Millennium Post

Chief Minister to declare Hooghly as ODF district today

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will declare Hooghly as an Open Defecation Free district at the administrative meeting on Thursday.

North 24 parganas will be declared as ODF district on Thursday. Nadia is the country’s first ODF district. The state Panchayat and Rural Development department have taken steps to make all the districts in Bengal ODF by March, 2019.

Banerjee will hold an administrative meeting at Singur on Thursday where the chief secretary Basudeb Bandopadhyay , additional chief secretaries and other senior officials will be present.

Earlier, Banerjee had addressed a mammoth rally at Singur on September 13 and gave away cheques to the unwilling farmers and deed of land to the farmers. After coming to power in 2011, she had announced that land in Singur would be returned to the farmers. 

The Supreme Court had instructed to return the land to the farmers within 12 weeks but the way work is going on and they would returned before the stipulated time. The Supreme Court’s judgment came before she was going Italy and Germany. She instructed her ministers of the cabinet rank to go to Singur and oversee the programme to clean the land and make it cultivable.

The work was carried on a war footing. The state government has decided to make the land cultivable. Accordingly, every step has been taken. The farmers will be given financial assistance and seed so that they can start farming. Experts have been consulted and the quality of the soil has been examined. Along with paddy, the farmers will grow vegetables. Singur was called the vegetable bowl of Bengal. 

But after the Left Front government decided to hand over the lands to Tata Motors, first, the supply of water to the canals was cut off. When the farmers went to see the district magistrate he pleaded innocence. The state government is now making every arrangement to provide water to the field. There has been a counselling programme where the farmers were told to cultivate their land along with their financial viability.

Thursday’s meeting is significant as the CM is likely to announce development projects for Hooghly district with special emphasis on Singur.
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