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Land jitters for Apollo wing

Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) has decided to shift the foundation ceremony of the wing of Apollo Hospitals Chennai from the earmarked site at Ghaghra to its office in the wake of protests by local residents, who have to vacate the plot to make way for the project.

Chief minister Hemant Soren will be doing the honours on Friday.

“We have changed the venue of the foundation stone laying function. Now, a token ceremony will be held at RMC office (Kutchery Chowk) instead of Ghaghra,” the civic body’s CEO Manoj Kumar said.

On Saturday, the RMC had announced that a branch of Apollo Chennai would come up at Ghaghra in the state capital for which 2.80 acres had been identified and the foundation ceremony would be held on Friday.

But when RMC men reached the project site on Wednesday to demarcate the land and level the ground, local residents objected, saying that the plot belonged to them and they would not allow any hospital to come up there.

The civic team had to eventually abandon the job and come back.

Admitting that Ghaghra residents are opposing construction of the hospital, Lakshman Kachchap, councillor of ward No. 50 under which the area falls, said: “They (the local people) are claiming that the land identified by RMC belongs to them. It’s raiyati land and RMC cannot start work.”

One Fakira, who had led the residents on Wednesday, said: “This piece of land has been with our forefathers since 1908. If the civic body indeed wants to build a hospital here, it should have consulted us instead of directly starting levelling work.”

But Kumar refused to concede that there is a dispute brewing. “There is no issue. A confusion has occurred. It will be resolved soon,” he said.


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