22.5 lakh cycles distributed under Sabuj Sathi scheme
The figure is highest in the country with Tamil Nadu in second place having distributed 6.5 lakh cycles in one year.
The steps have been taken in such a way that 25 lakh cycles will be distributed by end February.
The state Finance minister Amit Mitra had announced in his budget speech that the state government would distribute 40 lakh cycles among the students of classes IX,X,XI and XII of state run, aided and sponsored schools. It was decided that 25 lakh cycles will be distributed in 2015-16 and the remaining 15 lakh will be distributed in 2016-17. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 800 crore of which Rs 500 crore has been paid to the manufacturers so far.
The project has been named Sabuj Sathi by the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and she has designed the logo. She is monitoring the whole exercise on a regular basis. The backward classes Welfare and Tribal Development department is looking after the project while West Bengal SC and ST Development and Finance Corporation is the implementing agency.
The way plans were made to prepare a foolproof method to distribute the cycle is more thrilling than any reel life story. It is not only transparent but has been done meticulously in order to ensure that the beneficiaries get the best product.
There are 8235 such schools in the state. The roll has been prepared in such a way that the department now has the names of the beneficiaries along with the names of the schools, the class they are in and names of their fathers with the postal address.
Also, the department has the date when the cycles were delivered to them. Each cycle has a frame number which one may say is equivalent to the chassis number in vehicles and by deciphering this one will be able to tell when the cycle was handed over, under which project it was given and the makers of the cycle.
The tender process began in June last year and finally three companies were selected like Hero, Avon and Hercules.
The firms were selected through e tender and this demolishes the claim of the opposition that the cycles were bought from local market and they are of poor quality.
The actual distribution of cycles under Sabuj Sathi project began in November- December last year.
Around 4500 fitters from all over the country were brought in to assemble the cycles. Over 3000 trucks containing the cycle parts came from factories of the manufacturers from Tamil Nadu, Nasik and other parts.
They were sent to the districts where the fitters assembled them. The District Magistrates did an excellent job to ensure that each student receives the cycles.