Mining royalty to water 54 Jharkhand villages

The Telegraph || Correspondent in Daltonganj || Published 22.02.19

Cash-rich Palamau District Mineral Foundation Trust (PDMFT) will now sponsor from its royalty infrastructure water supply to 54 villages impacted by mining, revamp of anganwadis, advanced training of auxiliary nurses-cum-midwives, among others.

This was decided at a meeting of the mineral foundation trust in the office of Palamau DC Shantanu Kumar Agrahari, who also happens to be the trust chairman, on Wednesday evening. Chhatarpur BJP MLA Radha Krishan Kishore, vice-chairman of Palamau zilla parishad Sanjay Singh, district mining officer Manoj Toppo, several pramukhs and up-pramukhs were among those who attended the meeting.

Palamau DDC and trust member secretary Bindu Madhav Prasad Singh told this paper on Thursday that the trust had a corpus of Rs 15 crore from royalty. “The money is to be spent on rural water supply and other health and welfare measures in villages which are impacted by ongoing mining,” he said.

Vice-chairman of Palamau zilla parishad Sanjay Singh, also a trust member, shared details.

“There are 54 villages in Palamau in whose contiguity low and large scale mining is underway. These 54 villages will have first rural water connectivity. A lot of this work will be solar-powered. We hope to get the work done fast on the ground so that people get relief in summer,” he said.

On the other welfare projects, he said, “We are also planning to revamp 20 anganwadi kendras in these 54 villages, which will now be called Kilkaree (literally, playful sounds that children make) with bright interiors, make available toys and nutritious foods. Auxiliary nurses-cum-midwives of Naudeeha Bazar block, with 12 panchayats, will also be trained with this money to treat fever, cold and cough, common stomach ailments, headache, rashes, allergic symptoms, cuts and small burns, snakebites, post-rescue drowning symptoms and exhaustion. They will also check BP and sugar levels. These trained ANMs will be renamed arogya sahiyas.” Sanjay Singh added that the new-look anganwadis would be more mother and child friendly.

Welcoming the upcoming activities of the trust, the zilla parishad vice-chairman alleged that the attitude of the drinking water and sanitation department here towards rural water supply was quite lackadaisical. “The DC had been very angry with an assistant engineer (of the department) when the latter failed to explain the delay in rolling out rural water schemes,” he said. A source said the DC had ordered a two-day pay cut of this assistant engineer.

He added that the trust was also planning to fund a mobile van to collect blood in the near future. “Also, we will see if villages with high fluoride content such as Chukru could be connected to this rural water supply project to ease the misery of the poor,” the trust functionary added.