Bengal Govt to build drinking water pipelines across three districts

The State Government is going to soon take up a major project to build drinking water supply pipelines across three districts of Bengal. The tendering process for selecting the constructors is complete.

Lakhs of people in the rural areas of the districts of Bankura, Purba Medinipur and North 24 Parganas will benefit from the project. In fact, after the project is fully implemented, every household in the three districts will have access to clean drinking water.

The Public Health Engineering Department is going to start work on the laying of the pipelines in early 2018. By 2020, the formidable issue of drinking water scarcity in the remote parts of these three districts will be a matter of the past. The approximately three-year time period is natural, being a project on such a large scale.

The Asian Development Bank is providing financial aid for the project.



তিন জেলায় পানীয় জলের পাইপলাইন বসাবে রাজ্য


রাজ্য সরকার একটি বড় প্রকল্প হাতে নিতে চলেছে যার ফলে রাজ্যের তিন জেলায় বসবে পরিশ্রুত পানীয় জলের পাইপলাইন। ইতিমধ্যেই টেন্ডার প্রক্রিয়া সম্পন্ন হয়েছে।
এই প্রকল্পের ফলে বাঁকুড়া, পূর্ব মেদিনীপুর ও উত্তর ২৪ পরগনার গ্রামীণ অঞ্চলের লক্ষ লক্ষ মানুষ উপকৃত হবেন। এই প্রকল্প সম্পন্ন হলে ওই তিন জেলার প্রতিটি মানুষ পরিশ্রুত পানীয় জল পাবেন।
জন স্বাস্থ্য কারিগরী দপ্তর ২০১৮ সালের প্রথম দিকেই পাইপলাইন বিছিয়ে দেওয়ার কাজ সম্পূর্ণ করবে। ২০২০ সালের মধ্যে এই তিন জেলার জলের কষ্ট চিরতরে লাঘব হবে। এই ধরনের বড় প্রকল্পের জন্য ৩ বছর সময় লাগা খুব স্বাভাবিক।এশিয়ান ডেভেলপমেন্ট ব্যাঙ্ক এই প্রকল্পে আর্থিক সহায়তা করছে।

Source: Millennium Post

Centre yet to sanction part of ADB loan to Bengal, Mamata Banerjee alleges ‘neglegence’

This story was first published in The Indian Express on 19 September, 2016

West Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra is likely to take up the issue of Centre’s “delayed clearance” to the second phase of a loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), amounting to Rs 2,000 crore.

This, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, is “vital” to Bengal’s development and alleged continued “negligence” on the Centre’s part. The issue threatens to become the next flash point between the two governments.

The loan, said the state government, was approved by the board of ADB almost 11 months ago, after the completion of the first phase — in which West Bengal carried out a slew of “people-centric fundamental reforms.”

But while the Centre had approved the loan in the first phase, the proposal for the second installment is yet to be cleared 11 months after it was sent to the Finance Ministry’s department of Economic Affairs. In this time period, the state finance department had written a number of letters to the Centre.

“We have been waiting for the approval of the loan for months. The Government talks about pro-active governance, but in the case of West Bengal’s development, there is continued negligence,” Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said.

The second phase of the loan follows the “successful competition” of the first, in which the state government carried out reforms aimed at transparency and ease of governance.

West Bengal is the only state where payment is completely electronic. West Bengal was the first to use an RBI portal, e-Kuber. All this came out of the ADB’s first phase loan. Also, the State was given the highest award in e-taxation, integrated central finance and for use of information technology by the excise department under the e-abgari loan.

ADB loan push for state corridor

The Mamata Banerjee government has got another big boost before the chief minister’s London visit on July.

The screening committee of the Department of Economic Affairs under the union Finance Ministry has cleared loan approval of receiving $500 million Asian Development Bank (ADB) loan to the West Bengal government for setting up the 231 km long North South corridor from East Midnapore to Murshidabad that will cross six districts and move parallel to NH-34.

This is the highest amount of ADB loan granted for any ADB-assisted single project in the country. The total cost of the project, to be executed by the West Bengal Highway Development Corporation Limited (WBHDCL) is estimated as Rs 4,696 crore.

The corridor would help to remove the critical bottlenecks in freight movement not only from the northern parts of the state and north eastern states of the country but also from the neighbouring countries like Bhutan and Nepal to Haldia and Paradeep.

About the corridor

According to the plan, the corridor will run across six districts on the western side of the Ganges parallel to NH-34 and would serve at least 40% of the total population of the state, connecting a 231 km stretch from Mechogram near Haldia in East Midnapore to Morgram near Jangipur in Murshidabad.

The corridor will connect the important national highways of NH-6, NH-2, NH-60 and NH-34. The corridor will also reduce travel distance of Morgramm – Haldia port for about 60 km and will reduce about three hours of travel time in comparison to NH-34.

Kharagpur and the south west part of the country will get shorter connectivity to north east in addition to the faster connectivity to Haldia from states like Bihar, Jharkhand and the north eastern states along with Nepal and Bhutan.


The story was originally published in The Times of India on 10 June, 2015