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Funds promise for pond

State urban development minister Suresh Paswan on Thursday assured Dhanbad civic body of full co-operation and funds for renovation of Raja Talab in Jharia.

Paswan was in town to inspect the historic pond, built by king of Jharia estate Durga Prasad Singh in early 20th Century, which is currently choking on hyacinth and filth.

“I promise that the civic body will not face any dearth of funds in carrying out the revamp. The state urban development department will provide the sum required to restore the heritage pond,” Paswan said.

Local residents led by Anup Sao, councillor of ward No. 37, under which the water body falls, felicitated Paswan and thanked him for showing personal interest in Raja Talab’s renovation at a small function on the southern bank of the pond. Jharia MLA Kunti Singh and Dhanbad mayor Indu Singh were present among others.

The Dhanbad Municipal Corporation authorities have decided that first, the heritage pond would be cleaned and then beautified as part of the renovation exercise.

The civic body has already prepared a detailed project report (DPR) for the first stage i.e. dewatering and desilting at a cost of Rs 48 lakh.

“The DPR would be tabled at the the civic board meeting on December 30, following which tenders will be floated to invite private agencies for the work,” councillor Sao said.

The district administration has instructed Jharia circle officer Vishal Kumar to carry out an anti-encroachment drive near the pond.

A delegation of potters, who own shops on the southern bank, however, met the minister under the leadership of Ranjit Singh and his sister in law Madhvi Singh, the descendants of the royal family, and staked claim on the land.

Ranjit Singh said his forefathers had given the potters the land. Paswan assured to look into the matter.

The beautification work would be carried out after the eviction drive, for which a separate DPR would be prepared.

The total project cost would be fixed thereafter.