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October 27, 2013

No Longer Neglected, North Bengal Joins Development Bandwagon

That Mamata Banerjee is a visionary leader is a proven fact, tested time and again. The recent developments concerning the GTA in Darjeeling, will now silence her criticised who questioned her administrative skills. Mamata Banerjee had a one-point agenda from the very first day she took to office – development. After the new government came into power in May 2011, the Chief Minister declared, on the first day of her office, that a new Department will be formed to develop the six districts of North Bengal – Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar, Uttar Dinajpur, Dakshin Dinajpur and Malda. Thus, the North Bengal Development Department was formed on 8th July, 2011. She also spearheaded the formation of a scheme bank, in consultation with the MLAs of North Bengal and members of Uttarbanga Unnayan Parshad.
North Bengal was completely neglected by the Left regime during its 34 years of misrule. Mamata Banerjee aimed to reverse the trend and win back the trust of the people in North Bengal. Major schemes were taken up to boost health, education, connectivity, infrastructure – almost everything needed for the survival of the people, who were living with the bare-basics.
Several projects to build infrastructure
The North Bengal Development Dept. monitored the 361 ongoing projects / schemes funded by Uttar Banga Unnayan Parshad and 263 schemes were completed. Out of the remaining 98 schemes 33 schemes recommended by the DMs have been taken up by NBDD for completion.
Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee wanted to keep a close track of the administrative system and it’s functioning in North Bengal. To solve the problem, she decided to set up a Mini Secretariat in North Bengal itself. Construction work of the same is in progress at Dabgram, Jalpaiguri and is likely to be completed by January, 2014.
The North Bengal Development Complex at Jalpaiguri is almost ready. Administrative approval for the construction of 7 new Govt. colleges at Dhupguri, Ghoksadanga, Nishiganj, Banarhat, Chopra, Manikchak & at Kunnarganj has been received from the Finance Department and construction works of Ghoksadanga, Nishiganj and Kunnarganj & Chopra Colleges have already begun.
Construction work of the Circuit Bench of Kolkata High Court at Jalpaiguri is in progress and the bench will start operating from North Bengal soon. Work of an Indoor Stadium at Alipurduar is almost complete. The construction of a Sports Complex at Jalpaiguri, with facilities like swimming pool, squash & badminton courts besides other basic facilities, is also on the verge of completion.
The works for the construction of following major bridges have been started and are in various stages of progress.
i.              Construction of RCC Bridge over River Sahu at Kholachand Fafri village.
ii.             Construction of Bridge at Paharipur over Sui river in Itahar, Uttar Dinajpur.
iii.            Construction of Bridge (on Pile Foundation) near Kachua High Madrasha over River Gamari                     under Itahar Block, Uttar Dinajpur.
iv.            Construction of Bridge (on Pile Foundation) at Kahalai(Channel) at Hemtabad PS, Uttar                           Dinajpur.
v.            Construction of Bridge (on Well Foundation) at Patapur over River 'SIRIANI' at Goalpokhar-I                    Block, Uttar Dinajpur.
vi.           Bailey bridge at Bijanbari, Darjeeling.
vii.          Hanskhali bridge at Chopra, U/Dinajpur
viii.         Bhutni Bridge at Manikchak, Malda
The Chief Minister had laid special stress on Tourism in North Bengal. While Lamahata Home Tourism is now functional, the newest attraction, the Gazoldoba Tourist Hub has been inaugurated by the Chief Minister at a programme in Matigara on October 26, 2013.
Recently, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) organised a conclave at Siliguri to promote North Bengal in the industrial space. The North Bengal Conclave focused on the strategic location of the region, sharing borders with neighboring states like Sikkim, Assam, Bihar and the International Boundaries with Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. The region has witnessed substantial development in the last two years.
CII in association with West Bengal Department of Tourism, organized North Bengal Conclave at Siliguri town because North Bengal possessed huge potential of growth and development. Through industrialization, economic growth can be accelerated in North Bengal. It was pointed out that there is tremendous growth potential in the districts of North Bengal in terms of small and medium enterprises (SMEs); as well as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The SME sector includes Agro and Food Processing, Tourism, Forest based industry, Animal husbandry, IT & ITes, Handicrafts, Jute besides others.
On Going Projects
Construction of Pineapple Development Centre – This is coming up at Bidhannagar, P.S. Phansidewa, District Darjeeling. Total land area under the centre is 16.50 acre (1st phase 10 acre, 2nd phase 6.5 acre).
Construction of 4th Mahananda Bridge – This major project taken up by S.J.D.A. consists of 5 (five ) nos. of Span, each 30 meter long, having a total length of 160 meter (excluding both side approaches) and 7.5 meter wide carriageway.
Mahananda Action Plan- The stretches of Mahananda river at and adjacent to Siliguri town are getting polluted due to contamination from domestic waste water and other waste that are being discharged into river. This action plan aims at putting an end to the pollution.
Construction of Inland Container Depot – SJDA is setting up an Inland Container Depot (Dry Port) near NJP Railway Station, Siliguri on 34 acres of land. The Inland Container Depot has been conceptualized for the local industries and trading communities keeping in mind the extant demand for such a facility as well as the potential for further economic growth in the region.
The Future
After two years of the experiencing a developmental surge, the people of North Bengal have come embraced Poribartan. There has been a huge electoral shift in the Panchayat elections in favour of the Trinamool Congress.
North Bengal received its first Distaster Management Center with all modern equipment and trained personnel. 5 new bus terminus are on the verge of completion. Market complex at Gangrampur is nearly finished. All the district hospitals are being equipped with modern equipment. With increased number of bed, facilities like SNSU and SNCU, MRI facilities, fair price medicine and diagnostic centers, the hospitals are being raised to the status of multi-super specialty hospitals.
Looking Ahead
North Bengal is now the proud organizer of Uttar Banga Utsab. The Kanchenjunga Stadium now holds I-League Football matches. Times have changea. For North Bengal, hopes are turning to reality. From promotion of Home Tourism to Tea Tourism, the employment situation looks promising. New universities, colleges, model schools are coming up. All because of an enigma called Mamata Banerjee. With Didi’s blessing, North Bengal will also smile with the rest of the state.