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February 26, 2013

Chief Minister pays visit to coastal South 24-Parganas, spreads the message of communal harmony

Chief Minister pays visit to coastal South 24-Parganas, spreads the message of communal harmony
West Bengal Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee addressed a public meeting at Bakkhali in South 24-Parganas on Tuesday.

The Chief Minister and Union Home Minister Mr. Sushilkumar Shinde on Monday paid visit to the coastal regions in Sunderban area. Both the leaders inspected Jambudweep in a hovercraft and convened a meeting to discuss the security measures in the area.

On Tuesday, the Chief Minister during a public meeting in the area laid the foundation stone of 25-relief centres which will give shelters to the locals who render homeless due to the natural calamities in the coastal areas, a fire brigade station at Kakdwip subdivision in South 24 Parganas. The Chief Minister inaugurated a slew of development projects including the bridge over Saptamukhi River which originates near Sultanpur and flows between Kulpi and Mathurapur blocks, a health centre at Maharajganj, a drinking water project at Kakdwip and Taktipur Abad.     

The Chief Minister expressed her anguish for the hundreds of fishermen in these areas and said her prim concern was the safety issue. `I am concerned about your safety, I am aware how you work against the odds beating the weather to animals. I know the hard life you all have to live. It is sad that nobody in the past took an initiative to know your plight. Yesterday, we inspected the remote and isolated areas in the region`, said the Chief Minister.  Those living in these coastal regions are often prone to man-eaters or the reptiles in the water which pose a serious threat to their lives. `I came here more than five times within a short span of one and half months. I came to lay foundation stone or inaugurate projects including the women’s university and I have seen the condition you all live here. It was during one such tour she decided over the development projects across the coastal belt `, she added.

 `We are already constructing a Circuit tourism project costing nearly five crore rupees in Bakkhali-Sagar- Frezerganj`, said the Chief Minister. She announced a tourist lodge was under construction costing nearly 12-crore rupees at Ganga Sagar and an Eco-tourism hub at Sajnekhali. Speaking of the Ganga Sagar mela and its success, the Chief Minister said, `We abolished `Tirtha Kar` (Pilgrimage Tax) long back but did not compromise in providing facilities and hospitality to the pilgrims. We even introduced help-lines and also an insurance scheme for the pilgrims`, she added.  Apart from that she stressed on the need to have more tourist resorts and lodges in the area. `I convened a meeting with those in the resort and hotel business in the area yesterday after the Home Minister left  and we had positive discussions`, she added. The Chief Minister also expressed her desire to develop the Jambudweep in terms of tourism point of view.

She expressed her concern for the numerous fishermen who go to catch fish in the deep sea in turbulent weather. Many times they get killed or are abducted by neighboring country on security grounds. In the absence of identity card or documents they are unable to prove their innocence. To simplify this West Bengal Government has taken an initiative to issue registration numbers and identity cards to each troller and fishermen respectively.

`I want my fishermen too to have a secured life along with the farmers, we will make houses for them. I went to a colony next to my guest house. There were nearly 61-mud houses. I asked the District Magistrate to give them `patta` so that they can get the authorization of their houses`, said the Chief Minister. She said that she has already instructed the authorities to conduct a survey after Panchayat polls. The government will issue authorization letter to the poor people. `I reiterate that there will be one homeless in another five-years, this is my conviction and we will make it a reality`, added the Chief Minister.

`We will connect Bakkhali and Sagar Island. So that you people can easily visit the two places which is right now difficult due to weak communication`, added the Chief Minister.