The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Koda races to pass Cong test
- TVNL gets boss, scanner on roads

Ranchi, Nov. 19: Staring at a two-month deadline to perform or perish, chief minister Madhu Koda today got cracking to send the signal that his government was not ready to give in without a fight.

Koda filled the vacant posts of key officials involved in the construction of roads and ensuring smooth power supply, demands made by the Congress in its 13-point wishlist presented to the chief minister on Foundation Day.

He also agreed to review the current status of various schemes.

Energy secretary Aditya Swaroop has been given the additional charge of chairman of Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Limited while Vikrama Ram has been made the managing director of the power utility.

The move is being seen as a snub to the Congress, which was believed to have had an “eye” on the TVNL chairman’s chair.

Jai Prakash has been made the new chief engineer of PWD (roads). Vishnu Ram, Patwari Soren and Anugrah Prakash will be the new chief engineers of national highways, central design organisation and rural engineering organisation, respectively.

Tripurari Shankar Prasad will be the new superintending engineer of NH division and Md A. Zeman has been posted as the PWD—Daltonganj additional collector.

Under fire for the pathetic condition of roads, the chief minister will personally inspect NH-33, linking Ranchi with Hazaribagh, on November 24.

Koda has to be in Hazaribagh that day for the wedding reception of the son of Congress legislator Manoj Yadav. But he will travel by road to see for himself the condition.

In a bid to renew contact with the masses — the Congress has also accused the government of alienation from the people, the Janata Durbar will begin at the chief minister’s office at 11 am on November 27. Tomorrow, he will hold a meeting with the police superintendents and other senior officials to review law and order and the Naxalite threat.

On Wednesday, the chief minister will diagnose the financial health of the energy sector and the status of electrification schemes.

A daylong conference with all key officials directly or indirectly associated with the energy department will begin at 11 am at Indian Institute of Coal Management.

On November 22, Koda will hold another meeting on the IICM premises to review the welfare schemes.

Officials said Koda has been spurred into action by the Congress threat that it would pull out if the government didn’t act on its list of demands within two months.

“All day he was busy taking decisions that would somehow save his government,” said an aide of the chief minister.

Koda also sought to placate the Congress by implementing a scheme started by Indira Gandhi.

Paying homage to the former Prime Minister on her birth anniversary, Koda said he would implement a scheme which encourages all parents to have at least one girl child.

“The scheme was highly successful all over the country. Parents having a single girl child are given special benefits. The government bears the expenses incurred on the girl’s education and upbringing. I will revive it on mass scale in my state. This will be a real tribute to the late Prime Minister,” announced Koda.

Sources said Koda was trying to do too much too late. “What he could not do in over a year, how can he do in two months' The chief minister is fighting a lost case. His government is as good as gone,” said a senior bureaucrat.

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