Jharkhand govt initiates industrial township in Jamshedpur - Hindustan Times
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Jharkhand govt initiates industrial township in Jamshedpur

By, Jamshedpur
Dec 29, 2023 10:02 PM IST

“According to the state cabinet resolution, state urban development secretary Vinay Kumar Choubey issued the notification forming the Jamshedpur Industrial Township (JIT) and establishing the Jamshedpur Industrial Township Committee (JITC) under the order of the state Governor on Thursday,” the official communique regarding the notification read.

The Jharkhand government issued an official notification late Thursday night forming an industrial township and the Jamshedpur Industrial Township Committee (JITC), officials close to the matter said on Friday.

Jharkhand government issued a notification forming an industrial township and Jamshedpur Industrial Township Committee (PTI)
Jharkhand government issued a notification forming an industrial township and Jamshedpur Industrial Township Committee (PTI)

“According to the state cabinet resolution, state urban development secretary Vinay Kumar Choubey issued the notification forming the Jamshedpur Industrial Township (JIT) and establishing the Jamshedpur Industrial Township Committee (JITC) under the order of the state Governor on Thursday,” the official communique regarding the notification read.

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As per the notification, JIT has been established on 15,725 acres of land, as per the 1996 survey, but spans 15,480 acres as per satellite mapping.

It sprawls across wards 1 to 19 under the erstwhile Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee (JNAC). Functioning as an urban body, it will be overseen by a 27-member JITC chaired by the local minister-in-charge of the East Singhbhum district, with the deputy commissioner (DC) and a vice President from Tata Steel serving as vice-chairpersons, the notification stated.

The notification further outlined that JITC will comprise six members from the government side, including the minister-in-charge, local minister, DC, SDO, district transport officer (DTO), deputy collector, and an officer notified by the state government.

Additionally, there will be 11 members from Tata Steel, covering various managerial positions within the organisation and 10 members as local representatives, including MPs, MLAs, and prominent citizens.

JITC will possess the authority to levy taxes and charges for provided services, impose right-of-way charges on citizens outside the Tata Lease area, collect fees for birth and death registrations, advertising hoarding, licensing, building drawing approvals, etc., as per the Jharkhand Municipal Act-2011.

It will also handle legal functions, record keeping, law enforcement, information access, and imposition of penalties, fines, and charges under the provisions of the Jharkhand Municipal Act-2011, the notification stated.

TSUISL (Tata Steel Utility and Infrastructure Services Ltd) will manage municipal amenities, infrastructure, services, waste management, water, wastewater, electricity, environment, town planning, architecture, and public health.

Meanwhile, Jamshedpur East MLA leader Saryu Roy called the state government’s notification “completely unconstitutional and illegal”.

He cited the absence of the state governor CP Radhakrishnan’s seal of approval as per Article 243Q of the Constitution.

“The state urban development department issued the state cabinet resolution by stating “under Governor’s order” as in general notifications. But this constitutes a policy decision. The JIT and JITC file was not sent to the state Governor at all,” Roy told HT on Friday.

“I inquired with the state urban development secretary Vinay Kumar Choubey. He admitted that the concerned file was not sent to the governor for approval. He claimed the cabinet has the power to form or dissolve municipal bodies,” Roy added.

Roy emphasised that this was not an executive matter but a policy decision.

“Under Article 243Q of the Constitution, the governor has the authority to declare any area suitable for municipal services provided by any industry. This move is unconstitutional and illegal, showcasing the state government’s unauthorised actions against the Constitution and its provisions. It will not withstand legal scrutiny,” Roy said.

However, state urban development secretary Vinay Kumar Choubey stated that the formation of JIT and JITC was “perfectly constitutional” as the Constitution does have provisions for the establishment of an industrial township in a city where civic amenities and services are primarily provided by an industry.

Ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) district president Ramdas Soren said, “It’s a positive initiative by the CM. JITC involves companies, administration, and people’s representatives like MPs and MLAs. All will collaborate for the betterment of Jamshedpur, leading to rapid development.”

Congress district president Anand Behari Dubey expressed concern about depriving the people of Jamshedpur of their voting rights in urban polls once again.

“It would be beneficial if the state government considers holding elections for ward councillors in the 19 wards under JIT and appoints the elected mayor as the chairman of the JITC. Company representatives and others could be nominated by the state government as it deems fit,” Dubey told HT on Friday evening.

“We will discuss this matter with the party ministers in the government and present our detailed stance shortly. One positive aspect is that JIT will collect holding tax from people residing in colonies and 86 slums outside Tata Lease, indicating a step toward granting land ownership rights to such residents. However, we need clarification on Tata Steel’s contribution to JIT’s funding and revenue generation. If Tata Steel continues its current practices, what’s the significance of this move, given its obligations under the Tara Lease agreement?” added Dubey.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Debashish Sarkar is a special correspondent based in Jamshedpur. He has been covering government, administration, politics and crime among other things.

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