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Urban, health schemes

Ranchi, Nov. 3: The poor execution of schemes under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and failure of the health department in doling out benefits of schemes to the masses was the central point of discussion on day three of the ongoing department-wise review meetings chaired by chief minister Arjun Munda.

The chief minister reviewed the forest and environment, health, medical education and family welfare, revenue and land reforms and labour, employment and training departments today.

Munda was dismayed at the tardy progress of different JNNURM schemes in three mission cities — Ranchi, Jamshedpur and Dhanbad — and a few smaller cities that qualify to get funds from the Union urban development ministry.

Notably, the mission period is till 2012 and the state has been unable to utilise central funds under JNNURM. The chief minister feared that planned schemes like solid waste management plant, water supply system for increased urban population in many cities, sewerage and drainage system and basic services for the urban poor might not be executed once the JNNURM deadline expired in 2012.

"Remove all the bottlenecks at the earliest and work seriously in a speedy and time-bound manner for the completion of JNNURM schemes," Munda told the babus of the urban development department, including secretary P.K. Jojoria.

A majority of the JNNURM projects in Ranchi, Jamshedpur and Dhanbad are in limbo for some reason or the other since the last couple of years. Frequent change in political guard and bureaucracy have compounded the woes.

Jojoria told The Telegraph there was little utilisation of the JNNURM schemes and that Munda asked them to execute the schemes on a war footing.

With only about 10 per cent (Rs 385 crore) of its funds utilised by the health department so far, the general impression in today's meeting was that it was the "worst performing department".

However, Munda suggested a slew of measures to improve its performance.

He reiterated increasing MBBS seats in the three medical colleges of Jharkhand. The state government has been working on a plan to raise the number of seats in the three colleges to 350 from the existing 190.

Senior health officials said Munda decided to write letters to the giant public sector undertakings (PSU) operating in the state to open medical colleges.

Such PSUs include Heavy Engineering Corporation (HEC), Central Coalfields Limited (CCL), Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL), Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) and SAIL.

Munda also directed the health officials to ensure blood-testing facilities in all the districts, where blood group testing, RH typing and other tests could be done on girls. Later in the evening, Munda directed revenue and land reforms officials to ensure time-bound completion of the proposed computerisation and digitisation of land records. "The chief minister also asked us to revamp revenue offices at the block headquarters," said a senior official.

Munda mantra

*Expedite JNNURM projects

*Set up blood testing labs in all districts

*To ask PSUs to open medical colleges

*To increase seats in RIMS, PMCH and MGMCH

*Computerise land records

New posts proposed

RIMS — 3,077

PMCH — 894

MGMCH — 1,437

Filling vacant posts

RIMS — 350

PMCH — 100

MGMCH — 200

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