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Mining a curse or boon? Hemant pep talk for youth

Ranchi, Aug. 16: Chief minister Hemant Soren appealed to the state’s youth to participate in the country’s social and political process, even as he listed his government’s achievements on Independence Day yesterday.

Addressing a gathering of 5,000 people at Morabadi grounds on a day that thankfully saw little rain, the chief minister asked the youth to shun violence as a means to an end.

“If someone fires a bullet against enemies of the country, it is patriotism. But if someone kills unarmed innocents within the boundary of the country, its amounts to a crime against humanity,” he said.

He said terrorism and Naxalism were deterrents to development. “But, providing judicious right to all sections of society, particularly the backwards, downtrodden, deprived, tribals and minorities, by expediting the process of development is the solution to the problem of extremism,” Hemant said.

The chief minister touched upon the contentious issue of mining for industrial development and its negative effects if pursued indiscriminately.

“Policy makers should introspect whether mineral wealth in the state is a boon or a curse. We need an open debate on the issue. By mining Jharkhand has gained less, but lost more. Mining has reduced mountains to ruins,” he claimed.

Hemant also listed some of his government’s achievements. The government, he said, had decided to establish 1,000 banks of agricultural equipment across the state. It has provided Rs 10 lakh to each panchayat to construct roads.

For senior citizens, the government would be constructing six Shravan ashrams in six districts. He revealed that the state had put in a request with the Centre to set up 11 trauma centres on busy highways that pass through Jharkhand.

On employment, Hemant said 200 contractual medical officers had been regularised and primitive tribes were being hired to fill 20 per cent of existing vacancies in third and fourth grade government jobs.

He said rules had been formulated for direct recruitment of sportspersons in government services.

Earlier, he presided over the customary Independence Day parade of Army, CRPF, JAP, Jharkhand Home Guard, district police and NCC personnel led by DySP (headquarters-1) Mukesh Kumar.

Among those present at the parade were former chief minister Babulal Marandi.