CM to give away 1L cycles in West Midnapore, Bankura
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will distribute 1 lakh bicycles among the students of Classes IX of state-run, aided and sponsored schools in West Midnapore and Bankura before Kali Puja and Diwali under Sabuj Sathi project.
It may be mentioned that Bengal is the country’s first state to distribute 40 lakh bicycles among the students from Classes IX to XII in state-run, sponsored and aided schools.
She will distribute 43,000 bicycles in West Midnapore on October 26 which will be followed by a programme in Bankura where she will give 57,000 bicycles on October 28.
Sabuj Sathi, one of the popular projects taken by the Chief Minister has evoked tremendous response among the students’ fraternity throughout the state. The state government decided to distribute 40 lakh bicycles among the students of Classes IX, X, XI and XII of the state-run, aided and sponsored school in 2015-16 financial year. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 800 crore. Mamata Banerjee not only named the project but also sketched the logo which every bicycle carries.
Twenty five lakh bicycles have been distributed among the students of Classes X, XI and XII and the remaining 15 lakh cycles could not be given due to the model code of conduct which came into force before the Assembly election.
After the new government was sworn in, the Chief Minister instructed Sanjay Thade, Principal Secretary Backward Classes Welfare Department to take initiatives to distribute the remaining 15 lakh cycles among the students of Class IX. Accordingly, a tender was floated and three firms were selected following which she started distributing cycles among the students. Banerjee has requested cycle manufacturers to open a factory in Bengal where there would be constant need for bicycles for the students.
The BCW department is providing training to 3,000 youth belonging to the SC and ST category to maintain the cycles that have been distributed. This will help them to become economically healthier as they can open cycle repairing shops to earn money.
The new cycles are fitted with 10 reflectors and this has been given, keeping in mind a judgment of the Supreme Court on road safety and “Safe Drive Save Life” slogan of the state government. The logo has been embossed on the mudguard so that they cannot be removed without causing damage to the cycle.
The BCW has names of all the beneficiaries along with the names of their fathers and guardians, schools, the date of delivery of the cycles and the class they are studying in. This is a classic example of e-governance.
It may be recalled that the Opposition parties had criticised the state government for distributing poor quality cycles. Brushing aside their criticism, the state government went ahead with the project making it one of the most successful ones.