CM to inaugurate Panchayat meet

CM to inaugurate Panchayat meet
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will inaugurate a day-long conference of the Panchayat and Rural Development department on February 3.

The conference will be held at the Netaji Indoor stadium.

Subrata Mukherjee, state minister for Panchayat and Rural Development department said the panchayats that had performed well would be rewarded and the Chief Minister would give her take on rural development which would be implemented by the department.

The meeting is very important as Panchayat election would be held in 2018. After Banerjee came to power in 2011, major changes had taken place in rural areas.

The Centre has reduced its share in many of the projects and it has been difficult to carry on with them. In construction of rural roads, the Centre has reduced its share and it is now the responsibility of the state government to maintain them. Demonetisation has hit rural development very badly and in Banerjee has said over and again how it had affected 100-days work. With this backdrop, the conference holds a very significant meaning.

The erstwhile Left Front Government took a decade to construct 9,000km rural roads between 2001 and 2011. Between 2011 and 2015 Banerjee's government has constructed 11,461 km rural roads.

In 2016-17 another 3,500 km roads will be built before March 31. Of this, 1,500 km road has been constructed and the remaining portion is in the final stage. The construction of roads involves five stages.

It may be recalled that after coming to power in 2011, Banerjee had given special emphasis on road and supply of drinking water in the rural areas. The public Health Engineering department has chalked out a major programme and by 2020, every rural household will get piped water.

Water is being lifted from rivers and then purified and supplied to village homes. So far, 53 per cent rural homes have been brought under piped water coverage.

This will go up to 78 per cent in 2018. Steps have also been taken to supply piped water in the Arsenic and Fluoride affected districts.

The Panchayat and Rural Development department has taken up Nirmal Bangla Mission and by 2019 March, every rural household in Bengal will have toilets.

Nadia is the country's first district which was declared as an Open Defecation Free district.

After that, North 24 Parganas, Hooghly and East Midnapore have been declared as ODF districts. Burdwan and South 24 Parganas would be declared ODF districts soon.

South 24 Parganas will have over 7.52 lakh toilets under Nirmal Bangla Mission, which will be the country's first district to have the highest number of toilets.

PB Salim, District Magistrate, South 24 Parganas had said that as per the baseline survey 5.57 lakh households in the district did not have toilets.

In addition to this, toilets have been constructed for the houses which were not reflected in the baseline survey along with construction of 88,000 toilets in seven municipalities and urban areas.

Of these over 7 lakh toilets have been constructed so far and the district will be declared ODF latest by March this year.

In the past six years, Self Help Groups particularly those run by women have done excellent jobs in making bricks from fly ash.

The lepers in Bankura have been brought to the mainstream of life by giving training to help them grow vegetables.
Tarun Goswami

Tarun Goswami

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