The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Koda dogged by Cong deadline

Ranchi, Dec. 1: Chief minister Madhu Koda is racing against time to meet the deadline set by the Congress, but the leaders of the grand old party of India are not happy with his progress.

Following the two-month time given by the Congress to perform on key issues of bijli-pani-sadak, Koda has swung into swift action shuffling bureaucratic set-up in the past fortnight but could not satisfy the Congress leaders.

“There has not been any concrete action on part of either the chief minister or other ministers. They are just making tall claims,” said Congress spokesperson Alok Dubey.

The Congress working committee will meet on Monday to review the progress report of the task it set on November 15. Union minister of state for urban development and Congress in charge of Jharkhand affairs Ajay Maken and co-in-charge Hema Gomang would participate in the meeting.

The first task the Congress set was of improving the law and order situation. But it has gone to worse, as a senior Congress leader from Delhi had to intervene to maintain law and order when various tribal associations called a bandh on Monday to protest against the violence on tribals in Assam.

About the power situation, the least said the better. The grim power scenario has prompted the Congress to demand immediate removal of Jharkhand State Electricity Board chairman V.N. Pandey.

The chief minister, holding the charge of road portfolio, has made some efforts to improve the condition of highways, but his orders might remain confined to the file only. Jharkhand High Court on Thursday chastised the government for doing merely a “table job” and not taking suitable action for improving the road condition.

The implementation of the national rural job scheme had also not improved. In fact, rural development minister Anosh Ekka expressed his anger when the state government posted S.K. Satpathy, said to be an honest officer, in his department.

There is no move to take the draft rehabilitation and resettlement policy to the cabinet. The draft, prepared by a cabinet sub-committee headed by Stephen Marandi, had submitted it to the chief minister long ago.

The Congress was particularly upset with the state government’s inaction to take huge funds under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewable Mission to develop Ranchi, Jamshedpur and Dhanbad as millennium cities.

The chief minister asked the state election commission to issue the notification by December 15 to conduct civic polls so that funds under the mission could be availed.

But there is no move to complete other formalities, including the removal of the Urban Ceiling Act, which is locked between a tussle between the land and land revenue minister Dulal Bhuiyan and urban development minister Hari Narayan Rai.

Congress state president Pradeep K. Balmuchu said Koda was making some efforts. “But we do not know how far his efforts would be implemented in reality,” he said, adding most of the ministers were yet to swing into action.

UPA steering committee chairman Shibu Soren, however, gave a clean chit to Koda saying he was trying to perform. “It is difficult to get each of the ministers work. They can’t move either as they have not struggled to get the ministerial job,” he said.

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