A Jharcraft store in Ranchi
The Subernarekha Multipurpose Project (SMP) authorities are toying with the idea of roping in Jharcraft to provide livelihood training in fields like handicraft, sericulture and weaving to the displaced in what can be hailed as a rehabilitation model for those who part with land for irrigation and industrial projects.
According to the proposal, which has already been discussed by SMP administrator Rahul Sharma and Jharcraft managing director Dhirendra Kumar, about 20,000-affected families of Seraikela-Kharsawan and West Singhbhum district will be trained. SMP and Jharcraft will also sign a MoU in near future.
“We have plans to visit the SMP-affected submerged area of Chandil dam in Seraikela-Kharsawan district as well as Icha dam in West Singhbhum district. We aim to train women and youths of both the areas in the first phase followed by men,” Sharma told The Telegraph.
He added that besides Jharcraft, they might also rope in a few other agencies working in the field of livelihood promotion. “After the training, we will also ensure linking women and youths with the organised sector,” Sharma said.
Jharcraft MD, who doubles up as special secretary in the state industry department, said they were looking forward to the ambitious project.
“This will also be a new forte for us and a model that can be imitated in other displacement-affected areas of the state as villagers are not ready to part with their land for industrial or other projects due to their bad experiences in the past,” Kumar pointed out.
Notably, Kuchai area in Seraikela-Kharsawan is known for producing quality silk while West Singhbhum is one of the major hubs of tussar silk.
SMP — the biggest water resources project in the state involving a fund of over Rs 6,000 crore — has displaced thousands of people in the region.
The project, incepted way back in late 70s, remained a white elephant till last year with the cost rising to a whopping Rs 6,600 crore from a modest Rs 124 crore in 1977, thanks to the inordinate delay.
Once completed (likely by 2015-16), the project will irrigate over 2,75,000 hectares of agricultural land in the states of Jharkhand, Bengal and Odisha.