Darjeeling: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee emphasised on cost curtailing without compromising on the quality of government projects along with a focus on economic discipline, asking senior officials to concentrate on finishing the projects on time.
The Chief Minister arrived in North Bengal on Monday on a four-day visit and held an administrative review meeting for the Jalpaiguri district at Uttarkanya near Siliguri.
"Costs need to be curtailed without compromising on quality. Public money has to be utilised properly. Think of public money as your own money," was her advice.
The Chief Minister insisted that projects have to be completed in time and project costs should not be increased midway.
"There is a malpractice of low quotations in order to get through tenders and when the project is midway there are requests to increase the amount. This practice cannot be allowed," stated Banerjee.
She further added: "We had money in the PL Account along with unspent departmental money amounting to Rs 18,000 crore with which we undertook various projects including drinking water projects in Purulia, Bankura and Jalpaiguri."
Training guns at the Union government, she said the Centre has been constantly curtailing funds. "Delhi hardly gives anything to Bengal. They collect cess, customs duty and income tax from the state but give back only a meagre percentage."
She maintained that despite these problems, development activities were being undertaken throughout the state including North Bengal.
"In the name of agitations, development activities had come to a halt. Peace and unity will ensure development," stated Banerjee.
She added that Naxalbari, Sevok, Phansidewa and Sukna will be soon incorporated in the Siliguri Police Commiserate.
Jalpaiguri has witnessed several development projects including the Biswa Bangla Sports Complex. "The long-standing demand of the people of North Bengal is all set to be fulfilled. On August 17, a Calcutta High Court Circuit Bench will be inaugurated in Jalpaiguri. I, too, will be present at the inauguration ceremony," she stated.
The Chief Minister also inquired about the progress of the mega tourism projects at Gajoldoba in Jalpaiguri. Goutam Deb, the state Tourism minister apprised her that the government's part of the project has already been completed while three private players including Sterling Group, Mumbai, have been going slow.
"If they cannot finish on time, serve them notices, cancel the tenders and offer the jobs to others who can take it up efficiently," Banerjee added.