First phase of Harmu river revamp almost over, nothing to show for it


A woman rag-picker was picking plastic bottles, polythene packets and other trash from the sludgy riverbed of Harmu river in Kadru on Tuesday, the stink of the black water enveloping the busy road.

It is difficult to imagine that the state government has already spent Rs 81 crore out of Rs 85 crore earmarked for the first phase to renovate this river, a task undertaken by Jharkhand Urban Infrastructure Development Company (Juidco), an arm of the state urban development department. The river, a glorified drain, was dubbed “dead” by Jharkhand High Court Justice S.N. Pathak a fortnight ago.

But barely a kilometre away from Kadru, state urban development secretary Ajoy Kumar Singh on Tuesday along with officials of the department and Juidco took part in planting saplings at Tapovan, again on the banks of the Harmu river, and discussed the second phase of the rejuvenation project that’s likely to start in August.

Singh said the state government had decided to plant as many as 15,000 saplings on the 10.5km stretch of the river to protect the water and the environment. “Consulting and construction companies associated with the Harmu river project will be responsible to protect the saplings once they are planted,” Singh said and directed officials to hold regular meetings with residents who live near the river to ensure they are involved too and don’t pollute the river. He also directed Juidco to put iron nets on the flanks of the bridges so that garbage is not thrown in the river.

Amid the plethora of directives, it was not hard to miss Juidco had not even done Harmu’s basic clean-up till date. Team Telegraph on Tuesday morning found the river choked at several points with plastic bottles, thermocol plates and polythene bags.

Asked, a Juidco official said they surveyed 2,000 households close to the banks of the river and a number of nearby colonies, built seven sewerage treatment plants and diverted many drains directly flowing into the river.

“But over the years, the number of settlements increased and many more drains got linked to the river,” he said.

“The first phase of the work is complete a technical team comprising experts from BIT-Sindri, BIT-Mesra and state public health and works department have inspected it. Once we get the panel’s report, we will be able what else is further required and what we lacked,” the official said.

An Ranchi Municipal Corporation official told this paper that despite everything, the river was dirty. “Last month, RMC asked the state urban development department to clean the choked Harmu river. It is Juidco’s job. The situation is very bad and an urgent clean-up is needed. But we don’t know why Juidco is not interested,” the senior RMC official remarked.

Juidco had its own set of excuses. A senior official of Juidco associated with the river project said it was technically impossible to clean the entire stretch till a proper plan was worked out. “Removing garbage from a couple of places is no solution. The river has become Ranchi’s dustbin. People dump garbage in the river, drainwater flows into it, these are the bare facts.” An official on the condition of anonymity alleged that the river rejuvenation project conceptualised in 2015 had a hastily prepared DPR but did not elaborate.

In the second phase, more sewerage treatment plants are set to come up and more drains diverted from the river. A solid waste management plant is also expected. But the Juidco official, who’d claimed the DPR was made in a hurry, said: “It will take at least a decade to rejuvenate this river.”

Doctors on strike in Jharkhand, OPDs across the state to remain shut on Monday


The out-patient department (OPD) services at government hospitals across Jharkhand are off on Monday after doctors decided to skip duty following Indian Medical Association (IMA) call to boycott health service in protest against the assault on doctors in West Bengal.

IMA-Jamshedpur general secretary Dr Mrittunjay Singh on Saturday appealed to the doctors of government and private hospitals to boycott work from Monday 6am to Tuesday 6am in solidarity with the assault on junior doctors at Neel Ratan Sarakar Medical College Hospital (NRS) in Kolkata on June 10 after the death of an 85-year-old patient during treatment there.

However, emergency services in all the hospitals and nursing homes will be operation. “Emergency service will be operational but OPDs will be closed as our members will be on strike following call by national chapter of IMA across the country. We have also appealed to the doctors in all private hospitals and nursing homes like Tata Main Hospital (TMH) to support the cause of doctors demanding security and healthy working atmosphere in hospitals,” Singh told media.

IMA-Jamshedpur president, Dr Umesh Khan, said all the doctors would congregate at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College Hospital (MGMMCH) at 10 am tomorrow and march to the deputy commissioner’s (DC) office.

Dr Amal Patro, a member of IMA, said doctors were all set for a decisive fight this time. “If government doesn’t provide us security, we will close down OPDs. We won’t tolerate attacks on us anymore,” said Dr Patro.

Meanwhile, city-based Dr SP Foundation, a doctors body in Jamshedpur, also condemned the attack on doctors in West Bengal and demanded strong action against the culprits. The foundation director, Dr TK Chatterjee, said murderous attacks on doctors were an alarm bell for the society. “We ask union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan to ensure adequate security for doctors on duty and healthy workplace atmosphere,” demanded Dr Chatterjee.

Jamshedpur has several leading hospitals like Tata Motors Hospital, Tinplate Hospital, Mercy Hospital, Bramhanada Hrudalayala Hospital, Medica Hospital and a host of private hospitals and nursing homes.

Jamshedpur’s Aniket emerges state topper, Ranchi’s Ankit 2nd topper in JEE Advanced


Jamshedpur boy Aniket Gudipaty emerged as the Jharkhand topper with an all India rank (AIR) of 29, while Ranchi’s Ankit Kumar Jain was the second topper from the state with an AIR of 30 in the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) Advanced, results of which declared by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee on Friday.

This year, a total of 38,705 candidates qualified for the JEE Advanced from all over India. Over 700 students qualified for the examination from Jharkhand, according to numbers received from different coaching institutes.

Aniket, a resident of Jadugora in East Singhbhum district, had topped in Jharkhand in the second round of JEE-Mains held in April. Gudipaty made the state proud by emerging as the IIT-Khargapur zonal topper in JEE Advanced.

“As per results of the JEE Advanced declared today, Aniket from Atomic Energy Central School (AECS), Jadugora ranked 29th nationally to emerge as the IIT-Khargapur zonal topper. West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha, parts of Bihar and Andhra Pradesh come under the IIT-Khargapur zone,” Aniket’s father GGVLM Murty said.

Aniket went to his parental place in Peethapuram, Andhra Pradesh after winning the gold medal in the National Science Olympiad (Chemistry) in Mumbai a few days ago. He closely missed out on being among the four students from India to be selected for the International Science Olympiad. Aniket was a school topper who received 95.8% marks in his Plus-2 exams from AECS, Jadugora.

“He had obtained AIR 22 in JEE Mains with 100 percentile to become the Jharkhand topper and now he is the state topper, as well as the IIT Khargapur zonal topper. There are no words to describe how happy we are. He had also cleared Kishore Vaigyanik Protosahan Yojna (KVPY) exam with AIR 31 earlier. But his target has always been pursing computer science from IIT Bombay and he will go there,” said Murty, who is an electrical engineer in UCIL here.

Ranchi boy Ankit was also the state topper in first round of JEE Mains held in January and stood second in the second round of JEE Mains held in April.

Son of businessman Vinod Kumar Jain, Ankit cleared his Class 12 examination with 92.8% marks in aggregate this year from Delhi Public School (DPS), Ranchi. “Besides classroom studies, I used to devote 5-6 hours daily for the JEE examinations,” Ankit said. He too wants to pursue computer science from IIT Bombay.