Brick and mortar building activity is back in sub-leased areas of Jamshedpur with XLRI taking the lead and starting work on its expansion project after Jharkhand High Court allowed construction to resume even while it continued to examine the process by which the land agreements were executed.
XLRI director Father E. Abraham confirmed to The Telegraph that the expansion work, required for the B-school’s global management programme, began on Monday.
“We are already running late… We hope to complete the work by the end of this year as students of the global MBA programme would start arriving in the city by January, 2014. We are hopeful of a positive decision in the next hearing of the court scheduled on April 9,” Father Abraham said.
XLRI’s expansion plans, being executed at an estimated cost of around Rs 60 crore on eight acres behind the existing campus, include a learning centre, a fully furnished air conditioned hostel for 300 students, a 100-seater international centre, guest houses and faculty offices to accommodate over 100.
The project was supposed to have been wrapped up by May-June.
Work on all 59 sub-leased plots were stalled on September 21 last year on the orders of the former Arjun Munda government that had found anomalies in the manner in which these plots were sub-leased by Tata Steel.
The state government’s move was based on the findings of an inquiry committee headed by development commissioner Debashish Gupta.
The committee also noted that the sub-lease agreements, with 59 companies in all, signed between 2005 and 2007 led to a paltry revenue of Rs 11.59 crore for the state exchequer.
In all, 18 of 59 private entities filed a writ petition in the high court in October last year, challenging the state government notification. Of them, 17 followed up with undertakings that they were in favour of resuming work with the court’s permission.
The next hearing is scheduled for April 9.
During its last hearing on March 7, the high court allowed 17 entities to resume construction in these areas, but made it clear that those choosing to start work would be doing so at their own risk.
The developers would have to dismantle their work in case the final ruling of the court went against them.
Now, other developers were expected to take the cue from XLRI and start work soon.
Mritunjay Tiwary, marketing head of Forum that is developing a mall along with Tata Steel at Bistupur, hoped that their project would be resumed as early as possible.
Their partner, Tata subsidiary Jusco, said they would perhaps wait till April. “We will for the next high court hearing on April 9,” said Jusco spokesperson Rajesh Rajan.
The two are building the Centenary Mall, a seven-storied complex worth Rs 180 crore and spread over 10 acres in Bistupur. It will have a hyper market, retail outlets, shop units, a multiplex, a food court, a banquet hall, a family entertainment centre, office areas and spacious parking.