Project Sabujayan becoming popular across Bengal

Sabujayan, or promoting greenery, one of the favourite projects of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, which proposes planting of vetiver grass to prevent soil erosion, is becoming popular throughout the state. It is run by the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Department.

The scheme started in the district of Nadia a few years back, when the grass was planted along the embankments of six rivers. Till now, of the 743 km of embankments, vetiver has been planted in areas covering around 300 km. The grass is produced in over 70 nurseries.

Seeing the success in Nadia, the districts of Purba Medinipur and Howrah have also followed suit and have found success.

The grass is also used for making the bags used in holding the saplings given to mothers of newborns as part of the sabujshree scheme.

As vetiver is also an aromatic grass, the MSME Department is trying to make the aroma industry popular through its cultivation, and of other aromatic grasses like citronella and lemongrass, in South 24 Parganas (Baruipur), Jhargram, Bankura and Purulia districts. The department is installing aroma extraction units in these areas.

Source: Millennium Post

Bengal taking steps to improve the quality of mid-day meals for school students

The West Bengal Government is taking steps to improve the quality of Mid-Day Meal (MDM) provided to the school students.

Replying to a debate in support of the budgetary grant for his department, state’s School Education Minister Dr Partha Chatterjee said the Government was taking steps to check the quality of rice used by engaging officials of the food and supplies department.

Once the food was cooked, it would be tasted and checked by the cook and a teacher after which it will be offered to the students, he said, adding the chefs will also be trained in cooking and hygiene.

Dr Chatterjee said his department was setting up 969 dining halls at a cost of Rs 29 crore for students across the state. The utensils in which the food was served and cooked will also be changed for which a proposal has been sent to the Finance ministry for approval of funds.

Incidentally, in 2014, West Bengal secured 3rd rank among the states in implementing the midday meal scheme in schools across the state.

97% of the students enrolled in various schools in West Bengal are the beneficiaries of the scheme, a Central government report revealed, which comes to a whooping 1,22,98,419 students in all. According to a similar survey done in 2010-11, West Bengal was at the 12th position.

State Government employees now brought under e-payment

The West Bengal Government has brought all payments to its employees under e-payment.

Earlier only salary used to be transferred through e-payment whereas all other adhoc payments like tour allowance, medical bill, and various types of loans used to be done by cheques.

Now, the State Finance Department has issued instruction to all its departments to update their data bank with employees’ bank details and from April onward all payment related to employee benefits will be done through e-payment.

Benefits derived from the scheme:

  • It will reduce the risk of bringing the cash from the bank and hazards of handling the cash such as cash shortage
  • It will reduce the cost of security arrangement
  • It will reduce the loss of man-hour for disbursing and receiving salary on pay-day

To align with the system it is requested that data be collected and updated within 31 March 2015 for a hassle free performance of the new system for the convenience of all employees.