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Jharia Coalfield Fire rehab drive under fire

The Jharia Rehabilitation and Development Authority (JRDA), in-charge of relocating thousands of families who will have to vacate their homes on the mining town's fire zone, has been de-registered, dealing a body blow to the implementation of the Rs 7,028 crore rehabilitation package cleared by the Centre a week ago.


In a notification issued today, the inspector-general (IG) (registration) cancelled the registration of JRDA, declaring it a "fake and non-existent" panel since it hadn't conformed to the rules of the Societies Registration Act 1860.


The JRDA was registered under the act with the office of IG registration, government of Jharkhand, with registration number 430/2004-05.

Cautioning the people not to deal with the panel, Gauri Shankar Prasad, the IG, (registration) said: "The JRDA may have been associated with the government. But, we have declared it bogus because the body was not fulfilling norms."


Dhanbad deputy commissioner A K Singh, who is also managing director of JRDA, was caught unawares: "I am yet to know about the IG registration's decision to declare JRDA as bogus. I will verify why this has happened."


Singh said the JRDA was a government organisation and he would pursue the issue with the appropriate authority. Also, after today's development, he would talk to senior officials to ensure there was no hitch in implementing the Jharia rehabilitation plan —for which the cabinet committee on infrastructure approved a package of Rs 7,028 crore on July 30.


Under the plan, the JRDA was to oversee relocation of Jharia township which has been sitting on an underground mine fire raging for nearly a century. As many as 1.12 lakh families, whose homes are in the danger zone facing subsidence, would have to be relocated.


Early in July, the state administration decided to shift as many as 4,650 families from five areas declared unsafe by the directorate general of mines safety within 100 days.


The families, who reside in Gwalpatti, Rajput basti, Bokapahari, Modivita and Luj pit, will be shifted to Bhuli township, a residential colony of the Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) whose residents have already launched a vicious campaign against the plan.


Ranchi, Aug. 6: Telegraph