The West Bengal government will set up an industrial growth centre on an 88-acre plot in Malda district, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced here on Thursday.
The centre will be completed by August and also have a mega corporate cluster soon, the Chief Minister said while addressing a gathering at DSA stadium in district headquarters Englishbazar.
Banerjee said she held meetings with the representatives of various chambers of commerce and assured them of cooperation. "I have asked them to prepare concrete schemes for the development of Malda and the state government will clear them if they are found to be viable," she added.
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo said mangoes from Malda would be exported to European countries, Saudi Arabia and Nepal, urging the mango growers to "work seriously and produce more mangoes, the state government will give you all assistance".
The Chief Minister said TMC did not have any MLA in Malda but that did not prevent the state government from taking up schemes to develop the district.
Two ministers in Banerjee's cabinet Krishnendu Narayan Chowdhury and Sabitri Mitra between 2011 and 2016 lost the Assembly polls. "We were pained as we do not have any MLA in Malda but that did not stop us from carrying out development work. Enormous development has taken place and more will take place in future."
The Chief Minister stated that connectivity to Malda would improve once the construction of the airport is completed. Of the 250 ferry ghats which will be developed in the state, 11 will be in Malda. "Once the communication improves, it will emerge as a business hub," she added.
Banerjee on Thursday inaugurated the Manickchowk College in Englishbazar and a Mother and Child hub at Malda Medical College. She said many patients from neighbouring states like Bihar and Jharkhand and neighbouring countries like Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh visit West Bengal regularly for treatment. The district has now 18 Sick Neonatal Care Units ( SNCU).
"We provide free treatment to the patients in state-run healthcare establishments which do not happen anywhere else in the country. We have financial constraints but still, we provide free treatment, including surgical interventions, performed free of cost. Fair price medical shops have been set up to help the people to get medicines at a minimal price."
The TMC leader came down heavily on the Congress and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), saying the latter had ruled the state for over three decades and did not carry out any development. "Had they (CPI-M) carried out development then we would not have to do so much work in the past six years. From the construction of roads to providing facilities to the students, farmers and working class," she said.
Banerjee on Thursday also issued scholarships under the Kanyasree Yubasree and Swami Vivekananda schemes, and also distributed cycles under the Sabuj Sathi project to students. "We give support to the students with a strong belief that they will reign in foreign universities someday."