Waiting for a high-rise makeover
The quaint Gardanibag area of the Bihar capital will have a new, upscale look in the 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 for both residential and non-residential purposes. An ‘urban centre’ planned in the area will have a hospital, a business centre, a park, a playground and parking space, among other facilities. The non-residential buildings would house the offices of several government departments. Land measuring 14.5 acres and 13.16 acres has been allocated for construction of residential buildings for judicial officers and administrative officers, respectively. An area of 23.99 acres has been earmarked for building residential quarters for the state government’s grade III and IV employees.
Flying kites, defying the chill
Despite severe cold, city residents came out in large numbers to fly kites on Makar Sankranti. The spacious Gandhi Maidan and the banks of Ganga saw people of all ages enjoying a walk and flying or watching colourful kites. 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 gave children lessons in the art of flying kites. Performance of folk songs and mimicry livened up the occasion. Patna commissioner Anand Kishore and DM Kumar Ravi, who together inaugurated the festival, were present along with their children.
Lacking in care for eyes
More and more city residents seem to be suffering from glaucoma, a disease that harms the optic nerves and may lead to total blindness. The eye OPD at Patna Medical College and Hospital 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 suffers 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 awareness about glaucoma. Nearly 75 per cent of glaucoma cases go undiagnosed in Bihar,” he added.
Campus taste back after five decades
For the students, faculty members and non-teaching staff of the 90-year-old Patna Science College, the year began with a rare gift. The campus got a canteen after a gap of 50 years. Patna University 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 Patna. Nobody remembers clearly why the old canteen closed down in the late 1960s. “Heightened political activity based on caste differences was one of the reasons,” said a faculty member.
Our correspondent in Bihar