Four-fold jump in infrastructure development budget since 2011: Bengal CM

In a bid to ensure overall development of the state, the Mamata Banerjee government has increased the expenditure for developing physical infrastructure “four-fold”, since 2011.

The Chief Minister tweeted on Sunday: “Infrastructure development is going on in a rapid pace in Bengal. In fact, expenditure on physical infrastructure in the state has increased almost 4-fold since 2011.”

Giving detailed information on the expenditure carried out by her government, the Chief Minister stated in the tweet: “Recently, new infrastructure projects including flyovers, rural and urban drinking water, roads and bridges, power, affordable housing, irrigation etc worth Rs 18,000 crore, have been sanctioned by our government.”

She also tweeted: “This is in addition to the Rs 25,755 crore budgetary allocation for capital expenditure, for the current financial year. These will open up huge investment opportunities and generate employment in the state.”

After coming to power, Mamata Banerjee had given equal stress on the development of both the rural and urban parts of the state. Development of roads and bridges has ensured better connectivity between different parts of the state.


Under Trinamool Congress Govt, road and bridge construction paces up

The State Public Works Department (PWD) constructed 247.99 per cent more roads in the first seven years of the Trinamool Congress regime as compared to the last seven years of the Left Front regime.

This was stated by the PWD Minister in the Assembly while presenting the department’s Budget. He said that such a huge task has been carried out by maintaining transparency and quality.

From 2004 to April 2011, the PWD constructed only 1,375.52 km of state roads and 4,058.20 km of other roads. On the other hand, since the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress took up the reins of governance, 3,535.89 km of state roads and 9,939.11 km of other roads have been built. Thus 247.99 per cent more roads have been constructed between 2011 and January 2018.

Secondly, the Left Front Government built only 76 bridges in seven years’ time while the Trinamool Congress Government constructed 109 bridges. Additionally, 52 are under construction and tender process is going on for another 13 bridges.

Another fact is that the amounts allotted in the planned budget and the amounts invested by the two governments also show a wide difference. While the planned budget of the Left Front Government was Rs 5,515.08 crore and they had utilised around Rs 3,284 crore, the present government has invested much more – a planned budget of Rs 13,001.08 crore, and timely implementation of different projects has led to an investment of an even bigger amount – Rs 13,898.81 crore.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has constantly stressed on the importance of constructing roads as roads lead to development and growth, be it economic or social.

তৃণমূল আমলে গতি পেয়েছে রাস্তা ও সেতু তৈরী

তৃণমূল কংগ্রেস সরকারের সাত বছরের শাসনকালে রাজ্য পূর্ত দপ্তর যে পরিমাণ রাস্তা তৈরী করেছে, তা বাম আমলের শেষ সাত বছরে তৈরী রাস্তার তুলনায় প্রায় আড়াই গুণ। এই তথ্য পূর্ত মন্ত্রী তুলে ধরেন বিধানসভায় বাজেট পেশ করার সময়।

তিনি বলেন, এই বিপুল কাজ দপ্তর করেছে সম্পূর্ণ স্বচ্ছতার সঙ্গে ও কাজের মানের সঙ্গে কোনও সমঝোতা না করে।

২০০৪ থেকে ২০১১ সালে পূর্ত দপ্তর ১৩৭৫.৫২ কিঃমিঃ রাজ্য সড়ক ও ৪০৫৮.২ কিঃমিঃ অন্যান্য রাস্তা তৈরী করেছিল। অন্যদিকে, তৃণমূল কংগ্রেস সরকার গঠন করার পর ৩৫৩৫.৮৯ কিঃমিঃ রাজ্য সড়ক ও ৯৯৩৯.১১ কিঃমিঃ অন্যান্য রাস্তা তৈরী করেছে পূর্ত দপ্তর। এই পরিমাণটি বাম আমলের শেষ সাত বছরের তুলনায় ২৪৭.৯৯ শতাংশ।

দ্বিতীয়ত, বাম সরকার শেষ সাত বছরে তৈরী করেছিল মাত্র ৭৬টি সেতু। তৃণমূল সরকার গত সাত বছরে তৈরী করেছে ১০৯টি সেতু। এছাড়াও ৫২টি সেতু তৈরী হচ্ছে এবং ১৩টি সেতুর টেন্ডার প্রক্রিয়া চলছে।

এছাড়াও পরিকল্পিত বাজেটে বরাদ্দ করা টাকা ও যে টাকা ব্যয় করেছে দুই সরকার, তাতেও যথেষ্ট ব্যবধান আছে। যেখানে বাম সরকারের পরিকল্পিত বাজেট ছিল ৫৫১৫.০৮ কোটি টাকা ও ব্যয় করা হয়েছিল ৩২৮৪ কোটি টাকা। সেখানে বর্তমান সরকারের এই খাতে পরিকল্পিত বাজেট ১৩০০১.০৮ কোটি টাকা ও সময়মত কাজ শেষ করার জন্য এই খাতে ব্যয় হয়েছে ১৩৮৯৮.৮১ কোটি টাকা।

মুখ্যমন্ত্রী মমতা বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায় সবসময় সড়ক নির্মাণে জোর দিয়েছেন, কারন, সড়ক নির্মাণের ফলে শুধু যে যাতায়াতে সুবিধা হয়, তাই নয়, এর ফলে অর্থনৈতিক ও সামাজিক উন্নয়নও হয়।

CM sets 3 month deadline for PWD projects

Prodded by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the state public works department (PWD) now has to complete a number of ongoing and pending road and highway infrastructure development projects within the next three months.

Sources said that the state secretariat and its authorities have got sanctions that amount to Rs 1000 crore from the 14th finance commission to undertake these works.

The main projects comprises a number of road and highway stretch widening and strengthening work, to construct 23 railway overbridges (ROB) on several national and state highway stretches on engineering, procurement and construct (EPC) mode for which the authorities plan to invite bids to take up work within the next one month.

As per the plan, most number of ROBs will be constructed at several places of North Bengal, North 24 Parganas on NH-31, NH-35 and NH-60. Two more will be set up on NH-2B and a lone ROB at Barasat falling on NH-34.

The state highways will also receive two ROBs at Bandel car shed and Adisaptagram on SH-6 and at Simlagarh on SH-13.

The ROBs have been planned at Sevok, Oodlabari, Malbazar, Lataguri and Mayanaguri on the NH-31 towards North Bengal. On the way down South some bridges have been planned at Bishnupur, Mejia Thermal Power station, Topsi, Pandabeswar, Bhimgarh and Suri.

On NH-35 of North 24 Parganas too will get railway bridges. The PWD authorities have been working to widen and strengthen many national and state highway stretches that heads towards Diamond Harbour, Chandro kona to Ghatal and then Behrampore to Kandi.

Trinamool Government stresses upon improvements of roads

For any government, the proof of success in developmental work lies in the fact of how much money that government spent on the projects. By this yardstick, the Trinamool Government has proved to be far more successful than the previous Left Front Government (comparing the first four years of the present dispensation to the last four of the Left Front).

Take the case of Public Works Department (PWD). For building roads, bridges and national highways, the Left Front Government spent Rs 2421,28,00,000 during its last four years, that is, 2007-08 to 2010-11. On the other hand, the Trinamool Government spent during its first four years (that is, till 2014-15) spent Rs 5978,99,00,000, an increase of almost two-and-a-half times. Therefore, the average spend per year during the last four years of the Left Front Government was Rs 605,32,00,000 whereas the same during the first four years of the Trinamool Government was Rs 1494,73,00,00 – almost two-and-a-half times more.

If considered percentage-wise, the change from 2007-08 to 2010-11 was an increase of only 33.91, whereas the change from 2011-12 to 2014-14, that is, the first four years of the Trinamool Government, was an increase of a massive 195.9. Hence, from these data, it is quite clear that the development during the rule of Trinamool Congress in West Bengal has been extremely impressive.

If compared to the consumer price index (CPI), one finds that the rate at which the CPI increased over the last four years of Left Front rule, the budget for PWD did not. Therefore, there had been no effective increase in the budget allocation in the last four years of Left Front rule.

Rural roads

In the case of building the rural network of roads, too (though, of course, this does not fall under the PWD). Under the Trinamool Government, 8,200 km of rural roads has been constructed. For every kilometre, Rs 60 lakh has been spent. This is a record for the state, and for this, the State has consistently got appreciation from the Centre.

Widening National Highways

During these four years, 1270 km of National Highways has been two-laned and 2672 km has been widened to 5.5 m, which is again a record.

Latest developments

The Trinamool Government-formed State Highway Development Corporation (SHDC) has taken up plans for building 1,000 km of highways during the current financial year (2015-16), and 3,000 km more through the public-private partnership (PPP) route.

Work has also started on the Asian Highways – Rs 600.84 crore is being spent on Asian Highway-2, linking the Nepal border to the Bangladesh border, and Rs 971.4 crore is being spent on Asian Highway-48, linking the Bangladesh border to the Bhutan border.

Besides, the work for building 88 bridges and railway overbridges is almost complete. Rest houses for travelers called Path Sathi and Sulabh toilets totalling 150 have been built. A lot of other new projects have also been taken up.

Other PWD projects

Besides roads and bridges, a lot of PWD projects in the health and education sectors have also either been completed with distinction or are to be completed soon. For example, the building housing the Linear Accelerator Facility at NRS Medical College and Hospital, Trauma Centre at SSKM, Orthopaedic Centre at RG Kar Medical College and Hospital, the sixth floor of Lumbini Park Mental Hospital, a government engineering college and a leather technology building in Salt Lake, the Women’s University in Diamond Harbour, Kazi Nazrul University, Bankura University, and others.

Therefore, it is quite apparent that within a short span of time, the Trinamool Congress Government has done a lot of work regarding the building of roads and bridges. Under the able leadership of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the State has progressed by leaps and bounds.

Bad road in Kolkata? Register your complaint to KMC via WhatsApp

Repairing your neighbourhood roads will now be a WhatsApp message away. Kolkata Municipal Corporation is coming up with a dedicated number where you can send photos of broken roads and get them repaired in 48 hours.

All you have to do is take click a photo and WhatsApp it to the soon-to-be-announced KMC number, giving the exact address and the nearest landmark. After receiving the photographs, a team from the borough will visit the spot immediately to make a preliminary study o the damage.

There are around 4,000 km of roads in Kolkata, of which 1,800 km is repaired every year by the civic authorities.

The complaints will be collected centrally , sorted and handed out to the respective borough offices. Soon, residents can WhatsApp their complaint if a streetlight is defunct or a beautified road needs maintenance.

Kolkata roads: A matter of pride for citizens

KMC made a commitment to provide the citizens of Kolkata with smoother roads. This promised has been fulfilled. Uneven roads and open craters on roads which remained unrepaired for days, now are tread upon effortlessly. There are around 4500 kilometres of roads combining the small and big ones.

During the last five years, almost all the roads in the city have been covered with mastic asphalt and black tar. This has resulted in increasing the speed of the vehicles and has reduced accidents.

There is very little scope to construct new roads in the city. In spite of that, two pilot projects have been taken up ­ – construction of Ultadanga underpass and Kolkata Road project. This has been done despite many difficulties.

Three of the centrally located and the busiest roads in Kolkata ­ the Park Circus Connector in east Kolkata, Rubi Connector and Anwar Shah Connector ­ were in a ruinous state. These roads have been handed over to Kolkata Municipal Corporation by the KMDA.

For the convenience of the citizens, roads have been made wider by narrowing the footpaths at places like Camac Street, Suhrawardy Lane, Park Circus. Roads at Joka and adjoining areas are now at par with roads of the rest of the city, thanks to the special initiatives of the Roads and Asphaltum Department of Kolkata Municipal Corporation.

For the first time in north Kolkata, ritzier milling machines have been used to renovate roads, thus providing better movement. Now, the roads of Kolkata are at par with the beautification drive of the city. They are a matter of pride to the citizens. Gone are the days of earthen roads or uneven roads. Beautiful and well built roads have resulted in even movements. Decorating dividers on major roads by planting shrubs has been an initiative to make the city green and beautiful.

infrastructure bengal

West Bengal – ‘Power’ing ahead

Infrastructure shapes the society and economy. Despite the economic constraints, West Bengal Government took measures to boost the infrastructure in the state. West Bengal which once faced severe power crisis is now a power-surplus state and load shedding is now a thing of past.

With a rise of 19.9% in total installed generation capacity in just two years, West Bengal has increased its installed capacity base from 8,316.8 MW in 2010-11 to 9,974.1 MW in 2012-13. This shows the efforts put in by the state government to keep the power surplus state ready for 100% electrification in the years to come. There have been some significant developments in every sphere of the power sector from generation to transmission.

Here are some of the achievements in the last 3 years:

  • 4000 km of roads upgraded to double lanes or intermediate lane. Construction of 16 big bridges and five flyovers on rail track has been completed.
  • WBHDCL will construct 3000 km road in PPP model.
  • The work of the bridge over the river Subarnarekha at Bhasaraghat is going in full swing. The flyover in the VIP road is also going on.
  • Special emphasis has been given to Jangalmahal area. 12 new school buildings and hostels, one PTTI, 74 hostels for girls. 4 new colleges, 3 new stadiums, sports academy, polytechnic, ITIs are being constructed.
  • The Government is creating 16,000 kms of rural road covering 3349 gram panchayats.
  • West Bengal is one the few states where arrangements have been made for 24 hour power supply. Target has been fixed to supply power to every household within the end of 2015-16.
  • New thermal power centres are being constructed in Santaldih, Durgapur, Sagardighi, Raghunathpur. The Katwa thermal power project is expected to invite investments worth Rs 10,000 crore. Transmission sub stations have been installed in Dalkhola, Kalna, Khatra, Kakdwio, Kurseong, Sankrial food park, Howrah and Kharagpur.
  • Power banks have been created, thus excess power produced is saved. Remote islands of Sunderbans are being supplied with power through grid.
  • There has been remarkable development in power transmission infrastructure. 343 MVA Transformer capacity and construction of 887 km transmission line have been made in case of H T line. During the same time, in case of L T line, enhancement of 2654 MVA transformer capacity and construction of new 251674 km have been made.
  • There has been development of hydel power projects in Jaldhaka and remarkable increase in capacity under ‘Tista Canal Fall Hydel Power Scheme’.
  • State Power Transmission Company has got the ‘Power Line; 2012 award as the best power transmission company of India. Power Finance Corporation, IKRA and CARE combinedly in a rating for 2013, have announced State Power Transmission Company as the second best transmission company in India.
  • The state has secured the third prize in Best State Power Utility Awards, WBSEB received the second prize for management excellence and the first prize was awarded to CESC.


Come to Bengal… Ride the growth:


Written by Agnivo Niyogi and Sanmit Sarkar