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Centre still silent on tea garden issue: Mamata

Jalpaiguri: Without naming the BJP, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday made a scathing attack on the Centre for not taking up the issue of the tea gardens.
She was speaking at the administrative review meeting of three districts — Alipurduar, Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri — at Uttarkanya on Wednesday afternoon.
Two state ministers, Subrata Mukherjee (Panchayat and Rural Development) and Aroop Biswas (PWD and Youth Services and Sports) along with Chief Secretary Malay De and two additional Chief Secretaries Sanjeev Chopra and Saurav Das along with a host of principal secretaries were present at the meeting.
Surajit Kar Purkayastha, Director General of Police and senior officials of these three districts and MLAs, Sabhadhipatis and Panchayat pradhans also attended the meeting.
"What have they done to the tea gardens? Central ministers had assured before the election that seven tea gardens would be taken over. They won the polls but did not keep their word. We always keep our promises. We spent Rs 40,000 crore to repay loans. But despite financial constraint, we have taken up so many projects and successfully implemented them," she said. Banerjee asked the officials to take measures to end drinking water scarcity at the tea gardens. "We have always stood beside the tea garden workers and will continue to do so in future," she maintained.
Banerjee expressed her displeasure over the performance of 10 days work in Cooch Behar district. "The government is giving everything and so work will have to be carried out properly and projects will have to be completed on time." Banerjee urged the officials to complete construction of rural roads within the stipulated time.
She pulled up the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) of Jalpaiguri who had show-caused 20 officials of the district. "If they have been issued show-causes for not doing work properly then what is the parameter of proper work, she asked adding how an administration could function like this."
The Chief Minister instructed the administration of the three districts to implement Safe Drive Save Life project. "There are some stretches on the highways that are accident prone and Safe Drive Safe Life should be implemented to reduce the number of road accidents on highways. The highways are very risky at night during winter because of fog and the administration should always be extra careful," she pointed out.
Banerjee told her party leaders who had attended the meeting to go to the people and build contacts as elections are coming. "Go to the people and listen to their grievances and try to address them. Work hard as elections are coming," she said. It may be mentioned that the Panchayat election is scheduled to be held in 2018 followed by Lok Sabha polls in 2019.
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