Governor's rule in Jharkhand a damp squib

Governor's rule in Jharkhand a damp squib

The so-called experienced administrators, appointed as advisors to the Governor, do not seem to have done justice to their mandate. Consequently, there has been no visible change on the ground in a state ravaged not just by Leftwing extremism but other attendant problems like poverty, mal-administration and corruption.

There is no denying the fact that in 18 of the 24 districts, the writ of the Maoists runs large. It has tested the resolve and strength of Governor Syed Sibtey Razi’s administrative machinery. Soon after President’s rule was imposed on Jharkhand, Razi announced the much-awaited surrender-cum-rehabilitation package in the hope that it would encourage the rebels to give up arms and join society’s mainstream. The move has proved to be a damp squib as not a single Maoist guerrilla has surrendered so far. In a telling comment, the state witnessed 201 Naxal-related violent incidents till June when at 114 persons, including 43 security personnel, were killed. The inefficiency of the administrative system was evident in manner in which the law and order situation, instead of improving (because that is one of the avowed aims of President’s rule), took a nosedive. This is discernible from the fact that as many as 2,643 cases of various crimes were registered in Ranchi district alone.

Despite its mineral riches, Jharkhand has never been able to flourish economically and industrial activity has always remained stagnant because of lack of congenial environment. Prior to imposition of President’s rule, the state government created a single window system for spot clearance required for setting up industries. About 60 industrial houses, including Mittal Steel, Jindal Steel and Power Essar Steel, enthusiastically signed memoranda of understanding with the government of the day, promising an investment of about Rs 6 lakh crore in the state’s power and steels sectors.
Instead of accelerating the industrialisation process, President’s rule has contributed to the deepening stagnation. Despite the abundance of minerals, the process of industrialisation has only been on paper. The rehabilitation of resettlement policy formulated by the Soren-led UPA government has yet to be implemented, sending signal to the people that Governor’s administrative apparatus is as ineffective as Soren’s government.

The state of Jharkhand was carved out in November 2000 with the twin purpose of ensuring economically development and welfare of the region’s indegenous people. For adivasi welfare, a Tribal Advisory Council was set up, but it has not met since 2007. The utter lack of concern and the cynical attitude of the administration could be gauged from the fact that the Council has not met since Razi and his administrators took charge of the state’s affairs.

While panchayat bodies remain non-existent, urban development projects under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission are yet to take off. The projects to construct rural roads and launch irrigation schemes have made little progress because of governmental instability. Of the 32,000 villages, barely 16,000 have access to power. This is qualified by the fact that per capital power consumption in Jharkhand is a meagre 200 KWD.

The twist in the tail is that as many as seven legislators, who enjoyed political authority, serving as ministers in the successive governments, are now faced with charges of amassing wealth beyond their known sources of income. Former ministers Enos Ekka and Narinayan Rai are at large after the vigilance court issued arrest warrants against them. Jharkhand’s wretched politicians have let down their people.