- Govt to use Russian MI helicopters to fight Naxals
- Railways to build 5 Multi functional complexes in Bihar
- Intra-state luxury AC buses to hit roads by mid July
- Bihar accomplishes several accolades in rural health and education
- Human Rights Commission seeks reply from Govt on doctor murder
- Ganga Cleanup project gets World Bank Funds
- Bhojpuri actor Manoj Tiwari injured in Ramlila Maidan Police Action
Posted: 07 Jun 2011 05:10 PM PDT
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), in a major thrust to anti-Naxal operations, has finally cleared bids to hire six new Russia manufactured MI-17 choppers or ones with equivalent capability from a consortium of helicopter operators – Global Vectra and UTair.
The helicopters, to be used for search and rescue operations, will be made available to the ministry within three months. The choppers, to be hired on a wet lease basis, will be deployed in nine Left wing extremism-affected states – Maharashtra, West Bengal, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Orissa.
The MHA in September had sought expression of interest (EOI) from MI-17 operators for the wet lease of helicopters for a year and extendable up to three years. Under wet lease, the operator provides a chopper, complete crew, its maintenance and insurance.
The helicopters will be used for evacuation of casualties, search and rescue operations, movement of troops and surveillance. The choppers will be allowed to fly at a minimum altitude of 3,000 feet and have an airlift capability of 20 fully equipped armed security personnel. Further, the helicopters, capable of day and night flying, will be able to fly 400 km without refuelling.
The twin engine turbine helicopters will have slithering facilities and armour-plating for the safety of crew, passengers and vital components of helicopters. According to MHA officials, depending on the usage, more helicopters will be hired. The already proposed 13 helicopters will be made available at a cost of Rs 3.5lakh per hour. (Rs 12crore per month) The official sources said expat/Indian pilots will be security cleared and exempted from the rigorous process of obtaining licences.
According to rule 160 of Aircraft Rules 1937, the central government has the power to exempt any aircraft, person or an organisation from the operation of these rules, either wholly or partially. The helicopters will be civil registered and operationally controlled by the MHA. The charter company shall bear expenses towards the personnel, fuel, transportation, insurance and maintenance.
According to EOI conditions, the annual turnover of the company should at least have been Rs 100 crore in the past four years solely from the chartered services. The company should be in the business of providing chartered services for three years, stated the EOI. Global Vectra, a private helicopter company, has a fleet of 25 aircraft, including Bell Helicopters (Bell 412) and Eurocopters (EC 155, B1, EC 135 P2, and AS 350 B3). The fleet of helicopters, which range from small light helicopters to medium-sized twin helicopters, offer seating capacity for four to 12 passengers.
UTair is a major world helicopter operator and operates the largest aircraft fleet in Russia. According to the company’s website, UTair is an integrated air transport and aircraft services company with over 40 years of experience on the Russian air transport market.
Posted: 07 Jun 2011 01:11 PM PDT
PATNA: The railways is likely to start work on multi-functional complexes (MFCs)-cum-budget hotels on stations which have religious and tourist importance. The railways recently worked out the details to start the work. However, the civil work on the project would be taken up only from the next fiscal.
The MFCs will have shopping centres, food stalls, restaurants, book-stalls, PCOs/STD/fax booths, medicine shops, budget hotels and underground parking for vehicles, said a Railway Board official. According to him, the railways has decided to build these MFCs on public-private partnership (PPP) basis under the supervision of the Indian Railway Construction Ltd ( IRCON) and the Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA). About 160 places have been selected and identified for the construction of MFCs, he said, adding each MFC is likely to involve huge expenditure.
According to sources, as many as five MFCs will be built at Gaya, Hajipur, Sasaram, Islampur and Bhagalpur (in Bihar). The railways intends to complete this project within two years, the Board official said.
According to sources, the plot size for building each MFC will vary from 1,000 square metres to 3,000 square metres depending on availability of vacant land near railway station buildings. Besides, the railways has also decided to build such complex even on a plot of about 200 square meters to cater to the needs of passengers, he said.
According to sources, if everything goes well, the RLDA will invite tenders from interested investors for construction of MFCs at different places across the country. The RLDA is keen to develop these MFCs on identified railway plots. The developers will only design, finance, operate and maintain the MFCs, the sources said.
The railways has approximately 10.65 lakh acres of land across the country of which about 90 per cent of the land has been under railways’ operational use. However, the railways has about 1.13 lakh acres of vacant land which can be used for commercial purposes, the sources said.
The RLDA has been given about 3,761 acres of vacant land at about 135 sites across the country to develop them for commercial purposes only, the sources said.
Posted: 07 Jun 2011 08:06 AM PDT
PATNA: The state government has decided to take concrete steps to boost tourism on an unprecedented scale. Special arrangements and packages have been designed to boost tourism, especially in Budhhist and Jain centres.
As a step ahead, Bihar State Road Transport Corporation (BSRTC) is all set to change the face of travelling on Bihar roads. It will roll out as many as 92 AC luxury buses in different routes within the state. These inter-city buses will run across the state.
In total, 92 luxury AC buses are proposed to run on 17 routes in the state. While 10 of these routes would connect Patna with other district headquarters, four other routes will be connecting Patna with district headquarters in the neighbouring state of Jharkhand.
“We are planning to get mostly Volvo buses,” said an official adding we want to ensure a complete smooth ride for our tourists as well as local passengers.
The corporation that initiated the process of inviting applications from interested service providers in April this year, have already shortlisted a few of them and agreement has also been finalised. At present, the corporation is in the process of obtaining permits for these buses.
BSRTC sources also disclosed that as many as 30 buses, all 32-seaters would soon be rolled out on Muzaffarpur roads.
Posted: 07 Jun 2011 06:02 AM PDT
Darbhanga, June 5: Bihar is surprising everyone with rapid strides, its rush to shake off the backwardness and inertia that once marked it. This impetus is amply evident in the field of education. The goal is to have a quality system accessible to all
There have been measures to create a sense of involvement of the target group themselves, students. Particularly, the girls in Bihar were given a leg-up through the distribution of cycles and uniforms.
A staggering 36 lakh, 81 thousand girls have been covered under the programme for school uniforms and 13 lakh 60 thousand have fallen within the ambit of the ambitious and innovative ‘Mukhya Mantri Cycle Yojana’.
It has been the attention to detail, which has been striking. The school structures coming up have adequate provisions for toilets, drinking water,
playgrounds as well as sports materials apart from study aids; all of which are crucial to building of young minds and bodies. All these were taken care of under the Mukhyamanti Samagra Vidyalaya Vikas programme.
The intent, the pace of the work has been indeed heartening. Kudos to the government who slid very easily into a second term in office based on the concrete steps taken in changing the face of Bihar and setting it unequivocally on a track of development.et, let us not be too hasty in giving all the accolades to the regime alone. For in doing that, we will run the danger of a broad-brush approach and fail to recognise the nuances, the patterns within this big picture, particularly what has been inherited from the past.
Looking back, we perceive the role of anganwadis across the state who silently, steadily over the years have nurtured young minds and bodies in village hamlets, with often severely limited resources and sparked off a path to education. And this is not a new phenomenon but one, which spans over three decades, to be precise on 2nd October 1975 when the programme began in 33 blocks in Bihar,
A case in point is Bhaotora village, under the ‘Sindhiya’ panchayat just south of Madhubani district also straddling Darbhanga district, both large populated areas.
An ordinary village for all practical purposes except that here too as in many ‘unknown’ villages across Bihar, the anganwadi has done remarkable work over the years, motivating village folks to send their children to school, caring for young ones. Essentially aanganwadi centers and those who run them have been in all senses, partners in the quantum change, now visible in Bihar.
In Madhubani district for example, Gunza Farzana is the Aanganwadi ‘ Sevika’ in Kendra no.78.Obviously devoted to her work, her service to society as it were, she proudly talks about how the anganwadi has made a difference to the 40 children under her care.
From providing nutritious meals of ‘khichri’ and ‘chokha’ (a flat pancake made of lentils) to counseling and caring for pregnant women, it is a valuable input into strengthening society at the grassroots, of tuning them to the change they should expect and be part of.
The anganwadi is really like a nursery, the rural equivalent of the posh ‘play schools’ in metros and urban centers. Here the children play, are fed, are given the first lessons in life.
Farzana has been associated with the centre for now six years and says the anganwadi provides these basic rudiments of learning to children above the age of 5 years. They are ‘prepared’ for admission into the village Primary Schools.
In fact, the transition from the anganwadi to the school system is quite seamless; the children do not require any certificate or any other formality for entrance into this first step into the formal academic system.
It is this pool of children backed by hundreds of Sevikas like Farzana that have prepared the ground for the change we see in Bihar today. In a way, Nitish Kumar credited for triggering and sustaining this momentum is reaping the benefits of the seeds sown over the decades by anganwadi centers and their ‘Sevikas’.
There is yet another invaluable role that these ‘little schools’ are now playing; the issuing of birth registration certificates. Anyone even slightly familiar with the rural scenario would know what an onerous challenge this can be. Many births are still not institutionalized; awareness of its critical importance remains minimal. Village folk had to travel long distances to the Darbhanga court to register.
Giving the Aanganwadi Sevikas, the responsibility of issuing birth certificates within their area was a masterstroke by the government authorities. At the local level, the community is close-knit, leaving precious little chance of any birth falling off the radar.
The aanganwadi is a small operation but has immense significance. Farzana says that what draws the children to the centre; what motivates parents to send them are clearly the facilities provided by the government.
Mid-day meal of course is a big attraction but so are the items like slates, pencils, board; all which makes learning an enjoyable and wholesome experience. This is where the tiny tots grasp the basics of learning, of being part of an education system, a foundational step.
Of the staggering 50 lakh children linked to the anganwadi system, some 25 lakh children below the age of 6 years in more than 60,000 centres across the state are benefiting from these educational building blocks imparted by anganwadis.
The Charkha Development Communication network feels that the government and indeed all sections of our society need to recognise the yeoman service and salute the spirit and sincerity of hundreds and thousands of Sevikas who have infact powered the juggernaut of Education in Bihar today. By Sudha Kumar(ANI)
Posted: 07 Jun 2011 03:38 AM PDT
Patna, June 4 (PTI) National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Bihar government to submit a report in connection with the murder of a doctor by the inmates of a jail in Gopalganj on May 29. “The NHRC has written a letter to Chief Secretary Anup Mukherjee seeking a report on the incident,” officials said today. Admitting that it was a serious lapse on the part of the jail administration, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had transferred two top officials in connection with the murder of a doctor by the inmates of a Gopalganj jail. “It is a serious lapse on the part of the jail administration…There are several flaws cited in the inquiry report,” Kumar had said. Doctor Buddhadev Singh was mercilessly assaulted on May 29 by jail inmates after he went inside to attend a patient and he died later when he was brought to Patna Medical College Hospital for treatment.
Posted: 07 Jun 2011 12:17 AM PDT
The World Bank has approved a $1bn loan to help clean the Ganga River as part of the Indian Government’s river upgrade programme. The National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) will use the funds to reduce river pollution on the five mainstem states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
The project will enable the authority to set up agencies at federal and state level to plan, manage and implement the NGRBA programme, including setting up a Ganga Knowledge Centre. The project will also help build the capacity of existing agencies responsible for operating and managing pollution-control assets such as wastewater and sewage treatment plants and sewer networks. The National Ganga River Basin Project received $115m from the Indian Government and $430m from the state governments of the Ganga mainstem states
Posted: 06 Jun 2011 11:38 PM PDT
June 6, 2011, New Delhi: Bhojpuri actor Manoj Tiwari was one of the many who were injured in the fracas that took place at the Ramlila Maidan on Saturday night.
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