New-look promise for old jail

On November 15, 2013, then chief minister Hemant Soren had laid the foundation of a Rs 42-lakh project, while CM Das had rolled out the second project, involving Rs 52 crore, on July 3, 2017

By Our Correspondent in Ranchi
  • Published 12.10.18, 12:04 AM
  • Updated 12.10.18, 12:04 AM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
Governor Droupadi Murmu felicitates Birsa Munda’s descendant Sukhram Munda during the old jail museum foundation function in Ranchi on Thursday while chief minister Raghubar Das looks on. Picture by Manob Chowdhary

The old campus of Birsa Munda Central Jail on Circular Road on Thursday witnessed the third foundation stone laying ceremony for its beautification and renovation within a span of five years.

Chief minister Raghubar Das, along with governor Droupadi Murmu and Union tribal affairs minister Jual Oram, on Thursday laid the foundation of a renovation and conservation project that will also include the development of a museum devoted to freedom fighters on the jail campus.

The project is estimated to cost Rs 27 crore.

On November 15, 2013, then chief minister Hemant Soren had laid the foundation of a Rs 42-lakh project, while CM Das had rolled out the second project, involving Rs 52 crore, on July 3, 2017.

Both the projects couldn’t be implemented successfully.

On Thursday, Ranchi MP Ram Tahal Choudhary in his speech mentioned the multiple foundation stone laying ceremonies before emphasising that the BJP government was serious about the development of a historic place in

the city.

“Foundation stones for the beautification and renovation project had been laid earlier too. We are happy that our government is serious about developing a place associated with a tribal freedom fighter,” Choudhary said at the event function organised on the jail campus.

Chief minister Das disagreed with the fact.

“Last time, I had laid the foundation of a development project for the park to be named after Birsa Munda. Work on that is still in progress. This is a separate project to develop a museum besides renovating the jail campus. The concept for its development has been taken from the Cellular Jail in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Shahid Smarak in Bhopal. The project will attract tourists from different parts of the country. There will be museum devoted to tribal freedom fighters of the state, a 100ft high statue of Birsa Munda and light and sound system to depict the struggle for freedom,” Das said.

He said he would soon lay the foundation stone of a 150ft Bhagwan Birsa Munda Tower as well.

“The idea of the tower came to me during my visit to Shanghai in 2010. There will be restaurant on the tower where people can enjoy a glimpse of the entire city while enjoying food,” Das said.

Thursday’s event was also attended by Ranchi mayor Asha Lakra, Khunti MP Karia Munda, Union minister of state for tribal affairs Sudharshan Bhagat, state rural development minister Neelkanth Singh Munda, Khirji MLA Ram Kumar Pahan, state welfare minister Louise Marandi, state urban development minister C.P. Singh and Kanke MLA Jeetu Charan Ram.

After Hemant laid the foundation stone in 2013, the entrance and boundary wall of the old campus were renovated and a rain fountain was installed.

Following the second foundation stone laying event for Birsa Munda Smriti Park in 2017, construction of a tribal hut and underground parking started, but no significant progress was made.