The Telegraph
Monday , May 19 , 2014
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State looks for NaMo green light

- Eye on funds from new govt to speed up central projects

A Rs 113-crore Jharkhand Mega Food Park Project in Ranchi, launched five years ago, is still in its infancy

JNNURM projects to improve Ranchi’s sewerage and drainage were announced in 2007 but are yet to start. Ranchi water supply and solid waste management projects, announced between 2007 and 2010, are moving at a snail’s pace

A number of railway projects, including the Koderma-Ranchi line via Hazaribagh and Barkakana, are hanging fire for years

Ranchi, May 18: Jharkhand, which responded warmly to incoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a decisive verdict and gave the BJP 12 out of the 14 seats from the state, is now hoping for fast-track growth of centrally sponsored projects that started in the UPA’s tenure.

Speaking to The Telegraph, chief secretary (in-charge) Sajal Chakraborty said the state would brief the new Modi government about various ongoing centrally sponsored projects and request it to expedite matters.

“I accept there have been many shortcomings on part of the state government. But, some issues such as clearances are pending with the Centre and need to be sorted out at the earliest,” Chakraborty said over phone from Thalkobad in Saranda.

The chief secretary (in-charge) went to Saranda yesterday on a two-day visit to review implementation of the Rs 249-crore Saranda Development Plan (SDP) — an amalgamation of several centrally aided projects and spearheaded by former Union minister Jairam Ramesh.

The fate of Jharkhand Mega Food Park at Getalsud Industrial Area on Ranchi outskirts has also been hanging in balance for past five years. In February 2009, then Union food processing minister and Ranchi MP Subodh Kant Sahay of the Congress laid the foundation stone for the project, touted to be the first of its kind in eastern India.

Initially, Sahay blamed the tenure of BJP-led state government between 2010 and 2012 for its delay. But, even the two stints of President’s Rule or the current JMM-led state government with Congress as its ally did not speed up work.

With Sahay losing the Ranchi seat to BJP’s Ramtahal Choudhary, this project’s future depends on central aid.

The JNNURM city amenity projects have also taken a beating. It was only recently that the Centre gave over Rs 300 crore for the capital’s sewerage and drainage project launched way back in 2007.

The ambitious railway project connecting Koderma with Ranchi, via Hazaribagh, is on since 1999, when then Hazaribagh MP and Union minister Yashwant Sinha laid its foundation stone. The project cost has shot up manifold from the estimated Rs 767 crore to Rs 3,000 crore, but the work is far from being over.

Though Jharkhand’s laggard bureaucracy and poor delivery mechanism are to be blamed for delays, insiders say the buck stops with political instability where the “maturity level of politicians” was still low.

Development economist Ramesh Sharan said if the Centre set up its own monitoring mechanism, centrally aided projects would get the much-needed push.

“I hope the BJP performs as it promised to masses during its campaigns of “achhe din aayenge”. But bigwigs need to rise above petty politics. Don’t treat projects as BJP leader Yashwant Sinha’s (railway line) or Congressman Subodh Kant Sahay’s (food park). Treat them as people’s projects,” said the head of the department of Ranchi University’s postgraduate department of economics.

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