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HC glare on drainage project

Jharkhand High Court on Tuesday directed the state government to file a detailed affidavit on execution of a drainage and sewerage project under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) in Ranchi.

The court ordered the government to detail steps it had taken to construct drains in Ranchi and produce all correspondence with the Centre for execution of the long pending project.

A division bench of Chief Justice R. Banumathi and Justice Aparesh Kumar Singh was hearing a contempt petition filed by one Lallan Sharma, stating that the government was sitting idle on the centrally funded project.

Additional advocate general Ajit Kumar informed the court that the process to construct the drains was on. “Letters have been sent by the state finance department to the Union government for sanction of funds,” Kumar said.

He added that the project would be completed in four phases.

Kumar also informed the court that the state had applied for funds to the tune of Rs 309 crore under JNNURM for the first phase of the work.

“The government will also process documents for a further sanction of Rs 1,209 crore as a soft loan from the Centre for finishing the remaining three phases of the project,” Kumar added.

At this, the court directed Kumar to file an affidavit detailing all correspondence with the Union government.

The matter will come up for hearing again after a fortnight.

Sharma had originally filed the PIL for removal of encroachments from Harmu rivulet, which is choked with garbage. He pointed out that in the absence of a drainage system in the city, all sewage was being dumped into the water body.

The high court had disposed of the PIL and ordered the government to come up with a drainage system.

Sharma filed the contempt petition when the government failed to execute the project.

Sharma’s counsel Rajeev Kumar said that the state had not taken the initiative to construct a drainage system in the city and had been stalling the project on one pretext or the other.

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