The Telegraph
Sunday , January 20 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
CIMA Gallary

Jharkhand Inc pitches for strong wicket

Ranchi, Jan. 19: Dhoni’s backyard can be as big a brand as India’s emphatic ODI victory today. The maiden ODI between India and England at JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi proves the state, with a bit of focus, has what it takes to be a big player on all counts.

Jharkhand Inc. showed its business card at the stadium — CESC (RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group company), Electrosteel, JSPL (Jindal Steel & Power Limited), Hindalco (Aditya Birla Group company), Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB), Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Limited, ACC Cement, Radisson Blu, Lafarge — to tell the world there was more it than political turmoil.

The platform couldn’t have been better as galleries were packed with people from all over India and the world, including mediapersons.

“It’s a huge turnaround moment for Jharkhand despite its several odds in past 12 years,” senior CESC official Sanjeev Sengupta told The Telegraph at the stadium’s premium terrace while watching India’s medium pacer B. Kumar bowling to England opener Ian Bell.

But despite Jharkhand’s quantum of mineral deposits, the state has too many MoUs and not too many running enterprises.

A corporate representative, Sengupta did not specify the odds. But having worked in ArcelorMittal and Dumka power project of CESC Limited, he knows the full story of the projects being non-starters.

But today’s thumping victory has put Jharkhand into the global map. The debutante Rs 180-crore JSCA stadium, tagged “fabulous” by Dhoni and “lucky” by millions of cricket-crazy fans across India, is from now likely to be the venue for many big-ticket ODIs.

It means global exposure for the capital and the state as a matter of routine.

Political shenanigans — third bout of President’s Rule in last four years, no chief minister surviving beyond half term — and scams won’t just be an embarrassment, they would be major liabilities.

Besides, Jharkhand also needs to wipe out Naxalism. The JSCA stadium appears light-years away from the Amuatikar forest in Latehar where the January 7 bloody rebel gun ambush occurred, killing 10 security personnel and four civilians. In truth, they are two sides of the Jharkhand story.

At the premium terrace, many movers and shakers of Jharkhand discussed how the international stadium could be a game-changer.

IAS officials such as agriculture secretary Arun Kumar Singh, planning secretary Awinash Kumar, Latehar deputy commissioner Aradhana Patnaik, corporate honchos such as Sengupta, JSEB and TVNL chairman S.N. Verma, hotelier Dilip Gupta of Radisson Blu, I-T additional commissioner Ajit Kumar Shrivastava, politicians Chandra Prakash Choudhary (Ajsu), Yogendra Sao (Congress), Nirbhay Shahabadi (JVM), Amit Yadav (BJP) were heard telling each other what a big thing the stadium would turn out for the state.

“It is good to see that such an international facility in Ranchi. We are proud of it and today’s victory. Now, let someone bat some sense into the state’s politicians,” remarked a senior Vidhan Sabha secretariat employee.