How much soil can you dig up from your land? 3m deep, says minister
How much soil can you dig up from your land?
Bihar’s Mines Minister Ramanand Yadav, answering a national question on “soil”, told the State Legislative Council that mining up to a depth of three meters, for its own purposes, but before digging, to avoid punitive action, concerned district mining Dal (RJD) member Ajay Kumar Singh, who alleged that farmers are facing punitive action from police and mining officials for desilting their own land in Kosi area, only after informing the officer.
Singh claimed that thousands of acres of land in the Kosi region are still covered with heavy silt since the 2008 floods. “Farmers are unable to grow crops on the land due to the need for permission from the authorities to remove the silt,” the RJD leader said.
In response, the Mines Minister clarified that his department had laid down guidelines for removal of sand or silt from cultivable land in districts of Kosi division such as Saharsa, Supaul and Madhupura. “The collectors of the respective districts have been asked to issue special permits for the excavation of sand or silt from the land without any charges,” he added.
However, cutting across the party line, members claimed that punishing farmers for removing silt or soil from their land to fill the soil in their homes had become the work of the day.
Maheshwar Singh, an independent member, claimed that many farmers were forced to pay 50 thousand fine for taking silt from own land in Champaran area
Bhisham Sahni, a member of the ruling JD(U), also claimed that farmers were tortured for digging soil from their land.
Accepting the plea of the members, Legislative Council Chairman Devesh Chandra Thakur asked the minister to ensure that the land owners follow the guidelines issued for removal of silt or digging of soil.
Some members demanded that the power to issue permits for excavation of silt or clay should be delegated from the District Mining Officers to the Panchayat level.
Private schools facing probe for flouting RTE norms
Education Minister Chandrashekhar on Friday assured the state Legislative Council that an inquiry would be conducted to find out whether private schools were following the norms of offering 25% seats to poor students as per the Right to Education Act. Responding to another calling attention brought by RJD member Rambali Singh, the minister said, “Schools found indulging in irregularities will be punished and their registration will be cancelled.”
The RJD member alleged that private schools, in connivance with officials, were siphoning off crores of state government grants in the name of providing free education to students belonging to weaker sections. He said that the government is currently offering 8000/student to private schools under the RTE Act, but the target group is not getting the benefit.
JD-U member Neeraj Kumar echoed Singh’s stand and demanded strict action against the guilty schools.
BJP member Naval Kishore Yadav, who was presiding over the proceedings at that time, alleged that poor students enrolled under the RTE Act were not treated at par with general students in schools.
In his reply, the Education Minister said that the department is making rules and developing a portal to bring more transparency in the implementation of the RTE Act in the state.