February 2, 2012
Chief Minister visits Aila affected regions in Sunderbans, reiterates her conviction for development
AITMC Web News, February 1, 2012: After staying at the Government Guest House in Sajnekhali, Ms. Mamata Banerjee set out early in morning for her next destination on the second day of her Sunderbans tour. During this six-hour-long-water-voyage the Chief Minister toured through Santjelia, Pakhirala, Dayapur, Rangabelia, , Gosaba, Kochukhali before making it to her final destination Sonakhali where she interacted with Aila affected people.
`amra jokhun shunlam Didi aschen tokhun amra bhebechilam uni aashben, lodge e thakben r jabar shomay anudan ghoshona kore chole jaben. Jokhun dekhlam uni amader shonge dekha korlen, amader kotha bhablen. Eta shotti e birol drishtanto. Amra khushi` (When we heard Didi was coming to Sunderbans, we thought she like all would come, stay at the lodge and go back by announcing packages but when we saw her interacting and sharing moments with us and trying to find a solution. WE are over whelmed) said Kasem, a poor fisherman in Sonakhali. Another fisherman still unable to believe his eyes said, `uni amader dukkho niye bhebechen, amra obhibhuto. Bhogoban onar mongol korun` (she has taken time to think about our plight, we are speechless. May God bless her). This was the common reaction across the Sunderbans as never in the past had any Chief Minister cared to visit and share the plight of these poor-fishermen. An excited Ms. Banerjee was seen enjoying her ride. She was in a jovial mood, chatting mostly on the deck, but also taking the driver’s seat, trying to figure out the nitty-gritty of driving a launch, and even taking the wheels for a few moments.
Her main programme with the villagers was on Tuesday at Gosaba where she distributed land rights to rice, and cheques for various schemes to the poor. The two-day-long-entourage consisted of almost all whole of Writers’ Building. There were more than 25 launches (from the pool of transport, irrigation, tourism departments and police), plus two West Bengal Police speed boats. Altogether, there were over 600 people of this waterways convoy.
`Visiting the Sunderbans just to enjoy Tigers and watch crocodiles and refuse to see the plight of the poor man here is not the correct attitude, I want the people of this region to live a respectable life. It is sad though that unlike its name the people here are live a very poor life. There was no development in this area during the past 34-years of the Left regime. I have come with my ministers, Block Development Officers (BDO), Sub-Divisional Officers (SDO), District Magistrates, police officials as I want them to explore opportunities for development in the region`, were the opening statement of the West Bengal Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee who had arrived in Sunderbans in South 24-Parganas on a two-day trip, `I have come here to see the place for myself and also interact with the people, we also have detailed plans to promote tourism in the area`, said Ms. Banerjee.
Speaking at public meeting the Chief Minister said she was aggrieved for those who lost everything in the Aila cyclone which had a devastating effect over the region in 2009, `the Aila took place in 2009. So many years have passed since then but the past government did not bother to even have a look at the plight of these poor people`, said Ms. Banerjee who reiterated her conviction to improve the living condition of the people in this part of state. “I have already spoken to the concerned authority in the Government and have instructed them to explore all possible ways to develop the tourism industry in the area as it would bring tourist in the area and the local people will have job in bulk”. Chief Minister said the families under the BPL card will be entitled rice at two-rupees per kilogram.
The Chief Minister highlighted on the following:
- To construct a school for girls in Gosaba.
- Development in the Aila cyclone prone area.
- Taking up the project to build houses for the poor people and for this the state, the government will give a loan of Rs. 1,67,000 to each. If the person can provide the place, then the government will build the house.
- Introduction of the Kisan Credit Card which will enable the farmer to get a loan of Rs. 50,000.
- Under the 12th plan, the state government will take up the project to construct cold storage.
- Sunderbans having the proximity to water, plan to develop tourism in the region.