Ranchi, Sept. 2: Permanent camps for CRPF jawans in Saranda remain elusive a year after Maoist rebels were purged of their traditional stronghold in the West Singhbhum forest, with the state police housing corporation yet to float tenders for the project.
The authorities had aimed to set up 24 camps under the Rs 250-crore central initiative, Saranda Development Plan.
Highly placed sources conceded that West Singhbhum district police and Jharkhand Police Housing Corporation Limited officials had earlier tried to rope in local contractors for the project that involves about Rs 16 lakh.
A couple of contractors were contacted, but they refused to execute the project.
Now, the housing corporation has decided to invite bids. We are processing the tender documents. It will take us another week to invite the bids, said V.H. Deshmukh, managing director of the corporation.
The senior IPS and an additional director-general of police ranked official added whether contractors would respond positively would be known only after the tenders were floated.
The 17 camps 13 for CRPF and four for India Reserve Battalion (IRB) personnel were to be set up in Saranda in the first phase of the project. At present, the jawans have been lodged in temporary tents inside the forest, exposed to mosquito with the result that hundreds have been afflicted by malaria in the last couple of months.
The temporary camps of CRPF and IRB jawans are in Digha, Jambaiburu, Thalkobad, Shuttlegate area and Chiria. CRPF also has permanent base camps and battalion headquarters in Kiriburu, Chakradharpur, Karampada, Manoharpur, Jeraikela and Anantpur in West Singhbhum.
State police spokesperson and IG S.N. Pradhan said funds for construction of permanent camps in Saranda had reached Jharkhand as part of the 2012-13 fiscal.
However, officials of the state police and CRPF are apprehensive about whether agencies would come forward to execute the project.