A file picture of Whiz Mantra officials conducting the survey in Dhanbad
Jharia Rehabilitation and Development Authority (JRDA), responsible for relocation of non-BCCL employees of coalfield region, may have to rework its entire plans for shifting residents of underground fire-ravaged areas to safer places.
For, the number of families to be rehabilitated under the Jharia Master Plan is set to overshoot the estimated figure of 54,159.
The above mentioned figure has already been achieved in 425 out of the 595 fire zones in the ongoing socio-economic survey of affected families being carried out by an agency, Whiz Mantra.
CEO of Whiz Mantra Abhishek Chakraborty said: “We have till now been able to collect socio-economic details of 19,551 families.”
He added that the earlier agencies had done the same for 34,608 families, which thus collectively stood at 54,159.
“Densely populated areas such as Lodna are yet to be covered. The number of families is likely to increase, by say, even double the original figure,” Chakraborty said.
He added that they had also requested the JRDA authorities to extend their contract for carrying out the survey as the entire task would take time.
Confirming the development, JRDA rehabilitation and resettlement in-charge Gopal Ji said: “We will extend all co-operation to Whiz Mantra. As of now, we will proceed with the construction of quarters for shifting 54,159 families. Once we get the final figure, it will be sent to coal ministry for approval.”
The master plan was drawn on the basis of an old survey conducted way back in early 90s by Central Mine Planning and Design Institute.
A fresh socio-economic survey started with the help of Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research in 2006.
In 2009, JRDA also roped in ISM students. They were replaced by Whiz Mantra in February 2013.