New garbage lifting scheme from next month
Patna’s perennial crisis of garbage heaps in residential areas may finally see a solution. A garbage collection programme started by Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) in May in some of the 75 wards stopped abruptly in July. Ward councillors and PMC officials have now come up with a fresh plan to address the issue. Starting Gandhi Jayanti on October 2, door-to-door garbage collection will be conducted in all four circles with outsourced labourers. Although PMC’s general board meeting reached this decision unanimously, sceptics say this new measure may not show the desired results or last long.
Getting ready for free and fair polls
Towns and villages in Bihar generally being politically aware, holding elections in the state is often a tough task. The Election Commission of India (ECI) has started early preparations in the state for next year’s Lok Sabha polls. The state has already received EVMs for all the polling stations, numbering about 72,000, and also over 86,000 VVPAT machines. Representatives of 11 recognised political parties in the state recently held a discussion with Bihar’s chief electoral officer, HR Srinivasa, on the functioning of the EVMs and VVPAT machines. They were told of the steps being taken by the ECI to hold free and fair elections and how various electoral issues were being addressed.
Drop in Maoist violence brightens rank
Efforts by paramilitary forces and the state police to tackle Maoist violence in Bihar have shown results. With a marked reduction in incidents of violence perpetrated by the leftwing insurgents, Bihar is now ranked fifth among Maoist-affected states, below Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Maharashtra. In the Union home ministry’s rankings, Bihar was ranked third last year. During the first six months of this year, Bihar witnessed only 33 incidents of Maoist violence, according to the ministry’s halfyearly review. Now the ministry wants the state government and police to monitor and check the activities of the Maoists’ “front organisations”. Union home secretary Rajiv Gauba recently wrote a laudatory letter to Bihar chief secretary Deepak Kumar and asked him to maintain the anti-Maoist momentum.
Good news awaits fishermen
Fishermen in Bihar have been under the vice-like grip of middlemen and wholesalers, whose greed for profit robs them of the right monetary value of their produce and labour. The state government now plans to form a state-level cooperative to enable fishermen to sell their produce directly in the market at governmentfixed rates. The proposed Bihar Fish Cooperative Federation will work as the apex body of all the fishermen’s societies. The federation will be announced shortly as its registration process is in the final stage. Most fishermen in Bihar currently sell their produce to middlemen, who sell it to wholesalers. “The federation will also set up fish outlets across the state,” said an official associated with the federation.
Anand ST Das
Our correspondent in Bihar