The land in Nipania, Dhanbad, where 6,000 permanent quarters will be constructed. Picture by Gautam Dey
Victims of Jharia’s underground fire can hope for quicker reprieve.
The JRDA has recently floated separate e-tenders and is inviting two distinct sets of online applications for temporary and permanent settlements away from the singed zone.
On January 31, the rehab implementing agency for non-BCCL families issued the notification for construction of 400-strong temporary tenement at a cost of Rs 9.12 crore in Lodna, 10km from Jharia.
Again on February 2, the JRDA floated a tender for construction of 6,000 permanent quarters for Rs 224 crore on 120 acres at Nipania mouza in Baliapur block, 8km from the fire-ravaged colliery area.
Chief manager (civil) of JRDA Sunil Dalela confirmed the twin developments.
“The temporary shelters, having a single bedroom, a bathroom and a kitchen, will be built on 3.50 hectares in the Lodna area of BCCL. The groundwork has been done for the project. The shelters are coming up at such mining sites where coal excavation work has been completed,” Dalela said.
He added: “The JRDA was facing rehab problems in the absence of temporary homes. People need to be shifted quickly during land subsidence and the Lodna project will help us tackle such emergency situations.”
Insiders said the decision to construct the temporary tenement was taken during the JRDA board meeting on January 13. It was further approved by the Centre’s high-powered committee on fire, subsidence and rehabilitation in Jharia and Raniganj coalfield regions. The meeting was held in New Delhi on January 23 under the chairmanship of coal secretary S.K. Srivastava.
“Affected people will be kept at the temporary settlement for a maximum period of six months by which time their permanent homes will be ready,” Dalela said.
He added that construction of 2,000 quarters on 45 acres of land in Belgarhia, some 6km from Jharia, was going on in full swing. “We have also issued tender for 6,000 permanent quarters of two bedrooms each for the second time.”
Incidentally, the first tender for 6,000 quarters was issued in August 2013. Only two agencies applied for technical round. One was disqualified, necessitating fresh tender.