Patna/UNI/November 15th, 2008: After years of dilly-dallying, Bihar capital would soon be declared as India's newest metropolitan city, the second in the country's eastern region after Kolkata. Official sources informed on Saturday, that the State Cabinet, at its last meeting here, took a unanimous decision to this effect on Friday. "Patna has recently qualified to be upgraded to a metro city as it had fulfilled the basic criteria of having a residential population of one million," sources said. Quoting the latest official figures, they said at present more than 1.7 million people permanently resided in the capital city, while another 300,000 people came here everyday from outside for jobs and other purposes. The sources elaborated that for proper planning and execution of new projects required by the new Metro city, a ten-member Metropolitan Planning Committee (MPC) would soon be set up under the chairmanship of the state Urban Development Minister, which in turn would decide for the extension of the new geographical limit of the city. Besides the minister, renowned city planners, engineers and architects would be the members and advisors of the high-power committee. After Kolkata, the capital of Bihar would be the second metropolitan city in the eastern India, sources said adding that the average growth in population of Patna during the past few years was hovering between eight and ten per cent per annum. "It was much above than any other city in the region, including Bhubaneswar and Guwahati," sources informed. The stupendous increase in the population of Patna and its neighbourhood since 2000 was primarily because of a steady socio- economic growth in the area, better scope of job opportunities as well as improved law and order in almost every locality, according to sources. They added that the above factors had resulted into a steady flow of people to come and permanently reside in the city. Referring to the MPC'S future task for upgrading the civic and other amenities of Patna to convert it into a much better place to live for its people, the sources said under a multi-pronged strategy, the city's civic amenities would be brought at par with those in other metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata under time bound programmes. The committee would also formulate yearly, five yearly and longer term prospective schemes for all round beautification and other developments of the new Metro city, the sources said.
The high-power committee was likely to hold its first meeting soon to finalise the new and wider geographical area of the proposed second metropolitan city of the East, the sources further informed.
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