At Jharkhand’s first global investors’ summit, Union ministers Jayant Sinha and Nitin Gadkari on Thursday assured that roadblocks related to two major problems in the state — land acquisition and compensation issues with regard to NTPC’s coal mining project in Hazaribagh and completion of work on the 133 km national highway connecting Ranchi and Jamshedpur — have been almost removed and the projects are now on track.
In a chat with The Indian Express, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said that, after series of talks with the affected people, a relief and rehabilitation package has been worked out. The problem related to Pakri-Barwadih coal mine project of NTPC, where protests against land acquisition and compensation led to violent clashes between police and public, leading to four deaths on October 1, 2016.
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“The major part of their complaint was the promise of at least one job in each affected family not being fulfilled. We have agreed to that. Second issue was that people said we were taking land forcibly. We have told them that they would not be removed from their place, if they did not want to leave…,” he said.
Sinha added that only those people, indulging in extortion, were interested in creating trouble in the eight villages that were going to be affected by the coal mine project. “In fact, production has started and the Union Minister for Finance (Arun Jaitley) flagged off the first rake with coal load online from Pakri-Barwadih today,” informed Sinha.
Another languishing project has been the Ranchi-Jamshedpur National Highway 33, the four-laning of which has remained incomplete in the past five years. Gadkari said: “I know it is Jharkhand’s lifeline. It is a legacy of previous government. There have been issues with banks and the contractors. I have several meetings. As of now, around 38 per cent work has been completed. We have requested banks and the contractor to get at least 50 per cent work completed. After that, we will arrange for finance from NHAI, as per norms. We can expect that the work would be completed in 12 months or so. The good news is that it is on track.”