*jharkhandstatenews.com picture shows Karamtoli Chowk Pond in Ranchi.

Karamtoli Talab(Pond),believed to be a natural water body near the old jail premise in Ranchi where legendary tribal hero Birsa Munda spent last days of his life in 1900,will witness a strange paradox.While the land of this historic pond is being beautified for citizens and tourists,its water will be left untouched to stink.

The land around the pond will then be used to construct a number of concrete buildings- Dancing Fountain,Watch Tower with a Surveillance Room,Multi Purpose Hall,Colourful Lights and Parking complex to accommodate 80 cars and 50 mo-bikes.The Detail Project Report prepared by Hong Kong based company-UDP International- is going to be implemented by Ranchi Municipal Corporation,a body of the state government.

Right now,land around the pond carries three small buildings where the Community Service Centre-Pragya Kendra-one hostel of tribal students and a Guest House(Raein Basera)-exist.These buildings are planned to be demolished and Hostel,Pragya Kendra and Raein Basera are to be shifted in the new building.

In 2016,RMC picked up UDP International to prepare the DPR to beautify the pond.However,no directive was issued by the RMC to study and examine its source of water in order to clean it and maintain cleanliness of this historic pond.

”The apathy towards the Karamtoli pond water could not have been worse.Neither the UDP International,whose staff and officials did not take note of the fact that a couple of drains of the nearby locality carry dirty-filthy water into the pond,nor other RMC authorities bothered to do anything to develop a system to clean it and maintain its cleanliness”,cribbed Sudhakar Kumar,a school teacher,who has his residence near this pond.

This means that this pond will continue to stink even after beautification plan is implemented and crores of rupees of public fund spent.In fact,while preparing its DPR,none of the elected councellors were consulted.Neither any opinion of stakeholders,especially residents of Karamtoli including tribals who use a part of its land to celebrate their annual festival Sarhul was sought.”Then how this DPR was prepared?”,asked Ramni Oraon.

“This project,like many other plans being implemented by the BJP government led by Chief Minister Raghubar Das,proves one thing.By constructing buildings and purchasing equipment's, money comes  quick and fast.And the money goes into their pockets in percentage varying between 20 to 40 percent of every project outlay.As such,the government officials and minister opt for it rather than take up any holistic approach to plan in view of its implementation and maintenance”,said Jeetu Munda,a student.  

The implementation of the project,which would cost about Rs 11.40 crore,will require floating of a tender.”We are going to publish the tender by end of this(July) month”,said a senior RMC officer.He is confident that “finance for such a project cannot be a difficulty.”

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