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PMO man reviews slo-mo projects

Ranchi, Jan. 6: Twenty-nine stalled or slo-mo mega industrial projects of Jharkhand were thoroughly reviewed today by Anil Swarup, IAS and chairman of project monitoring group, under the Prime Ministerís Office (PMO).

Swarup, who reached Ranchi from Delhi this afternoon, met chief secretary R.S. Sharma and senior bureaucrats from the stateís departments such as industry, energy, forest, mines, revenue and water resources.

With them, Swarup reviewed each multi-crore project hanging fire in minute detail to get an informed picture. The meeting started at 4pm and went for almost three hours.

Of the 29 projects under consideration across both public and private sectors, the business verticals involved included steel, power, road, oil pipeline, railway lines, among others.

The investors or companies concerned included Jindal Steel & Power Limited, Corporate Ispat, Abhijeet Infrastructure, Reliance Groupís Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP), Mukand Steel, Electrosteel, JSW Steel Ltd, Indian Oil Corporation Limited, railway line projects including Tori-Shivpur, Hazaribagh-Koderma, Hazaribagh-Ranchi and NH-2 six-laning.

Swarup listened to the gamut of problems facing each and every project carefully, which ranged from land acquisition hitches to pending environment and forest clearances.

He also suggested recommendations and solutions for each and inquired if these could be implemented at the ground level.

Chief secretary Sharma, who chaired the meeting, asked for the constitution of a taskforce to resolve all the issues related with forest department objections and land acquisition for speedy execution of the big-ticket projects.

ďThere was threadbare discussion on each and every project. Only then did Swarup direct officials to fast-track matters. He tried to understand the dynamics of each project in completion,Ē said a bureaucrat who attended the meeting.

For instance, the IOCLís Paradip-Raipur-Ranchi pipeline project ó an ambitious plan on review ó has been held up even though over 70 per cent work in the project is complete. A pending forest clearance and few other factors have stalled it.

The work of six-laning of the stretch from Aurangabad (Bihar) to Barwaadda near Dhanbad is also making very slow progress.

Work on this National Highway 2 stretch is being executed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), involving a construction major, KMC. But matters related to pending forest clearance and land acquisition have scuttled the pace of work.

As far as majority of the steel projects is concerned, they have been put on the backburner due to major land acquisition issues as well as statutory clearances in the field of forests and environment and pollution.

From Jharkhand, secretaries of revenue J.B. Tubid, mines D.K. Tiwari, forest Alka Tiwari, industry Vandana Dadel and energy V.K. Singh accompanied Sharma. Director (industries) Himani Pandey, deputy director (industries) Dilip Kumar Sharma and senior representatives of majority of the companies were also present.

In its 13 years of existence, Jharkhand has a miserable track record of getting big-ticket projects off drawing boards.

Swarup is also scheduled to chair an industry roundtable organised by Confederation of India Industry (CII) at a city hotel tomorrow afternoon. It was scheduled for today, but cancelled at the eleventh hour.


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