While speaking at the rally in Purulia, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made a slew of announcements. Among the announcements were one for setting up a granite hub in Purulia.
She said no land of the tribals would be forcibly acquired and the hub would be set up following all environmental norms. "No land of the tribals would be forcibly taken over and all the environmental norms will be followed. I request you to think of the matter. There are skilled stone-cutters in Purulia and many of them are going to distant places like Cooch Behar for work. It is good if the hub comes up in Purulia so that the workers can stay near their homes and get jobs," she said.
Banerjee on Thursday laid the foundation stone of a medical college and hospital in Purulia. The medical college with a capacity of 100 beds will have state-of-the-art administrative buildings, hostels for boys and girls, quarters for the doctors and nursing staff. She also inaugurated a 20-bed special neo natal care unit (SNCU) at the Raghunathpur sub-divisional hospital.
"Once completed, the medical college and hospital will help the local people. Purulia district already has super-specialty hospitals and people will not have to go to Kolkata for treatment," she said.
"Treatment for kidney ailments to heart surgery is free in government hospitals. Meanwhile, the child mortality rate has gone down considerably over the past five years," she said.
Banerjee also opened two new sub-divisions on Thursday — Jhalda and Manbazar. The Chief Minister on Thursday announced the formation of the Mahato Kurmi Development Board and Mahato Kurmi Cultural Academy with its headquarters in Purulia. There are 20 lakh Kurmis who live in Purulia, Bankura, West Midnapore and Malda. The development board would help the community to pursue its own culture and tradition, she said.
Criticising the Maoists who had been telling people that laying of electrical line would affect pregnant women, Banerjee said: "This is all bogus.
They had killed hundreds of people and had unleashed a reign of terror in Purulia and Jangalmahal. If new electrical lines are not laid then development will be stalled," urged Mamata and asked the people to not get swayed away by rumours.
Banerjee said elaborate measures had been taken to provide filtered water to the draught-prone district. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will provide Rs 1,200 crore to supply filtered water in the rural areas. To provide drinking water in some pockets where there was scarcity during summer, Purulia and Raghunathpur municipalities would be given additional funds. "Please bear with us and within a year-and-a-half you will get drinking water throughout the district," she said.
Referring to Purulia's tremendous potential, the Chief Minister said comprehensive plans had been taken to develop tourism in the Ayodhya Hills and its surroundings and other tourist spots. She maintained that the growth in tourism would help local youth to get jobs. She also said that the district is coming up as an educational hub very fast.
She added that the state government would give all support to those intending to set up poultries and the same for ducks. She also said that the state government would give them chicks free of cost with a view to reach the target of producing 80 lakh eggs in the years to come.