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Shaken, Koda govt looks to SC
- Jamshedpur roots for industry status

Ranchi/Jamshedpur, Dec. 21: Jamshedpur stands to lose around Rs 3,700 crore from the JNNURM kitty as the much awaited tripartite agreement between the Centre, the state government and the urban civic bodies fell through in New Delhi yesterday.

Among the three cities of the state ó Ranchi and Dhanbad are the others ó selected for possible funding under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission, Jamshedpur’s Agreement could not be signed as there is a case pending in the Supreme Court over its status.

In fact, a day after suffering this blow, the state government is now getting ready to file a counter-affidavit in the Supreme Court against Tata Steel’s Special Leave Petition filed a year back after Jharkhand High Court gave its go-ahead to the state government to begin the process of forming a municipal corporation in Jamshedpur.

Chief minister Madhu Koda said he had directed the urban development department to vigorously pursue the case. “I have told the department to get in touch with the solicitor general and file the counter affidavit as early as possible as we want to resolve the case as early as possible,” the chief minister said.

Tata Steel and Jusco have refused to comment on the latest setback to the government and Jamshedpur. “It is a purely government affair and we would not like to comment. The matter is also sub-judice,” said an official of Jusco.

But officials of the Jamshedpur Citizen’s Forum, the group spearheading the opposition to handing over Jamshedpur to a municipal corporation, stuck to their stand of preferring an industrial township status for their city.

They pointed out that as per the 74th Amendment of the Constitution a corporate body taking care of civic amenities and other related things should be allowed to continue doing the same.

“We stick to our demand of an industrial town status for Jamshedpur. When Tata Steel is wanting to take care of the civic amenities of the city, it should not be prevented from doing so. The 74th amendment of the Constitution has a provision in this regard,” said A.K. Srivastava, president of the forum.

According to Srivastava, the forum wants the indus- trial town to cover the area that falls under JNAC (Jamshedpur Notified Area Commission).

“There shouldn’t be a problem as JNAC fulfills the requisite criteria,” he said, adding that a municipal corporation can be formed by combining the areas under Mango Notified Area Committee, Adityapur Notified Area Committee and Jugsalai Municipality.

Human rights activist Jawaharlal Sharma, among the first to launch a campaign for a municipality in the city, was disheartened at the developments.

“It is unfortunate. The agreement not being signed will have an adverse affect on the growth of the city,” added the human rights activist.

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