Jharkhand is indeed a beautiful state endowed with rich cultural heritage, ecological and mineral resources making the State nothing short of a magnet for prominent industrial houses, mining companies, and services firms, which are betting big on economic opportunities that the State has to offer. Yet, when it comes to urban development Jharkhand’s performance had been lackadaisical despite the state making a headstart with the emergence of cities like Jamshedpur, Ranchi, and Bokaro in the first half of the 19th Century. As per the 2011 Census, Jharkhand with its 24 percent of the population living in urban areas was among the top 10 least urbanised states in India. In comparison, the percentage of urban population to the total population of India stands at 31.6. Capital Ranchi is the only city in the state with a million plus population.
The urban development landscape experienced a new surge of energy following Jharkhand’s separation from Bihar in 2000. Urbanisation picked pace on the back of increased migration and associated economic activities in urban areas of the state, proactive approach of the state government to deal with the pressures of rapidly transforming urban areas, followed by enabling policies to put institutional structures and municipal infrastructure to efficiently deliver basic civic services to the people. The Urban Development & Housing Department, Government of Jharkhand, has been at the forefront in enabling the urban transformation of the state.
The Urban Development Summit, Jharkhand on August 2, 2019, will provide the state with a unique opportunity to articulate its specific initiatives taken so far to ensure inclusive and sustainable urban development. Hosted by Urban Development & Housing Department, Government of Jharkhand in collaboration with Elets Technomedia Pvt Ltd in Ranchi, the summit will induce a new vigor to help the state chart its future urban development trajectory.
The cover story of this special issue of eGov, Jharkhand Makes Big Strides Towards Inclusive & Sustainable Development’, is an attempt to encapsulate the vision and the plan of action of the Jharkhand government to usher in a new era of urban growth and prosperity without losing sight of the actual needs of the people. Articles like ‘PPP Model to Bolster Development in Jharkhand’ by Amit Chakravarty, Project Director, (Finance), Jharkhand Urban Infrastructure Development Co. Ltd. (JUIDCO), provide a deep insight into how public-private partnership model has emerged as a viable and innovative solution for project financing under urban transformation programmes like ‘Smart Cities Mission’ and ‘AMRUT’ in the state.
This special issue of the magazine carries interviews of Ajoy Kumar Singh, Secretary, Urban Development and Housing Department, Government of Jharkhand; Arun Kumar Singh Additional Chief Secretary, Water Resources Department, Government of Jharkhand; Ameet Kumar, Director, State Urban Development Authority & CEO, Ranchi Smart City Corporation limited; Manoj Kumar, Commissioner, Ranchi Municipal Corporation, Government of Jharkhand; Rajkiran Rai G, Managing Director and CEO, Union Bank of India; and Atul Kumar Goel, MD & CEO, UCO Bank, among others.
We hope the bouquet of interviews and articles in the magazine will keep our readers updated on the urban transformation taking place in Jharkhand and contribute in helping the state achieve its goals.