State Coordination Committee's march to Nabanna leads to traffic disruption
The Nabanna march of the State Coordination Committee led to massive traffic congestion in both the central business district and major thoroughfares in Howrah on Tuesday.
Members of the Coordination Committee started marching towards Nabanna from near Howrah Station when police stopped them midway.
Another group of supporters marched towards the state Assembly where a six-member delegation met Parliamentary Affairs minister Partha Chatterjee and handed him their memorandum. A large contingent of police was posted at all the intersections on the thoroughfares near Nabanna. There was elaborate security arrangement in the city as well. The supporters jostled with the police when they were stopped from marching ahead towards the state Secretariat. Traffic movement came to a standstill on Howrah Bridge and vehicles were diverted through Vidyasagar Setu. After meeting the delegation, Chatterjee said: "The state Coordination Committee had written to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stating they wanted to meet her. The Chief Minister had directed me to meet the delegation as she was not in city. I have accepted the memorandum. They said that their organisation is an all India one and they have given such memorandums with 10 point demands to all the state governments. In our state they have added three more demands." He said: "First of all, they demanded the pending Dearness Allowance (DA). Their demands also include communal harmony and right to call strike in the state. I made them understand that the Chief Minister and the state Finance Minister are going through the matters related to DA. But at the same time, one has to understand that there is a huge debt left by the erstwhile Left Front government." He further added: "They said that you all highlight the small expenditure that the state government takes up for different programmes and so why cannot the DA be increased? I have calculated and shown them that we have to take responsibility of around Rs 16,000 crore yearly to clear the DA. It is not possible at present." The CM had taken several steps and the employees now get salaries on time.