krishna Smarak Samiti. Internationally known kite-fliers Sujeet Choudhary and Deepak Mishra, who came from Delhi, gave children lessons on the art of flying kites. Performance of folk songs and mimicry at the venue added an extra zing to the occasion. Patna commissioner Anand Kishore and DM Kumar Ravi, who together inaugurated the festival, were present along with their children.
Campus taste back after five decades
For the students, faculty members and non-teaching staff of the 90-year-old Patna Science College, the new year began with a rare gift. The campus got a canteen after a gap of fifty years. Patna University (PU) vice-chancellor Rash Bihari Prasad Singh, who inaugurated the canteen, said the scourge of roadside food was now over. “Several items of nutritious food will be available here at subsidised rates,” he said. The college, established in 1928 with the foundation stone laid by Lord Irwin, is one of the premier institutes of higher learning in the Bihar capital. Nobody remembers clearly how exactly the old canteen stopped operations in the late 1960s. “Heightened political activities based on caste differences was one of the reasons behind its closure,” said a faculty member.
Lacking in the care for eyes
More and more Patnites seem to be suffering from glaucoma, a disease that harms the optic nerves and may leads to total blindness. The eye OPD at Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) receives between 10 and 15 patients suffering from glaucoma daily. At Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS), one in every ten patients visiting the eye OPD suffer from glaucoma. “Most patients beginning to seek treatment for their glaucoma conditions are often at the final stage of the disease, when treatment hardly helps,” said Dr Nilesh Mohan, associate professor at IGIMS. “There is an acute absence of absence of awareness about glaucoma. Nearly 75 per cent of glaucoma cases go undiagnosed in Bihar,” he added.