Bengal leading in cooperative movement

Bengal is a leader when it came to cooperative movement in the country, said the State Finance Minister, Dr Amit Mitra at the joint inauguration of the Samabay Mela and the centenary celebrations of the State cooperative banks on November 19.

He said Nadia district has excelled in this field and has won recognition from the Union Government. He also highlighted the stellar growth achieved under the Trinamool Congress Government in terms of disbursals to cooperatives and self-help groups (SHG).

Dr Mitra said the credit deposit ratio of the West Bengal State Cooperative Agriculture & Rural Development Bank was 81.16 per cent, which was extremely good.

Cooperative banks play a crucial role in agriculture and rural development. The banks extended a total crop loan of Rs 3,300 crore, a massive rise from the Rs 1,388 crore extended during financial year 2010-11. In the same period, loans to SHGs have increased from Rs 129 crore to Rs 612 crore and paddy procurement has jumped from 1.97 lakh metric tonnes (MT) to 5.08 lakh MT.

The Cooperation Department Minister said the government has taken initiatives to expand cooperative banks to 710 more gram panchayats. Fifty of these were inaugurated on that day.

Source: Millennium Post

Consistent higher fund flow for urban development by Trinamool Congress Govt

The Trinamool Congress-run State Government has consistently been provided higher amounts of funds to its Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Department to ensure better development of urban areas.

Some important examples are as follows, comparing funds in financial years (FY) 2010-11 and 2017-18:

  • Fund for development of municipal areas (construction and repair of roads, market complexes, crematoria, etc.): 2010-11 – Rs 47 crore, 2017-18 – Rs 485 crore
  • Fund for basic minimum services (construction and repair of drains and culverts): 2010-11 – Rs 44 crore, 2017-18 – Rs 121 crore
  • Fund for water supply: 2010-11 – Rs 24 crore, 2017-18 – Rs 154 crore
  • Fund for social sector (urban wage employment): 2010-11 – Rs 44 crore, 2017-18 – Rs 190 crore

As a result of the higher allotment of funds, there has been huge development in municipal areas across Bangla in just seven years, only a fraction of which the Left Front Government could achieve in its 34-year rule.

Whether it is township beautification, setting up of development authorities, town planning, including in the areas of housing, sanitation and waste disposal, water supply, or administrative reforms, the State Government has consistently provided a much higher level of service.

Urban development – A priority for Trinamool led Bangla Government

The State Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Department has done a commendable job under the Trinamool Congress-run administration. Over the last seven years, it has set up eight development authorities and carried out a lot of work on township beautification.

The primary achievements are as follows:

New development authorities: For the upgrading of existing infrastructure and creation of new tourist attractions in planned manner, eight development authorities have been constituted. They are:

  • Gangasagar Bakkhali Development Authority (in 2013),
  • Furfurah Sharif Development Authority (in 2015),
  • Tarapith Rampurhat Development Authority (in 2015),
  • Bakreswar Development Authority (in 2016),
  • Patharchapuri Development Authority (in 2016),
  • Mukutmanipur Development Authority (in 2017),
  • Changrabandha Development Authority (2017) and
  • Tarakeswar Development Authority (2017).

Area extension work has been done for Gangasagar Bakkhali Development Authority, Haldia Development Authority, Tarapith Rampurhat Development Authority and New Town Kolkata Development Authority.

Green City Mission: It was launched in 2016 for all cities of the State to make them future-proof, talent-friendly and investment-oriented by adopting sustainable, environment-friendly, liveable, energy-positive (adoption of solar energy) and information technology-friendly programmes. A total of 2,596 projects with a total project cost of Rs 1,290 crore have been launched.

Gitabitan: This new township dedicated to art, culture and design is being developed in Bolpur in Birbhum district under the Sriniketan Santiniketan Development Authority.

Floating market at Patuli: For rehabilitating shopkeepers who had to move away because of the widening of the EM Bypass, a unique floating market was created at a waterbody in Patuli near Garia, Kolkata. It has become immensely popular, both among locals and visitors.

Tele Academy and Correctional Home: A Tele Academy (academy for imparting training on various aspects of the television industry) and a state-of-the-art correctional home are being constructed in Baruipur.

Eco Tourism Park: Also known as Prakriti Tirtha, this beautiful park was set up on 480 acres of land around a 112-acre waterbody, alongside Biswa Banga Sarani in New Town. It has now become one of the biggest tourist attractions of Bangla.

Other constructions in Newtown: Other important constructions in New Town, one of the green cities and now considered a model city in the country, are Rabindra Tirtha, Nazrul Tirtha, Mother’s Wax Museum, Kolkata International (Biswa Bangla) Convention Centre and the Financial Hub.

Bicycles: A dock-less, GPS-enabled bicycle sharing service has been started in New Town.

Developments in Digha: A huge illuminated Welcome Gate was constructed in Digha to welcome visitors. The gate is beautifully designed and is lit up beautifully too, and it has become a popular spot for photography. A convention centre is under construction as well as a Hawkers’ Rehabilitation Centre, beachfront beauti­fication in front of Saikatabas and other places, a central bus stand, Digha Mohana Road, bituminous road to Sankarpur and Tajpur, and from Digha Gate to Mandarmoni, and Biswa Bangla Uddyan.

Developments in Mukutmanipur: The area under Mukutmanipur Development Authority has been declared a tobacco-free and plastic-free zone. The authority has adopted the motto, ‘Green and clean Mukutmanipur’. Open consumption of both tobacco and alcohol has been banned here, along with a ban on use of plastic.

Developments in Tarakeswar: Three electrical high masts have been put up by Tarakeswar Panchayat Samity. The Tarakeswar Municipality has put up 13 electrical high masts, trident lamp posts with LED Lamps and 300 nine-metre electrical poles with LED lights.

Hospitals: Beautification and frontage development of 23 district hospitals have been completed and work has been initiated for another 13 district, sub-divisional and State General Hospitals.

Parks: Development of more than 406 parks has been completed and that of another 391 are in the works as part of a green space development programme.

Crematorium: In the Medinipur-Kharagpur planning area, an electric crematorium has been constructed to prevent pollution generated by burning of wood in funeral pyres.

Bangla Govt committed to the development of large-scale infrastructure

The State Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Department has done a lot of work on town planning, including in the areas of housing, sanitation and waste disposal, and water supply.

The primary achievements are as follows:


  • Construction of “Maa Flyover”, a 7.4 km of the elevated corridor erected to ensure an uninterrupted traffc movement from the heart of the city to ‘Biswa Banga Sarani’
  • Construction of Garden Reach Flyover, Chandannagar Flyover
  • Four Lane Flyover at Kamalgazi Intersection on EM Bypass connector at the starting point of Adi Ganga in Kolkata
  • Construction of Elevated Corridor from Kestopur to Jora Mandir on Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue
  • Dakshineswar Skywalk and Jinjirabazar – Batanagar Flyover are going to be inaugurated soon
  • Construction of emergent Road from Chemaguri New Bus Terminal to Gangasagar Mela
  • Emergency Jetty on Battala River for facilitating Pilgrims and local people of Sagar to avail the water route of Namkhana-Benuban
  • Chemaguri within Gangasagar Bakkhali Planning Area, Sulabh complex–cum- night shelter at Bakkhali Tourist Spot, connecting road from Sridam More to Banbibi Mandir via Ganagsagar Mandir at Gangasagar
  • Construction of concrete road from Mandir Road to Burning Ghat at Bakreswar
  • Fourth Mahananda Bridge & approach road is constructed at Siliguri to help in diversifying the tra‑c channel, reducing the distance and the travel time during peak hours
  • Repairing and Strengthening of roads, beautification and other works of the area adjacent to Kangsabati Dam like fountain at triangular park, mini high mast arrangements,15 no of stalls and repairing and strengthening of road from Mukutmanipur to Baraghutu Panchapally Tourist Complex
  • For better traffic management, a Ring Road was constructed around NDITA Area and also a Link Road with New Town is near completion

Housing: Since 2011, 1,22,405 houses have been constructed for those belonging to the economically weaker section (EWS) category; another 53,504 are under construction.

Skill development: Sixty-one city livelihood centres (CLC) have been established in various urban local bodies for providing information on skill and livelihood development programmes to poor and unemployed youth in the urban areas and also to develop linkage between the citizen and citizen-centric service providers like electricians, carpenters, plumbers, etc.

Samobyathi: Under the Samobyathi Scheme of the State Government, from December 2016 to March 2018, 29,165 families in 125 urban local bodies have received various benefits.

Sanitation and waste disposal policy: The ‘Policy and Strategy on Solid Waste Management and Plastics Waste Management’ for the urban areas of the State has been published.

Cleanliness drives: Special cleanliness drives were taken up in 2016 and 2017 for 7 days and 15 days, respectively, in all the urban local bodies of Bangla.

Waste segregation at source: For improvement of waste segregation at source, a 100 per cent door-to-door collection and transportation system has been adopted in all the urban local bodies through the providing of household bins, litter bins, community bins, tricycle vans, compactors, dumpers, tippers, and other vehicles and accessories.

Solid waste management:

  • A trans-municipal solid waste disposal project is in operation across six municipalities in Hooghly district.
  • Ten integrated municipal solid waste management projects for generating compost from waste and energy from waste, under Mission Nirmal Bangla, are operational in 14 urban local bodies – Dum Dum, North Dum Dum, South Dum Dum, Baranagar, Bhatpara, Naihati, Ashoknagar-Kalyangarh, Habra, Krishnanagar, Santipur, Nabadwip, Jalpaiguri, Kolkata Municipal Corporation and Asansol Municipal Corporation.
  • Another 13 solid waste management projects have been initiated in Durgapur Municipal Corporation, Bankura, Purulia, Coochbehar, Bardhaman, Arambagh, Raghunathpur, Kharagpur, Panihati, Kanchrapara, Baruipur, Garulia and Asansol Municipal Corporation

Major water supply schemes:

  • Daily twenty-four hour water supply schemes have been set up for the municipalities in Panihati, Bhadreswar, Budge Budge and Uluberia.
  • Trans-municipal water supply projects have been developed for the municipal towns of
  • Madhyamgram, New Barrackpore, Barasat, Titagarh and Khardah.

To ensure water supply in drought-prone areas during the dry season, the department has provided 260 two-wheeled stainless steel water tank trailers of 2000 litre capacity and 50 tractors to 24 urban local bodies in dry zones

The Singur struggle: A timeline

On August 31, 2016, the Supreme Court of India, in a historic judgement declared that the land acquisition made by the erstwhile Left Front Government in Singur was illegal and asked the present Government led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to return the plots to their owners. This was the end of the ten-year struggle started by Mamata Banerjee against illegal land acquisition.

A brief timeline of the events that led to the victory of Mamata Banerjee’s struggle for farmers is as follows:


May 2006: The then West Bengal Government decided to acquire 997 acres (initially 1,013 acres were asked for) for Tata Motors’ small-car factory in Singur in Hooghly district. Almost 6,000 families, including many agricultural workers and marginal peasants, were to lose their land and livelihoods.

There was no compensation for the landless agricultural workers, unrecorded bargadars and other rural households who were indirectly dependent for their livelihood on land and agricultural activities. Almost all the land-owners had also expressed their unwillingness to give their land from the inception of the project, but these appeals had fallen on deaf ears.

July 17: Work on acquisition of land for the factory for producing Nano cars in Singur began. Farmers led by the Trinamool Congress MLA from Singur, Rabindranath Bhattacharjee, lodged protests, saying the State Government was trying to remove them from the land they owned.

September 25: The land in Singur was forcefully acquired. The events showed that the Left Front Government could go to any extent to evict the people and hand over the land to the company officials. More than 400 people, including several women and children, were brutally assaulted and about 78 activists were arrested, which included 27 women and then Member of Parliament Mamata Banerjee.

At around 1.40 in the night, RAF and police together attacked a few thousand men, women and children who had been protesting peacefully all day. A few hundred persons were injured. About 5,000 people, including about 2,000 women, had peacefully demonstrated at the block development office at Singur against the distribution of cheques to peasants under the banner of ‘Singur Krishi Jami Raksha Committee’. Rajkumar Bhul, who was attacked by police, died on September 28.

The struggle of the people nevertheless continued in a democratic and peaceful fashion in the next few months. Marches, rallies and public hearings got organised in Singur and Kolkata.

October 1: On the day of Bijoya Dashami, night vigil was observed in the affected mouzas of Singur. All the villagers in all the villages in Singur block switched off the lights in their houses in the evening as a symbol of protest.

November 30: Assault on Mamata Banerjee who was barred by police from proceeding to Singur. The Government prohibited all assemblies in Singur, displaying its Fascist face.

December 2: Farmers of Khaserbheri, Bera Beri and Gopalnagar gathered to resist the fencing of the proposed project land. Severe police force was used against them, several people were injured and more than 60 people were arrested.

December 4: The Singur agitation intensified with Mamata Banerjee starting a hunger strike at Esplanade in central Kolkata after the State Government had rejected her demand for stopping the fencing work in Singur and the withdrawal of police forces from the area. It lasted 26 days.

December 18: At about 6am, the body of a young activist of the Singur Krishi Jami Raksha Samiti, Tapasi Malik was found burning in the fenced area. The girl was reportedly raped and murdered by miscreants who were present within the guarded area.


October 3: The Nano project is moved out of Bangla.


March 28: Mamata Banerjee announced before the Assembly election that she would do everything to return 400 acres of land in Singur to the unwilling farmers.

May 20: A Trinamool Congress-led Government took oath with Mamata Banerjee as Chief Minister.

June 14: The AITC-led Government passed the historic Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Bill in the Assembly.


August 31: Supreme Court of India terms the land acquisition in Singur illegal and unconstitutional.

Massive improvement in public library infrastructure in Bangla

Today is National Library Day. Over the last seven years, the public library infrastructure in Bangla has undergone a sea-change.

The Directorate of Library Services of the State Government has been doing a lot to spread the light of knowledge to students across Bangla. Under the Trinamool Congress Government, the directorate has started several new services and programmes.

Significant achievements:

Public Library Day: Public Library Day in West Bengal for the year 2013-2014 observed in a befitting manner for the first time

Public awareness of Kanyashree: Public libraries raising awareness on iconic State Government projects like Kanyashree

Encouraging women: ‘Women’s Corners’ designated in many government and government-sponsored libraries to increase access to women readers including neo-literates, particularly in areas dominated by minorities and other marginalised segments of population

‘Read Your Own Book’ section: New initiative taken to open ‘Read Your Own Book’ section in State Central Library, where anybody with little or no space to read at home may come to the library with their own books

Improving infrastructure for backward castes: Emphasis being given on improvement of infrastructural facilities in the SC, ST, OBC and minority-concentrated areas, and the Hill Areas of Darjeeling district

Increase in funds for needy regions: Quantum leap in fund released for needy regions – Rs 3 crore for more than 125 public libraries in the Jangalmahal region, Rs 5 crore for more than 135 libraries in the Hill Areas of Darjeeling district, more than Rs 13 crore for libraries situated in the SC and ST-dominated areas

Study centres: Steps taken for opening of study centres in seven government public libraries for availing the study materials of Netaji Subhas Open University and of various competitive examinations; career guidance programmes held

Information centres: Information centres set up in several district, town and sub-divisional libraries

Plan to improve libraries: Long-term planning initiated to improve library services of the State; final report submitted to government recommending the short-term, mid-term and long-term measures that need to be taken up

Computer connection: More than 400 libraries given computers with internet connection for the benefit of the readers

Salary through account transfer on first day of month: Now salaries of all employees of all government-sponsored public libraries disbursed on the first day of every month directly in the individual employee’s name through public sector banks

Trinamool observes ‘Black Day’

Trinamool Congress observed ‘black day’ in districts and blocks across the state on Saturday to protest against the “detention and manhandling” of its leaders in Assam’s Silchar airport, where they had gone to assess the situation after the publication of the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The protest will continue on Sunday too. Carrying placards and sporting black masks and badges, TMC activists shouted slogans against the BJP governments at the Centre and Assam and the final draft of the NRC.

Trinamool Chairperson Mamata Banerjee had alleged that the members of the delegation, including women, were manhandled at the airport and accused the BJP of imposing a “super emergency” in the country.

Party’s Secretary-General Partha Chatterjee had said, “What happened to our party delegation is not only shameful but also undemocratic. Our slogan will be ‘we don’t need this monstrous government any more’.”

Lok Prasar Prakalpa: Reviving the lost glory of Bengal

Through the Lok Prasar Prakalpa, the Trinamool Congress Government has revived Bengal’s folk culture through promoting folk artistes and providing for their economic betterment.

This initiative for folk artistes was taken by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee herself in an effort to restore the lost glory of the State.

Every month, the State Government is providing them with a pension, as well as an unemployment allowance. Besides, the folk artistes are gifted an honorarium at every event. Nearly two lakh local artists have been benefited by this initiative till date.

Folk artistes between 18 and 60 years of age receive a retainership fee of Rs 1,000 and in addition, an opportunity for four performances per month, with Rs 1,000 being paid for each. Senior artistes, that is, those above 60, receive a similar sum as monthly pension.

They get opportunities to perform at Government functions and at fairs organised by the State. Many Government schemes are promoted through their songs. This helps in awareness about the schemes reaching the farthest corners of Bengal.

The State Government has been organising the annual Biswa Bangla Lok Sanskriti Utsabs in Kolkata (the third one being held last January) to promote the talent of folk artistes in Kolkata. This festival is one of the highlights of the city’s festival scene.

These efforts by the State Government have lifted the art forms from the point of near-extinction to that of widespread popularity. There is a continuous to spread the popularity of these arts all over India and abroad as well.

Blood donation – Efforts and infrastructure in Bengal

The Trinamool Congress Government has always stressed on the need for voluntary donation of blood. Through the year the party conducts, through its various frontal organisations and wings, blood donation camps across all the districts, including in Kolkata.

The State Government also encourages various clubs, NGOs and even corporate to organise and participate in blood donation efforts.

At certain times of the year, like during the hot summer months, there is an extra need for blood. Hence during this time more camps are organised.

During the sixth anniversary celebrations of the Trinamool Congress Government last year, a blood donation camp was organised at the state secretariat, Nabanna on May 27. Similar camps were organised in all the districts, down to the panchayat level, and also at police stations. Various clubs had also participated.

The State Government has also been steadily improving the infrastructure of blood banks. Last October, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had inaugurated three more blood banks – two in south Bengal and one in the north. The blood banks were set up in Panskura in Purba Medinipur district, Gopiballavpur in Paschim Medinipur district and Chanchal in Malda district. All the three are located inside multi super-speciality hospitals, a brainchild of the Chief Minister.

With the completion of these three, the number of State Government-run blood banks has risen to 70. Combined with private blood banks, the total number is 131.

To cater to the increasing demand for blood components, like plasma, platelets, etc., the Government set up four more platelet separation units last year – at Nadia and Asansol District Hospitals, Cooch Behar MGN Hospital and Murshidabad Medical College Hospital – bringing the total number of component separation units in State Government hospitals to 17.

Then, information about supplies of blood in the blood banks of Bengal, be they Government or private – how many units of which blood group are available – can now be had online. This service, called e-raktkosh, [may hyperlink] facilitated by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, was also inaugurated last year.

Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has also set up its first blood bank – at 242, Kalighat Road. This step is meant to help not only the city residents but people from all over the State, especially the poor, who cannot afford high prices.

Fuel Price Hike: Abhishek Banerjee walks home as a mark of protest

The Trinamool Congress and several associations today took part in a huge protest rally at the foot of the Mahatma Gandhi statue on Mayo Road. Speakers highlighted the plight of the common man in the face of all essential prices going up because of the incessant rise in petrol and diesel prices. The rally culminated with a speech by All-India Trinamool Youth Congress President Abhishek Banerjee, in which he exhorted those present to continue with the protest by boycotting all transport and walking home from the protest rally.


Highlights of Abhishek Banerjee’s speech:

At the very beginning, I want to announce a special decision. After the culmination of today’s meeting, we are going to walk home and boycott transport to protest the fuel price hike. Those who are willing may please join us in this protest.

The prices of petrol and diesel have been going up every day for the past 16 days. There is no abatement, there is no compensation. This is affecting the prices of almost everything, hurting the common man badly. Very soon, thanks to the Modi government at the Centre, the price of petrol will reach a century. Before that, we must try to bowl the team out, so that the woes and suffering of the people all over the country will cease.

One after the other, the Modi government has been pursuing anti-people policies. But let me tell you, the Trinamool Congress is not a party that will welt to this continuous onslaught. With every new threat, we stand steadfast and know how to counter each of them. They promised “achhe din”, they promised jobs, they promised so many things…but all this is just talk. Very unlike what the Trinamool Congress has been able to do under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee. We have delivered what we have promised.

They are trying to dictate what the people should wear, what to eat, where to go, where to not go, whom to speak with, whom to meet – is this the freedom that people should be subjected to? For every juncture of one’s life, one is required to produce Aadhaar card. Is this not curbing one’s freedom and right to privacy? These are policies that the our party is vehemently against. We stand for the welfare of the people. That is our primary concern.

Another protest against the fuel price hike will be held by the Trinamool Youth Congress on May 31 in a similar manner. We will not stop till there is relief for the common man. The Karnataka poll outcome has sounded their farewell bell. We will bid them the remaining goodbye with the vote in 2019.