Hitting out at the BJP-led Centre, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Friday claimed that the Union government, instead of taking measures for the state’s development, is trying to “loot” its rich mineral resources.
Addressing people at Mediningar in Palamu as part of the “Aapke Adhikar, Aapki Sarkar, Aapke Dwar” (your rights, your government, your door) programme, Soren said coal blocks in the state were auctioned in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, notwithstanding requests by his government to defer the process till the situation gets normal “as that would encourage more bidders”.
He alleged that the Centre was more concerned about allotting the coal blocks to some of its “favourite companies”, and hence ignored the state’s request on the matter.
“The Centre is not bothered about Jharkhand’s development. It intends to loot the state’s mineral resources,” he alleged.
During the day, the CM sanctioned development projects worth about Rs 850 crore for Palamu division – comprising Palamu, Garhwa and Latehar districts.
He also said that his government, which “accords priority to common people’s interests”, has made it clear to the coal companies that they would be granted permission for mining only if they engaged 75 per cent of local workforce for their operations.
Soren stated that the BJP, which was in power in the state for two-thirds of the period since Jharkhand came into being, did little to improve infrastructure and agricultural prospects.
“No concrete step was taken to improve the basic amenities in the last twenty years, which is the reason for the backwardness of the state,” he maintained.
Noting that 80 per cent population in Jharkhand lives in villages, the CM said that rural belts will be given priority for all welfare work.
“We have launched the programme ‘Aapke Adhikar, Aapki Sarkar, Aapke Dwar’ as we are aware that many officials are hesitant to visit rural pockets. The programme would ensure implementation of government’s flagship schemes everywhere,” he said.
Soren further said that around 1.5 lakh complaints pertaining to various schemes have been received in Palamu division, of which 1.30 lakh have been solved.
As part of the programme, which was launched last month, the government holds camps in various parts of the state for common people to apply for benefits of state-funded schemes as well as lodge complaints in case of anomalies.
According to official data, the government has received over 14 lakh applications, with around 10 lakh having been attended to thus far.