October 31, 2018
Chief Minister inaugurates various projects for Dooars
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today inaugurated a number of infrastructure projects for the districts of Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar at Tiyabon Ground in Jalpaiguri. Foundation stones were also laid for several projects. She also distributed benefits of various government welfare schemes to beneficiaries.
Among the projects inaugurated were Krishi Bhavan in Jalpaiguri, farmers’ training centre at Central Cooperative Bank in Jalpaiguri, 2,000 metric tonne food warehouse in Dhupguri, Malbazar model school hostel in Mal block, upgrading of infrastructure of Dharmapur Sasadhar Higher Secondary School and Churabhandar Bhelbhela School in Mainaguri block, Mal Subhashini Girls’ Higher Secondary School in Mal block and Nagrakata Higher Secondary School in Nagrakata block, etc.
Among the projects whose foundation stones were laid were minority hostel blocks of Sannyasikata Higher Secondary School and Badhunagar DN Higher Secondary School in Raiganj block, community halls in Matiali, Dhupguri, Mal block and Jalpaiguri town, five-storied building and canteen at Jalpaiguri Prasannadeb Women’s College in Jalpaiguri, tracks at Jalpaiguri Sports Complex, etc.
Highlights of the Chief Minister’s speech:
These days, people are afraid to go to Assam for business purposes. People from Jalpaiguri, Siliguri, Alipurduar, Cooch Behar are afraid. This never happens in Bengal. We do not mind if people from Assam come and do business in Bengal. This is a political problem. They are omitting names from the voter list due to political reasons.
We have to stand beside people when they are in trouble. My message to all workers is that people should not have to come to you; rather you should go to people who are in trouble and stand beside them. This is our aim, this is our goal.
Our government has provided people with digital ration cards. 43 multi super hospitals have been set up. There are HUDs in all districts. Around 300 SNSUs, CCUs, Mother & Child Hubs have been set up. The number of hospital beds have been increased by 30,000.
A Hindi college has been set up in Banarhat. A new university is being set up in Alipurduar. New Minority Bhavan and SC/ST Bhavan are also coming up.
We need to solve problems in order to move forward. New infrastructure needs to be built. We are ready to do everything. Trust us. Have faith on us.
We are observing a lot of divisive politics in this country. We believe in the politics of unity. We all are one; we want to stay united. One cannot bring ‘acche din’ by driving people away. Lies are being told. These are black days.
In Bengal, there is peace. They want to destroy the peaceful atmosphere of the State. We will not allow this. Bengal believes in unity and well-being of the nation. One needs ‘truth and honesty’ to bring ‘achhe din’.
We do not support the exploitation of tribal lands for programmes of the BJP. If people belonging to scheduled castes, the dalits, the women are not given their honour, ‘acche din’ will never come.
They have allocated only Rs 100 crore for ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ scheme. Most of it is spent on advertisement. In Bengal, the budget for Kanyashree is Rs 6000 crore. This is for just one State. They are telling lies in the name of Rs 100 crore. How will the “beti” live, how will she survive? These are all big talks which serve no purpose.
They have ruined the country in the last four years. Everyday, the price of petrol and diesel are increasing. Lynchings are happening across the country. People savings in the banks are not secure. I must warn you to be observant and alert; maintain peace and harmony.
Our young generation will never bow down to slanders and lies. This is our culture and upbringing. We are doing our very best. We are also organising Uttar Banga Utsav and other cultural festivals.
They are asking for the birth certificates of the parents. If not provided, they are asking the people to leave. They want to omit the names of around 40 lakh citizens from the voters’ list. Our brothers and sisters in Assam are in tears. In our State, there are people who have come from Opaar Bangla. They have settled in Cooch Behar, Malda, Nadia, Murshidabad, Alipurduar, or Jalpaiguri. They do their businesses here. Some of them are staying here for 40-50 years.
They are driving out Bengalis, Biharis, Adivasis and people from UP in Assam. Biharis and UPites are being targeted in Gujarat. In Bengal we do not believe in such practices. I welcome one and all to come to Bengal if they have nowhere else to go. We will treat you like our family. Assamese, Gujaratis are also our brothers and sisters. We had given refuge to people during 2014 Assam riots.
A lot of people from other states stay in Bengal. They have become Bengalis now. Can we ask them to leave? Where will they go. A citizen of this country can stay anywhere. This problem never existed in the past.
CPI(M) had done nothing for Darjeeling Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and tea gardens for 34 years, when they were in power. No new schemes for health and education were launched.
In our State, when a child is born, we give a sapling to the parents. When these saplings turn into trees, they will cost around Rs 1-1.5 lakh. This will help in the child’s future.
We are giving scholarships to school students, along with school bags, school books, school shoes and mid day meals. ICDS and ASHA workers take care of pregnant women. Delivery of babies in government hospitals is performed free of cost. We send ambulances to homes if new born babies fall sick.
Healthcare is free in government hospitals in Bengal. Population of Bengal is 10 crore. Even people come here for treatment from Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, even from Bangladesh and Bhutan. We treat all these people. No other State offers free treatment. Here, the hospitals offer free beds, free medicines.
Which Government offers free medicines? Only West Bengal Government. Only our Government offers Kanyashree, Shikshashree scholarships and bicycles for free to students. Our Government provides tractors to farmers, cars under Gatidhara.
We have the social security scheme for the unorganised sector. Construction workers, masons, auto drivers, domestic helps, bidi workers and others. They contribute Rs 25 while the Government’s contribution is Rs 30 per month. At the age of 60, they will receive a pension of Rs 2 lakh. They will get financial help from the Government during their daughter’s marriage, as well as financial support in case of accidental death.
Here, people get rice at Rs 2 per kg. The market price for the same rice is Rs 24 or 25 per kg. The tea garden workers get 35 kg of rice at just 47 paise. The Government even provides insecticide-treated mosquito nets free of cost.
We provide rice at Rs 2/kg, cycles to students from class IX, scholarships like Kanyashree and Sikshashree and for higher education. Thousands of people get pensions. The Government provides financial support for daughter’s marriage or in case of accidental deaths.
When tea gardens had closed, we had taken many initiatives. We had even waived off electricity bills. Cess on land in some tea gardens were also waived off.
We have waived off khajna tax and mutation fee on agricultural land. We have distributed scholarships to 1.7 crore minority students (33 lakh this year alone). More than 57 lakh SC/ST students have received scholarships.
We have constructed 25 lakh homes under Bangla Abaas Yojana. We have constructed at least 26,000 km roads. Additional 19,000 km will be constructed soon.
We are doing our best for the welfare of people. We could do more. But we have inherited a huge debt burden from the Left Front Government. We are paying nearly Rs 50,000 crore every year for debt servicing to the Centre. If we did not have to pay that amount, we could have carried out many more projects.
Tea gardens were treated with apathy in the past. Nobody cared about them. We have created a separate directorate for tea. We have set up Uttarkanya – a secretariat for north Bengal. We are working for the common people, the poor and the downtrodden.
Farmers’ welfare is our priority. In other States, farmers are committing suicide. We provide compensation to farmers for losses due to natural calamities. We also take care of families who lose their near and dear ones in accidents. We are taking care of those who face any problem while working in other States or countries.
Unemployment is our topmost concern. We want unemployed youth to become self-sufficient. Unemployment is increasing in the entire country, specially after demonetisation. In Bengal, unemployment has reduced by 40%. We are providing skill training to 12 lakh youths every year. We have set up polytechnic colleges and ITIs for this purpose.
There is peace in Darjeeling now. Earlier there was a lot of unrest in the Hills. Centre was fomenting trouble there. We restored peace in the Hills.
My tribute to Indira Gandhi on her death anniversary. Homage to Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel on his birth anniversary. He wanted a united nation. This is our motherland. This is our karmabhoomi, siksha bhoomi, sanskriti bhoomi, sabhyata bhoomi. Stalwarts like Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Rabindranath Tagore, Babasaheb Ambedkar, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Dr Rajendra Prasad, Indira Gandhi, Sardar Patel were born in this land.