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Bratya meets officials, takes stock of ongoing works after taking over as Forest minister

Kolkata: Newly appointed state Forest minister Bratya Basu had his first interaction with senior officials of his department on Thursday. Minister of state Forest Sujit Bose was also present in the meeting held at the head office of the Forest department at Aranya Bhavan in Salt Lake.

Basu took stock of the ongoing work of the department and also learnt about the plans of senior officials for smooth functioning of the department.

"This is one of my favourite departments. I have had a deep love for forest and wildlife since my early days. Whenever I went to any part of North or South Bengal for ministerial work I used to put up at the lodge of the Forest department. As I have a keen interest in this department I feel that I will be able to run it smoothly as per instructions of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee," Basu said.

Senior officials of various wings under the department like West Bengal Forest Development Corporation, Wildlife Wing and Research Wing were also present in the meeting.

Basu, who has been holding the charge of Science, Technology and Biotechnology department, was given additional charge of the Forest department in a rejig of the state Cabinet on Tuesday.

Sujit Bose, who has been holding Independent Charge of the Fire & Emergency Services department, was appointed as MoS, Forest. Binay Krishna Barman, MLA from Mathabhanga in Cooch Behar, was removed from the Forest minister's portfolio.

This is for the first time in eight years of the Mamata Banerjee government when the Forest department has seen an MoS in addition to a cabinet minister, which is clear indication that Banerjee wants to lay special emphasis on this department.

During the Left Front regime, the cabinet of Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee in 2006 had a cabinet minister in the form of Ananta Roy Barman and an MoS in Bilasibala Sahis.

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