On May 27, 2016, after a historic mandate by the people of Bengal, Mamata Banerjee took oath as the Chief Minister of the State for the second term.
Here are a few of the achievements of the Trinamool Government in the first year of the second term:
Administration and Finance and e-Governance
The West Bengal Assembly August 29 passed a resolution to change the name of the State to Bangla in Bengali, Bangal in Hindi and Bengal in English.
On August 31, 2016, the Supreme Court of India set aside the land acquisition by West Bengal Government in 2006 to facilitate Tata Motors to set up its Nano plant. On Nomber 8, physical possession of 846 acres of land were given to farmers as par the Supreme court order,
For better administration, the Government created the Kalimpong district. Later Bardhaman has been divided to form Paschim and Purba Bardhaman and Jhargram district has been carved out of Paschim Medinipur. Mirik has been created as a separate subdivision in Darjeeling district
The Department of Information Technology & Electronics, Govt. of Bengal has launched Digital Bangla Outreach Campaign. The objective of this campaign is to create awareness about Digital Bangla program, Core Infrastructure, various e-services of Govt. of West Bengal and their major initiatives through a Van based mobile display or exhibition unit with Audio Visual, IEC materials which will travel across the entire State of West Bengal.
The State Urban Development Department has set up Bakreswar Development Authority (BKDA) for comprehensive development of the area. The jurisdiction of the authority covers 42 moujas, spread over 58 square kilometres across Dubrajpur block (and including Dubrajpur municipality) in Birbhum district.
To successfully confront cyber threats, the Government has decided to set up a centre of excellence in cyber security. The State Cabinet has already given its approval.
In terms of small savings, after four years, the State of West Bengal has left Uttar Pradesh behind to become number one in the country. As per the latest data from the Ministry of Finance, after remaining second behind Uttar Pradesh for four consecutive financial years from 2011-12, in 2015-16, West Bengal toppled Uttar Pradesh to occupy the top position, with the total small savings amounting to Rs 8,362.78 crore. This amount is almost Rs 2,500 crore more than that of the second-placed Uttar Pradesh.
The West Bengal Government is deciding to set up a Start-Up Incubation Centre to support the educated youth to start its own businesses. Powered by the State Information & Technology Department and WEBEL, the centre will come up a WEBEL premises in Saltlake Sector V.
In a new initiative aimed to bring more industrial investment in West Bengal, an Industrial Investment Promotion Board (IIPB), which will be an umbrella organization of all industry-related corporations and other bodies of the state Government, has been formed.
The West Bengal Information Technology (IT) Department is constructing Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC) in Falta and Naihati, at a cost of Rs 12,000 crore. These would lead to the generation of around 37,000 jobs, and also give a boost to the electronics sector of the State.
The Bengal Government decided upon setting up three more ‘police districts’ after Jhargram. All the new police districts will be set up in South 24 Parganas, in Kakdwip, Diamond Harbour and Baruipur.
Health and Women and Child
On March 3, the Bengal Government ushered in sweeping reforms in healthcare system in the State with the new West Bengal Clinical Establishments (Registration, Regulation and Transparency) Bill, 2017. The bill aims to regulate the private hospitals and bring in transparency in the manner in which they operate. Later, an 11-member West Bengal Health Regulatory Commission that will arbitrate complaints of medical negligence filed under The West Bengal Clinical Establishment (Registration, Regulation and Transparency) Act, was set up.
The Bengal Government on October announced setting up of five new medical colleges and seven nursing institutes. At present, Bengal has 16 medical colleges, including 12 Government-run, three private-run and one central-run institute. With this additional five medical colleges the number will reach 21 and thus fulfilling the MCI criterion.
To provide the better health care facilities in the remote villages of the State, the Government has set up a waiting hut for pregnant women.
The country’s first state government-owned stem cell preservation centre started its formal functioning at the School of Tropical Medicine in Kolkata.
Industry and MSME
Speaking at the Plenary Session of the Day 2 of Bengal Global Business Summit, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that the Summit has received an investment proposal to the tune of Rs 2 lakh 35,200 crore (US$ 36 billion).
Tantuja, a West Bengal Government undertaking that sells handloom and handicraft products, has won a national award from the Central Government. The award of Rs 1.5 lakh was given in Varanasi on the occasion of National Handloom Day on August 7, 2016.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee left for an eight-day tour of Italy and Germany on September 2. This was her first foreign trip after coming to power for the second time. She stayed in Italy from September 2 to 5 and attended the canonisation ceremony of Mother Teresa at Vatican City. From Italy, she flew to Munich to meet some German industrialists leading major manufacturing businesses. The Chief Minister was being accompanied by a 12-member of official delegation and 29 industrialists.
The state government allocated a fund of Rs 300 crore to provide financial assistance to those who have lost their jobs due to demonetisation in other states and have come back home. The scheme to provide financial assistance has been named “Samarthan”.
Agriculture and Irrigation
West Bengal was selected for the All India Coordinated Rice Improvement Project Award 2015. This was the first time when the state would be received the award.
In a unique step to help people buy fresh vegetables without visiting the market, the state Agricultural Marketing department has introduced home delivery of green vegetables through its Sufal Bangla project.
In a bid to spread awareness among farmers in every district about the various welfare schemes and projects taken up by the state government, the Agriculture department has come up with the unique idea of introducing mobile vans in the districts to carry out a campaign in the rural areas. Experts travelling in a mobile van will impart knowledge and special training to the farmers to help increase their production.
An integrated board for Calcutta State Transport Corporation (CSTC), Calcutta Tramways Company (CTC) and West Bengal Surface Transport Corporation (WBSTC) has been constituted to ensure better transport facility to commuters by reducing the loss incurred by the corporations.
‘Safe Drive, Save Life’ initiative was launched on August 17. The programme was observed in all 341 blocks, 117 municipalities, 6 municipal corporations, 144 wards of Kolkata Municipal Corporation, 19 district headquarters and GTA area to enhance awareness about traffic rules.
Bengal Government launched ‘e-Vahan’ service for online payment of taxes and registration of vehicles for the Kolkata Metropolitan Area (KMA) on February.
Pathadisha’ – an app was launched through which one can track bus from home and plan the journey accordingly.
Bengal government has introduced the Jaladhara scheme to provide financial assistance to convert semi-mechanised boats to mechanised ones to avert accidents. At the same time, standard operational procedure (SOP) would be followed to improve the safety of jetties across the state.
Panchayat and Rural Development, Labour and SHGs
The state government has introduced Muktidhara, a project to make rural unemployed youth self-reliant. The pilot project has earned remarkable success. Under the scheme every gram panchayat will have five groups each having 10 members. They will get bank loan at the rate of 2% while the state government will provide another 9 per cent. The scheme will provide support to the Self Help Groups by creating infrastructure.
Credit linkage of Women Self-Help Groups (SHG) with banks in West Bengal has been doubled in the 2015-16.
The daily wage of workers engaged in 100-days work under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme has been increased to Rs 180 from Rs 176.
The Bengal Government introduced Social Security Yojana by converging five separate beneficiary schemes for workers in the unorganised sectors and for self-employed people. Around 5 crore people will benefit from the Yojana, with around 1 crore getting direct benefits.
Education, Women and Child development
The number of girls registered under Kanyashree has crossed 40 lakhs. In a bid to help girl students obtain benefits under the Kanyashree scheme within the shortest possible time after submitting their application, the state government introduced internet-based platforms on the third Kanyashree Divas on August 16.
Sukanyashree, a project to make girls economically independent has been launched in the state under the guidance of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The pilot project has been launched in Nadia district and the model will be replicated in other districts in course of time.
Power, Tourism and Forestry
Sabujshree: West Bengal has created another milestone by introducing a scheme in which a sapling will be named after a new born girl child. The State Government has decided to plant a sapling with the birth of every girl child in the State. The Forest department has already talked to the chief medical officers of health in the districts for the smooth implementation of the project. Saplings would be given to the family of a new born girl child during their release from the hospitals. The baby’s parents would be urged to name the sapling on the name of the newly born girl. Initially, the saplings would be distributed to girl child but later they would also be given to the mothers of a boy child as well.
The West Bengal government has set 2017-18 as the deadline to install grid-connected rooftop solar photo-voltaic system at all public buildings. The project has been christened as `Aaloshree’.
India’s first 10 MW Canal Bank Solar PV Plant was inaugurated at Chopra, North Dinajpur. The project, which has been successfully implemented by WBSEDCL, incurred a cost of Rs 65.88 lakh.
To boost the presence of Bengal on the traveler’s itinerary, the tourism department of the state has launched a mobile app based on the theme of ‘Experience Bengal’. Alongside information on places of tourist interest, the app would be loaded with other facilities like maps and directions.
The ‘tiger safari’ at Bengal Safari Park at Sukna was launched on January 22 by the CM.