Mamata Banerjee to inaugurate Uttarbanga Utsab today

The week-long Uttarbanga Utsab is set to start from January 20 in Siliguri. This has been an annual fixture for the last few years and is eagerly awaited by the people of the region.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will inaugurate the festival at the Kanchenjunga Stadium. A host of cultural and political personalities will grace the occasion.

The event is aimed at showcasing the rich and diverse culture, art, craft, music, songs and other performing arts of north Bengal. This is the ninth edition of the festival. 

A mega sit and draw competition and felicitation of meritorious students also form part of the festival. Eminent persons excelling in different spheres hailing from north Bengal will be conferred the Banga Ratna Award. 

State Govt to create forests across Bangla using Miyawaki Method

The State Panchayats & Rural Development Department has decided to create forests across Bangla using the Miyawaki Method, a Japanese method of tree planting that helps in building dense, native forests. The government would be using the 100 Days’ Work Scheme to implement it..

The Miyawaki Method involves planting dozens of native species in the same area, which becomes maintenance-free after the first three years. This method ensures plant growth is 10 times faster and the resulting plantation is 30 times denser than usual.

The first such forest would be coming up on 1,000 acres in the village of Shibganj, in Shyampur-I block in Uluberia subdivision in Howrah district. This forest would be named after the famous Swedish environment activist, Greta Thunberg.

Besides Howrah, the other districts where such afforestation has been planned are Purulia, Birbhum, Murshidabad, Bankura, Jhargram, Malda, Uttar Dinajpur, Purba Bardhaman and South 24 Parganas.

According to the plan for the pilot project, 3,280 saplings would be planted on 1,000 acres, which would be able to increase their sizes by 30 times in just seven months with the help of the Miyawaki Method. The plants to be planted are native species species like bahera, bael (wood apple), jamun (blackberry), mango, haritaki, babla, banyan, palash, shirish, tal, karamcha and mahua.

Preparations for the pilot project are on in full swing. A 10-day workshop was organised in Shibgunge where 36 officials from various districts participated. A private organisation conducted the workshop.

North Bengal should be ready to give befitting answer: Didi on NRC

“North Bengal should be ready to give a befitting answer. We don’t want NRC. We don’t want to create divide among people and communities using the Citizens Amendment Act. We want all to coexist in peace without any division and without any violence. There is nothing to worry, nothing to get frustrated over. There will be no NRC,” stated Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Siliguri while inaugurating a Kali Puja on Thursday.

The CM also said, “Bangla never says we will allow this festival and won’t allow that festival. Hindu-Muslim-Christian-Sikh-Parsi-Jain-Gorkha-Bengali-Rajbanshi – we all coexist here in peace and harmony. People of all faiths and backgrounds come together to celebrate festivals.”

The CM, who is on a tour of North Bengal, returned from Kurseong to the plains on Thursday, where she inaugurated the Kali Puja organised by Biplab Smriti Athletic Club in Pradhan Nagar, Siliguri. Earlier during the day, the Chief Minister visited the Netaji Museum at Giddepahar on the fringes of Kurseong for the first time.

After garlanding the bust of Netaji, Banerjee said while talking to media persons: “The condition of the building was very bad. In 2017 we had thoroughly renovated it keeping the heritage character of the house. The house has been declared a heritage too. I have come to see if the renovation work has been done properly.”

Mamata Banerjee gives away Biswa Bangla Sharad Samman 2019

The Biswa Bangla Sharad Samman awards for 2019 were presented by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at a function at Nabanna Sabhaghar today.

The list for this year is as follows: 

Highlights of the chief minister’s speech:

UNESCO is going to enlist Durga Pujo in its List of Intangible Heritage. I will be the happiest person when the whole world will say that Durga Pujo is the greatest festival of Bangla.

Though there are carnivals held in other places across the world, over the last four years, the Durga Pujo Carnival we have been organising has caught the world’s attention.

I support constructive criticism, not negative, destructive criticism. I always stand by the motto: Think Positive, Be Positive.

The Biswa Bangla Sharad Samman is given to all clubs, irrespective of whether they are big or small. As a result of rewarding the smaller clubs, now they too have started thinking innovatively in every aspect of Durga Puja.

Many unknown clubs have become famous as a result of the Biswa Bangla Sharad Samman.

The livelihoods of lakhs of people depend on Durga Pujo. Durga Pujo and the various cultural programmes surrounding it are also the reasons for people meeting each other. My sole aim is to make Bangla the best in the world.

A mother is a mother – she has no religion, caste or creed. A mother can be given respect by giving her love. When some people start speaking negatively of the people and culture of Bangla, I feel sad. Bangla is the best.

Bengalis are spread all over the world and many are famous in their respective fields. I want to see more and more Bengalis getting success in all corners of the globe.

C40 World Mayors Summit applauds Bangla’s innovative Sabujshree Scheme

The Bangla Government has created another milestone with the Sabujshree Scheme, the latter having received an overwhelming response at the recently-held C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The mayor of Kolkata (also the State Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Minister) had gone to Copenhagen to accept the C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Award for the city’s environment-friendly electric public transportation project.

Sabujshree aims at planting a sapling with the birth of every child in the State. Under Sabujshree, a sapling is given to the mother of every child born in a government hospital anywhere in the State.

The saplings given to the mothers are usually of commercially viable trees like mahogany or sal. The parents are requested to nurture the tree like their own children. When the child becomes an adult, the parents are allowed to sell the tree and spend the money on the child’s education.

It is this aspect of the scheme that received widespread recognition at the conference. Mayors of several cities showed interest in how trees can become an asset to a family.

The scheme is the brainchild of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and was introduced in 2016.

Source: Millennium Post


Centre must not divest profit-making PSUs, merge banks: Didi

The Indian National Trinamool Trade Union Congress organised a meeting of its members at the Netaji Indoor Stadium today. Trinamool Congress Chairperson Mamata Banerjee addressed the attending members.

Highlights of her speech:

Sometimes we have to come together to fight. We many not always get the results we want, but we have to try anyway.

In 2012, 6 Trinamool ministers had left the Manmohan Singh Government in protest against its decision to implement 100% FDI in retail because we believe the cause of the people is more important than holding on to ministries.

Plans are being made to close down Bengal Chemicals; 42 PSUs are being divested; banks are being amalgamated and their headquarters moved elsewhere. Due to this, many bank workers would lose their jobs. Nobody is sure these days of the state of their jobs and of the value of money in the future.

The post offices have no work other than distributing letters about the Central Government’s achievements. Their work is getting reduced.

Even after demonetisation, bank officials worked their hearts out. So what happened to all the money collected? Nobody knows.

After making the banks do its bidding, is this how the Central Government will treat them? The whole banking sector is in a mess.

The armed forces are the best means for protecting the country. Instead of protecting, they are being used to threaten people. People are in the dark about many things. The Centre also wants to privatise the ordnance factories.

Coal is the pride of Bangla; if Coal India is divested 100 per cent, electricity production will be hit hard.

We fear that the Indian Railways, the largest public sector undertaking in the world, will be fully privatised in the coming days.

A conspiracy is being hatched to divest a profitable company like Air India.

It is the duty of the Government to be beside the people in times of hardship. Nobody is paying heed to the people’s problems nowadays.

The television and print media, which have the power to take up the issues being faced by the people, have become deaf and dumb; they are just parroting the Centre’s instructions.

The Centre is trying to incite the people and spreading hatred, just to improve its TRP. And those who love the people are constantly working for their benefits.

SAIL, Hindustan Paper, Chittaranjan Locomotives, Life Insurance Corporation, Haldia Port, Kolkata Port, BSNL are all being planned to be privatised. Things are in a terrible mess.

People have lost their right to speak. That’s why there is a need for them to come together to speak up. Social media platforms should be used to mount protests. People need to think differently in order to launch protests because there is great value in it.

Democracy is our asset. There is democracy in Bangla but many States are suffering for the lack of it.

You saw from the Jadavpur University incident what their attitude is. You cannot use force to keep people in the dark forever.

The people of Asansol and Durgapur voted wholesale for the BJP, yet now the Centre is planning to privatise Chittaranjan Locomotives, ECL, BSNL.

On the part of the State Government, we merged only those companies which were running at a loss. We didn’t take away people’s jobs.

Politics and love for the people of the country are not one and the same in most cases now. One should work for the people once elected, whatever their political affiliations.

Continue your fight the way you are doing it. The hunger strike has been going on for 25 days. There are ordnance factories and banks in other States too but the people are afraid to protest.

Since others are not protesting, it is the people of Bangla who will speak up for the people. Bangla will show the way.

If our fight helps people in other States, we will be happy because we want to progress taking everyone along.

There are three protest programmes before Durga Pujo. I am creating a core group that will coordinate all the protests and meetings, and will also take up the issues in Parliament. The members are Subrata Bakshi, Dola Sen, Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Saugata Roy, Derek O’Brien, Subrata Mukherjee, Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, Partha Chatterjee, Pradip da, Malay Ghatak and Purnendu Bose.

She announced the following protest programmes:

Sep 26: Protest meeting in front of Gun & Shell Factory, Cossipore
Sep 27: Protest meeting in front of Coal India headquarters at 1pm
Oct 18: Protest march from Sealdah to Fairlie Place via Esplanade from 1.30pm
48-hour dharna in New Delhi
Post-Oct 18: Protest meetings in Chennai, Mumbai, Bihar and other places across the country

NRC is nothing to be afraid of; it won’t happen, assures Didi

I am requesting you to enlist your names in the electoral rolls so that you are able to vote. There will be no NRC anywhere.

Some people are wrongly bringing a communal angle to NRC, and saying that it is meant to divide Hindus and Muslims. Yet despite that the NRC in Assam has excluded 13 lakh Hindus.

Do not fear NRC. Some TV channels are spreading false news. Don’t watch those channels.

There will be a protest against in the NRC in those places where people have died in fear of it.

We have to fight this battle together. My Pujo greetings to all.


Achievements of Youth Services and Sports Dept

On the occasion of International Day of University Sport, let us take a look at the primary achievements of Bangla’s Youth Services and Sports Department over the last eight years, when Trinamool Congress has been in power.

* Bengal Football Academy (Khardah)

* Bengal Archery Academy (Jhargram)

* Bengal Tennis Academy (Salt Lake)

* 27 youth hostels (with facility for online booking)

* 15 youth hostels under construction

* Multi-gyms in 3,565 schools and colleges

* 684 mini indoor games complexes

* Development of 398 playgrounds

* Financial aid provided to 25,425 clubs and other organisations

* During the regime of this Government, 20 mountaineers have successfully climbed Mount Everest

Centre not sending 100 Days’ Work funds on time: Mamata Banerjee

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said in the Assembly recently that the Centre is not giving the money to the State Government for paying the workers under the 100 Days’ Work Scheme on time.

She said that Bangla is the best in 100 Days’ Work, rural road construction and housing for the poor. She said that the Irrigation, Forest, Environment and Fisheries Departments are providing a lot of work in this regard. Three lakh ponds have been dug.

Suggestions of Mamata Banerjee to the Centre:

· If workers under 100 Days’ Work are employed for planting trees, it would increase their incomes
· Those working in the Mid-Day Meal Scheme should also be brought under 100 Days’ Work

Water conservation: ‘Jalatirtha’ scheme going strong

Jalatirtha, one of the flagship schemes of the Trinamool Congress Government, was launched by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on this day in 2015 to run water conservation projects across the red laterite zone that comprises the districts of Bankura, Jhargram, Purulia, Paschim Medinipur, Paschim Bardhaman and parts of Birbhum.

The Jal Dharo Jal Bharo Scheme, announced in 2011, received a boost with the Jalatirtha Scheme, which is the signature scheme for the red laterite zone. Under both the schemes, water retention structures like ponds, tanks, rivulets have been created to hold water. Steps have been taken so that evaporation does not take place.

The Water Resources Investigation and Development (WRI&D) Department runs both schemes. It has taken up schemes linked to water conservation across a total area of 1.45 lakh acres. The water level is extremely low in these zones and water extraction is very difficult.

Under Jalatirtha, as many as 13,945 projects have been taken up in the last eight years (since 2011) in the red laterite zone, of which 141 are solar-powered.

Among the almost 14,000 projects, more than 900 – structures like watersheds and check dams – have come up under Jalatirtha, including 176 in Bankura, 57 in Birbhum, 75 in Jhargram, 427 in Purulia and 224 in Paschim Medinipur.

The Department has now extended Jalatirtha to the saline zones, particularly in pockets of the Sundarbans, which include both South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas.

Honouring the legacy of Swami Vivekananda

The great follower of the philosophy of Swami Vivekananda that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is, she has named various schemes and places after this great son of Bangla. She has also ensured the renovation of buildings that have a historic connection to the great sage.

Here is a list of works of the Bangla Government done to preserve the legacy of Swami Vivekananda:

* Making Swami Vivekananda’s famous Chicago address part of the syllabus for schools under the Madhyamik Board

* Giving autonomy and special status to educational institutions run by Ramakrishna Sarada Mission

* Allotting 5 acres and allocating Rs 10 crore for the Centre for Human Excellence and Social Sciences being built by the Ramakrishna Mission in New Town, as a replica of the Art Institute of Chicago, where Vivekananda delivered his famous speeches in 1893; it has been named ‘Vivek Tirtha’ by Mamata Banerjee

* Acquiring and handing over of the premises adjoining Vivekananda’s ancestral house to Ramakrishna Mission

* Renovating ‘Mayer Bari’ in Baghbazar, Kolkata, where Maa Sarada, the wife of Sri Ramakrishna lived, at a cost of Rs 30 crore

* Acquiring Sister Nivedita’s house in Baghbazar and handing it over to Ramakrishna Sarada Mission, and giving it heritage status

* Allocating Rs 2 crore for the renovation of Roy Villa in Darjeeling, associated with Sister Nivedita, and handing it over to Ramakrishna Mission

* Building a skywalk connecting Dakshineswar railway station to the famous temple there; it was named Dakshineswar Rani Rashmoni Skywalk by Mamata Banerjee

* Renaming Yuba Bharati Krirangan after Swami Vivekananda, as Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan

* Naming the self-employment scheme run by the Self-Help and Self-Employment Department as Swami Vivekananda Swanirbhar Karmasansthan Prakalpa

* Naming the scholarship for students from economically disadvantaged families as Swami Vivekananda Merit-cum-Means Scholarship

* Organising Vivek Chetana Utsav from January 10 to 12 every year to commemorate the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda across the State (January 12 is celebrated as National Youth Day, being the birthday of Swami Vivekananda)

* State Assembly passing Bills for the setting up of two private universities – Sister Nivedita University (Bill passed in 2017) and Swami Vivekananda University (Bill passed in 2019)