Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren on Friday launched a slew of urban development projects for the state capital at a function at the Jaipal Singh Stadium here.
An apparently routine function became significant because Soren had three Opposition BJP leaders for company on stage who all hailed the initiative, speaking in the same tune as the chief minister.
“Small things can bring in big changes,” Soren said at the launch of 45 urban development projects for Ranchi that would involve an expenditure of over Rs 84 crore.
“The executing agencies must ensure the quality of work so that the developed sites look impressive and last longer,” the chief minister, who also holds the urban development department, said.
He added that the erring officers would be taken to task if any lapses were found.
“It’s really a good initiative that so many projects are being launched together,” Ranchi BJP legislator and former urban development minister C. P. Singh said.
He added that “there should not be any compromise with the quality and quantity of work so that taxpayers’ money is utilised properly”.
“Ranchi is facing tremendous pressure as more and more people from villages are coming here for earning livelihood,” Singh claimed, adding that the state capital needed proper infrastructure support for tackling the population pressure.
“We can’t stop people from coming here but long-term planning would surely help address the problem,” Soren said. He said that people should also cooperate as “government programmes alone can’t change much”.
“Our cities are being developed at the cost of environment and are becoming concrete jungles,” he further said, informing that his government has initiated a plantation drive for Jharkhand’s cities.
“If we create problems, we should also try to create solutions,” Soren said, adding that only long-term projects could establish a sustainable system.
“Ranchi must look impressive as a capital city but we all have responsibilities for maintaining it,” said Naveen Jaiswal, BJP legislator from Hatia.
Sanjeev Vijayvargiya, Ranchi’s deputy mayor and a BJP leader, also appreciated that the urban developments projects were initiated.
“Some more funds may be required for some of the projects but let the work begin and progress first,” he said on an optimistic note.
The projects include renovation of the Jaipal Singh Stadium and Morabadi Grounds, beautification of Ranchi Lake, construction of an urban haat at Kanke Road and bio-toilet complexes at four different places in the city, besides widening of roads and construction of drains in different wards within the corporation area.
The projects will be executed under the supervision of the Ranchi Regional Development Authority and Jharkhand Urban Infrastructure Development Company.