Improvements in paddy procurement in seven years

The State Government has brought about a lot of improvement in the procurement of paddy and in the quality control mechanism of the foodgrains bought from farmers. Storage capacity infrastructure has also undergone a sea change.

A significant step has been the institution of NEFT mechanism for directly paying farmers through account transfer against the paddy bought from them. This process has made payment easier and quicker, and for this reason, was recently taken up as a model by the Centre for implementation across all States.

The Food & Supplies Department has notched up quite a few successes in the procurement of paddy and custom milled rice (CMR) during the last seven years.

They are as follows:

Krishak Bazars also as paddy procurement centres: From kharif marketing season (KMS) 2014-15, the purchasing of paddy through Krishak Bazars has become prevalent.

Procurement centres increased: In KMS 2014-15, 46 Krishak Bazars having the required infrastructural facilities were identified as centralised procurement centres (CPC). Over just four seasons, that number was increased to 325 (in KMS 2017-18). At the same time, cooperative societies continue to function as paddy procurement centres for CMR agencies; 950 cooperative societies functioned as such for KMS 2017-18.

Farmers incentivised: In order to incentivise farmers for bringing in their paddy to CPCs, in KMS 2014-15, Rs 15 per quintal of paddy was allowed over and above the MSP of Rs 1,360 per quintal. In KMS 2017-18, it was enhanced to Rs 20 per quintal.

Electronic means introduced for procurement and payment: From KMS 2016-17, it was made mandatory to employ e-procurement software capable of recording all relevant information of the farmers as well as recording the details of transactions and payments.

From KMS 2016-17, the system of payment of the price of paddy directly to the farmers’ bank accounts through NEFT was introduced, and was made mandatory from KMS 2017-18. Significantly, electronic payment through NEFT has been recently taken up as a model by the Centre.

Participation of women’s self-help groups: Participation of women’s self-help groups (SHG) and sanghas in paddy procurement is being encouraged. Till March 2018, 300 SHGs have participated in KMS 2017-18 and have procured 31,217 metric tonnes (MT) of paddy from 9,600 small and marginal farmers.

Distress sale eliminated: As a result of the Food & Supplies Department’s procurement initiatives, no distress sale of paddy has been reported in KMS 2017-18. The market rate of paddy has increased and thus it is above MSP across the entire State.

Enhancement of storage capacity

The Food & Supplies Department has created an additional 7.85 lakh metric tonnes (MT) of storage capacity during the period of 2011 to 2018. As a result, the storage capacity has increased from just 63,000 MT in FY 2010-11 to 8.48 lakh MT in May 2017.

Moreover, the department has taken up an ambitious project for the creation of another 3 lakh MT of storage space within the next two years at a cost of Rs 500 crore. With this project, the department will achieve self-sufficiency in the storage of rice.

Quality control mechanism

In order to keep a check on the quality of the foodgrains bought from farmers and of those available in markets, the Food & Supplies Department has taken several initiatives for upgrading laboratories and constructing new ones, through the Directorate of Inspection and Quality Control (I&QC).

Quality control (QC) laboratories in Kolkata (headquarters), Krishnanagar and Bardhaman have been upgraded and modernised. Specialised laboratory furniture and modern benchtop digital refractometers have been set up in the laboratories in Kolkata and Bardhaman.

Seventy-five mini QC laboratories have been set up in government warehouses and 120 in private warehouses.

A target has been set for the construction of four more zonal QC laboratories in Siliguri, Malda, Suri and Medinipur and 15 more laboratories in the offices of district controllers of food and supplies (DCF&S).

In the agriculture sector, Bangla has been one of the best-performing States, acknowledged by the Central Government several times and awarded the Krishi Karman Award for five consecutive years. The government has ensured that not just in production but in procurement and quality control too, processes are streamlined and modern methods adopted.

Drinking water projects worth Rs 241 crore in four districts in Bengal

The Bengal Government is going to start drinking water projects in four districts of the state at a cost of Rs 241 crore.

The projects would be set up in Howrah, in Jangipur in Murshidabad, in Krishnanagar in Nadia district and in Bansberia in Hooghly district. They would involve not only the collecting and purifying of water to make it fit for drinking but also the construction of pipelines to supply to homes.

The project in Howrah would involve purifying 20 million gallons per day (MGD), taken from the Ganga. The project will cost Rs 70 crore.

The Jangipur project is a 28 MGD project, costing Rs 81 crore, the one in Krishnanagar is a 35 MGD project while the Bansberia project is a 23 MGD project, costing Rs 75 crore.

After the completion of the projects, these places will no longer face any issue with the supply of drinking water.

The process of issuing e-tenders would start soon.


২৪১ কোটি টাকায় চার জেলায় জলপ্রকল্প


চারটি জলপ্রকল্প অনুমোদন করল মুখ্যসচিবের নেতৃত্বাধীন কমিটি। ২৪১ কোটি টাকা খরচ করে ওই জল প্রকল্প তৈরি হবে বলে পুরমন্ত্রী ফিরহাদ হাকিম জানিয়েছেন। শুক্রবার এক সাংবাদিক বৈঠকে তিনি বলেন, হাওড়া, জঙ্গিপুর, কৃষ্ণনগর এবং বাঁশবেড়িয়ায় ওই জলপ্রকল্পগুলি হবে।

হাওড়ায় ৭০ কোটি টাকা খরচ করে ২০ মিলিয়ন গ্যালন ক্ষমতা সম্পন্ন ওই জলপ্রকল্প তৈরি হবে। গঙ্গা থেকে জল তুলে তা পরিশোধন করে সরবরাহ করা হবে। তাহলে হাওড়ায় আর জলের সমস্যা থাকবে না। জঙ্গিপুরে ৮১ কোটি টাকা খরচ করে ২৮ মিলিয়ন গ্যালন ক্ষমতাসম্পন্ন জলপ্রকল্প হবে। পরিস্রুত পানীয় জল বাড়ি বাড়ি পৌঁছে দেওয়া হবে। কৃষ্ণনগরে আগের একটি জলপ্রকল্প রয়েছে। চাহিদা মেটাতে আরও ৩৫ মিলিয়ন গ্যালন ক্ষমতাসম্পন্ন জলপ্রকল্প করা হবে। এই প্রকল্প হয়ে গেলে কৃষ্ণনগরের আর জলের অভাব হবে না। বাঁশবেড়িয়ায় ৭৫ কোটি টাকা খরচ করে ২৩ মিলিয়ন গ্যালন ক্ষমতাসম্পন্ন জলপ্রকল্প তৈরি করা হবে। এখানে জল উত্তোলনের ক্ষেত্রে কিছু সমস্যা ছিল।

এই চারটি প্রকল্পের পুরো টাকাই খরচ করবে রাজ্য সরকার। এ ধরনের বড় প্রকল্প অনুমোদনের আগে মুখ্যসচিবের নেতৃত্বে একটি কমিটি তৈরি করে দিয়েছিলেন মুখ্যমন্ত্রী। সেই কমিটির সামনে ওই চারটি প্রকল্পের পাওয়ার পয়েন্ট প্রেজেন্টেশন করা হয়। তা দেখে অনুমোদন করে ওই কমিটি। এবার ই-টেন্ডার ডেকে কাজ শুরুর প্রক্রিয়া শুরু হবে।

শুধু জলপ্রকল্প তৈরি নয়, বাড়ি বাড়ি জল পৌঁছে দেওয়ার পরিকল্পনাও এই প্রকল্পের মধ্যে রয়েছে। সম্প্রতি পানিহাটি পুরসভায় এই ধরনের সমস্যা দেখা দিয়েছে। জলপ্রকল্প তৈরি করেছে কেএমডিএ আর বাড়ি বাড়ি পৌঁছে দেওয়ার দায়িত্ব ছিল পুরসভার। কিন্তু পুরানো পাইপের সঙ্গে নতুন পাইপের খাপ না খাওয়ায় সমস্যা দেখা দিয়েছে। পুরমন্ত্রী বলেন, সেই শিক্ষা থেকেই জলের প্ল্যান্ট তৈরির সঙ্গে সঙ্গে বাড়ি বাড়ি পৌঁছে দেওয়ার কাজও ওই প্রকল্পের মধ্যে রাখা হয়েছে।


Source: Bartaman

Tapas Pal speaks the river bank erosion of Ganga river in Krishnanagar

Sir, I would like to bring to your notice that river bank erosion of Ganga several areas in my Krishnanagar constituency are getting damaged. The areas include Tollygunge block, Matiari tipi, Dhubulia block 2, Rajapur, Shankarpur, under Belpukur GP, block Dhubulia 2, Sadhanpara 1 GP, Rukunpur.

Many houses are damaged and lives of several people are at risk. We want the hon. Minister to take some action regarding this matter. Please address the tears of the poor people.
Thank you, Sir.

‘Muktidhara’ scheme for self-help groups to be launched in Nadia today

West Bengal Government has launched a new project “Muktidhara” for the overall development of the self-help groups on the initiative of Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee. The project will be launched officially in Nadia district today at Krishnanagar by the State Consumer Affairs Minister Sadhan Pandey.

The Muktidhara project has been initiated to bring permanency in earning a livelihood, drive away poverty and financial improvement through Self Help Groups and Self-employment schemes.

The scheme aims to empower the financially backward classes, especially women and increase the family earnings, thus developing the means of livelihood. The project started off in the districts of Purulia and Paschim Medinipur and met with much success.

The self-help groups are being encouraged to produce lac, nuts, vegetables, create apiaries, make plates from sal leaves, produce puffed rice, and take up domestication and rearing of poultry, black Bengal goat, pigs and other dairy animals. Those SHGs registered under the scheme will be given training. In the first step, the SHGs are being given a loan to the tune of Rs 1.25 lakhs.

The project will soon be launched in all the districts of the State.

Job boom in Bengal infotech industry

The infotech sector in Bengal is on a recruitment drive. As many as 50,000 jobs will be created in 15 IT parks being set up in the state and as part of hiring plans of industry majors such as Wipro, Cognizant and TCS.

Bengal finance and industries minister Dr Amit Mitra, who is also in charge of information technology department, said at least eight of the 15 IT parks will be ready by the end of July or early August. These include the IT hubs in Rajarhat, Asansol, Durgapur Phase-II, Barjora, Purulia, Bolpur, Kharagpur and Siliguri Phase-II.

In the private sector, Wipro has assured the recruitment of 2,400 employees by this fiscal, he said. “The Wipro CEO told me that they are in the process of expanding their Saltlake facility for an additional 2,400 employees,” Dr Mitra said.

He added that Cognizant had promised to hire 5,000 employees this fiscal and has already recruited 1,500. “The vice-president of Cognizant has said he would take the total number of employees to 18,000 here.”

The minister added that TCS will be ready with its second campus soon. The campus will have an employment capacity of about 20,000.

Big numbers

The state government aims to create at least 20,000 jobs in 15 IT parks. Nasscom has come forward to promote the hubs in Kalyani, Durgapur and Siliguri.

“Work is proceeding at a fast pace in seven other locations as well (other than the eight almost ready),” said Mitra. These include Kalyani, Howrah, Haldia, Taratala, Bantola, Malda and Krishnanagar.

Mitra also spoke of a hardware hub in Sonarpur that will be operational in two months and will house small and medium enterprises. Additionally, Naihati and Palta will soon have one electronic manufacturing hub each.

Unprecedented success in information technology in Bengal

With a view to playing a leading role in information technology and electronics in India, the Mamata Banerjee Government put out the West Bengal Policy on Information and Communication Technology, 2012 and the West Bengal ICT Intensive Scheme, 2012. Special emphasis has been placed in the fields of hardware, gaming and animation.

The various aspects stressed upon as part of the policy include setting up information technology centres in the districts, proliferating the hardware and electronics industries, setting up national centres of education, setting up centres of excellence in information technology, taking up new e-governance initiatives, taking up e-district projects through which, among other things, all villages would be getting the benefits of Government schemes vis e-kiosks, turning all State Government offices into e-offices, digitising all Government information in order to enable the Document Management System, setting up state-wide wide area networks (WANs), setting up a State data centre, setting up a full-fledged State portal and a State Service Delivery Gateway, creation special computer education kits for all State Government schools, etc.

In 2012, the State Government was awarded the Data Quest E-Readiness Award.

Huge increase in budgetary allocation

The yearly Budget allotment for the information technology and electronics sector by the Trinamool Congress Government has been much more when compared to the previous Left Front Government, which points to the serious intent of the present Government to develop this sector.

The Left Front Government, in its last four years, spent a total of Rs 16,39,41,000 whereas the Trinamool Government, in its first four years (2011-12 to 2014-15) has spent a total of Rs 299,48,64,000 (Rs 29,58,14,000, Rs 43,09,60,000, Rs 100,10,90,000 and Rs 126,70,00,000, respectively). This is a massive increase of 1,726.79% over the previous four-year period. The plan outlay for the present financial year (2015-16) is even more.

Information technology parks in eight districts

The State Government is setting up information technology (IT) parks in eight districts in 2015-16. In the last three years, 15 IT parks have been announced of which eight are on their way to completion. The eight are located in Siliguri, Durgapur, Asansol, Barjora, Rajarhat (near Kolkata), Kharagpur, Bolpur and Purulia. These eight would create employment opportunities for 20,000 people.

The other seven would be located in Malda, Howrah, Haldia, Kalyani, Krishnanagar, Taratala and Bantala (the last two are in Kolkata).


Transparency in service, speed of service, efficiency of service – to ensure the implementation of these three aspects in all State Government work, the Trinamool Government has decided on e-governance as a backbone for implementation of all services and schemes.

  • E-office schemes have been implemented in North and South 24-Parganas districts.
  • E-office schemes have been implemented in North and South 24-Parganas districts.
  • Staff Selection Commission and the Depart of Information and Technology have been converted into e-offices.
  • As per the latest report, in 2013-14, Document Management Systems (DMS) have been implemented in 13 district magistrate offices.
  •  The same for the rest of the districts is going to be completed soon. For this purpose, 114 lakh documents would have to be scanned and stored digitally, 90% of which work is over.
  • The departments of Urban Development, School Education, and Commerce and Industries have already had electronic file tracking systems implemented in 2013-14, and Home and Higher Education in 2014-15.
  • Integrated Finance Management System (IFMS) has been implemented.
  • Tracking of taxis through radio frequency identification (RFID) tags has been implemented.
  • Information technology has been successfully used in the implementation of the Kanyashree project.
  • For this creating and maintaining this IT backbone, about 500 departmental staff are working relentlessly.



  • The e-district project is being implemented through the digitization of 36 services.
  • Of these 36, 16 have already been implemented as part of Phase-I.
  • As part of Phase-I, over 200 block offices in nine districts have been connected with LAN technology.
  • Project managers for the E-district project have been appointed in 17 districts.


IT majors setting up offices

  • TCS is setting up offices spread over 40 acres in New Town-Rajarhat, where 3,500 are currently employed.
  • Cognizant is setting up offices in the second Tower Complex in Bantala, where 5,000 would be employed.
  • Unitech is setting up offices in Rajarhat.
  • ITC has been given 17 acres in Rajarhat, where constructions are already underway.


Industrial and educational setups

  • Land for electronics manufacturing clusters (EMCs) has been granted in Naihati and Falta.
  • Work for a hardware park spread over 10 acres is on in Sonarpur; the work is going to be completed in the current financial year.
  • An Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) is coming up in Kalyani.



It is estimated that by the end of financial year 2015-16, 1,80,000 people would be employed in the IT and electronics sector, against the only 90,000 that got employment during the last year of Left Front rule (2010-11). On an average, employment in this sector is increasing by 20% annually.

IT in education

The State Government is implementing scholarship schemes online through State Service Delivery Gateway (SSDG). Computer systems with special education kits installed are being set up in schools in tribal regions. Schools for the blind are being supplied with state-of-the-art Braille monitor computers.

Hence, as we can see from the above information, the Maa-Mati-Manush Government of Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee has had unprecedented success in the information technology and electronics sector.

Bengal to get 10 more women police stations

10 more women police stations are coming up in West Bengal besides the existing 20.

The West Bengal Chief Minister had targeted to set up 65 such police stations across the State.  The government has approved the establishment of 330 posts under various categories for the new police stations. A woman police officer will head each of these police stations and majority of the other ranks will constitute of women also.

In the first phase 20 women police stations were set up at Howrah, Barasat, Baruipur, Asansol, Jhargram, Contai, Chinsurah, Krishnanagar, Siliguri and Jalpaiguri Sadar, sub-divisional headquarters of Burdwan Sadar, Medinipur Sadar, Purulia Sadar, Bankura Sadar, Darjeeling Sadar, Sreerampore (Hooghly), Suri (Birbhum), English Bazar (Malda), Diamond Harbour (South 24-Parganas) and Barrackpore (North 24-Parganas) have got such stations. Now, 10 new stations have opened at Bidhannagar and Durgapur Commissionerate, Cooch Behar, Balurghat, Raiganj, Berhampore, Kharagpur, Haldia, Uluberia and Arambag.  With these new stations the total number of all women police stations has reached to 30.

WB CM Ms Mamata Banerjee has been working relentlessly for the safety of women across the State. It was her idea to have all women police stations in the state to combat women related crimes. In a police station where women will not only feel free and safe to report criminal cases against them, but where such cases will also be dealt with immense sensitivity and compassion.

In another innovative step, the West Bengal Government is launching a special police cell to deal with highway accidents. This cell will be known as ‘Highway Traffic Police’. Along with investigating accident cases on highways, they will also take prompt action so that accident victims get immediate medical attention and effective rescue missions.