New Jharkhand capital remains only on drawing board

Ranchi, Sep 21 (IANS) It has been 15 years since the state of Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar, but the new state capital is stuck up on drawing boards due to lack of political will and likely need to rehabilitate people who would be affected by the project.

The core of the proposed capital is planned to be developed in Heavy Engineering Corporation (HEC) area of Ranchi on around 2,000 acres of land.

Government sources said the core capital would house only government buildings. The project, however, faces stiff resistance from people living on land where the core capital is proposed to come up.

“People have been living here for the last more than 50 years. How can they be moved out without proper rehabilitation?” said Bandhu Tirkey, a former legislator.

After the creation of Jharkhand, Ranchi witnessed a sudden surge in its population. Facilities of housing, drinking water, electricity and roads were in bad shape, but little has been done since then to improve amenities. Ranchi has since been selected for the status of 100 smart cities of the country.

The then deputy prime minister L.K. Advani laid the foundation for the new capital in 2002 but work could not begin. A ring road project launched eight years ago is yet to be completed.

Even the state assembly, secretariat and a large number of government residences are functioning from buildings taken on rent.

Chief Minister Raghubar Das surveyed at least three areas on Ranchi outskirts, but could not finalise a site for the new capital. Sources in the government said the hunt for new capital has since been stopped.

“We will develop the core capital where the state assembly, secretariat, high court and government residences will be constructed. We have awarded the work for the construction of the high court building while the process is on to float tenders for the assembly building,” said Sukhdeo Singh, managing director of Greater Ranchi Development Authority.

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