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Munda updates minister on wells

Ranchi, Dec. 23: Arjun Munda today told Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh that the state had uploaded information about 40,000 wells dug up under a central job scheme on the government website and asked him to press the Centre to form a pending environmental authority in Jharkhand.

The chief minister also assured Ramesh — who in his previous visit (December 9) had lauded the state government for setting up 78,000 wells under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) — that details of another 38,500 structures would be soon prepared and uploaded.

“The Union minister also asked the state rural development officials to soon upload the details of the rest of the MGNREGS wells with their pictures,” said an official of state department.

Munda also said that delay on the part of the Centre in sanctioning the proposed constitution of State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) was holding up several development projects in Jharkhand.

He requested Ramesh to take up the issue with his cabinet counterpart in the forest and environment department.

“I have written a letter to the Centre. The absence of the authority has set back development works, especially road projects,” Munda said.

According to norms, the state government has to draw up a list of names of the chairman and members for SEIAA and sent it to the Centre for final ratification. The state government, Munda said, had sent the proposal to the Centre about four months ago.

But the Centre is yet to give its final approval.

Munda told the visiting minister that the delay in constitution of SEIAA had held up various projects, as the authority could give clearance to stone crushing units that are required for road plans.

While lauding the government for the progress in MGNREGS wells, Ramesh reportedly promised the chief minister of quick action to get clearance from the Centre on SEIAA.

The minister also enquired about the Saranda Development Plan. Munda informed him that two of the 11 roads being built across villages in the West Singhbhum forest were complete.

Munda added that his government was working to set up common service centre (CSC), popularly known as pragya kendra, in all the 4,562 panchayats of Jharkhand.

“But we are not receiving foolproof BSNL broadband services,” said the chief minister, urging Ramesh to take up the issue with BSNL authorities. The government has so far managed to set up about 2,200 pragya kendras.

Officials also informed the minister that well-designed panchayat bhavans had come up in a majority of the panchayats, promising that each would be fitted with solar lights.

“The Union minister advised the state officials to give a boost to bamboo cultivation in Jharkhand and that villagers should be given the right to use bamboo commercially since it happens to be a non-timber forest produce,” an official at the chief minister’s secretariat said.


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