March 13, 2013
Chief Minister announces a slew of development projects at Meteli in North Bengal
West Bengal Chief Minister who is on a three-day official tour in North Bengal addressed a public meeting at Meteli on Wednesday. She laid foundation stone and inaugurated a slew of projects. `I was listening to the song ` Nil-Digante-Oi-Phuler-Agun-Laglo`, performed by you just a short while ago. I was engrossed since the song speaks of the philosophy of life, old is taken over by the new, the process goes on`, said the Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister gave away prizes to archers who participated in archery competition, `I know that the boys and girls in the region are good in archery, though they are good in all the sports but they have an expertise in archery`, she said. She also gave away `patta`.
Speaking on the occasion, she said that her prime concern lies in the peace and harmony across the hills. She said that under no circumstances she would tolerate anyone trying to disrupt the peace process in the hills. `I have come to hills with the message of development and I want to make it clear that I have no issues if anybody does not like me, this is natural since there may be difference of opinion or political preferences and it may vary from person to person. That does not allow anybody to spread unrest in the hills. We have been able to establish peace and harmony in the hills after a long struggle since the previous government in Bengal ruined everything`, added the Chief Minister. She requested the people not to pay heed to those factions who were trying to divide Bengal over their political vested interest.
The Chief Minister reiterated her stand on tourism industry and said that Bengal has immense potentiality for tourism, unfortunately nothing was done in this regard previously, `We have allocated Rs. 70 crore development of tourism in North Bengal which is not a small amount, I can assure you that a large part of the amount will be invested in tourism sector in the hills`, she added. There are series of projects in the pipeline like a mega circuit project costing Rs. 46 crore at Dooars, Rs. 7 crore and Rs. 8 crore allocated for Eastern Dooars Tourist Circuit and Western Dooars Tourist Circuit respectively.
Nearly 125-small scale projects are expected to come up soon under the National Fiber Mission which will open clusters in jute and bamboo across North Bengal. Apart from that there will be a plastic processing cluster in Rajganj. 241 small scale industries to come up which would create employment opportunities. Apart from that an industrial park to come up at Falakata shortly.
`Rs. 71 crore is being spent on drinking water across 20 districts in the region`, she said.
The Chief Minister mentioned a series of projects like `Nijo Griho, Nijo Bhumi`, `Adhikar` and `Gitanjali` under which `patta` were distributed to homeless people. She reiterated her stand on her commitment of providing shelter to all those who does not have shelter. There will three new super specialty hospitals at Jalpaiguri, Mall and Falakata. Apart from that there will be an increase in number of SNCU, ICU and beds in district hospitals. Cancer patients can avail of the free medicines at North Bengal Medical College.
`We are also planning to open more colleges in the hills, we are building a college at Banarhat in Binnaguri in the Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal which will impart Hindi education since tea gardens have large number of Hindi speaking people`, said the Chief Minister. The State government plans to construct an Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) in each block and polytechnic in each subdivision. `There will be a general degree college in Falakata, a Hindi medium higher secondary school at Meteli and Kalchini respectively at an estimated Rs. 7 crore respectively`, added the Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister stressed on the need to speed up development in the region. Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar to be divided into two separate districts, `We remain firm by our commitments on development in hills, we will divide the two into separate districts which will enable us to have better monitoring on the development but we will have to start the process after the Panchayat elections. There are certain rules and regulations laid down by the Election Commission which we have to follow`, she said.
The Chief Minister also informed that a new Secretariat building which is under construction in North Bengal will be operational from January next year. `Secretariat will start functioning from January next year. This will enable us to speed up the development process in the region`, she added.