Transport dept bags Skoch award for Gatidhara scheme
Kolkata: The state Transport department has bagged the Skoch award for its Gatidhara project, that has provided a means of livelihood to thousands of unemployed youths in Bengal. Gatidhara is one of the dream projects of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, under which the state government gives a financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh to each of the beneficiaries, to buy a commercial vehicle.
Suvendu Adhikari, the state Transport minister, said: "One can witness such a project only in Bengal. There is no such project in any other state of the country. Our officials have received the award on Thursday."
In the 2017-18 fiscal, the state Transport department has set a record by achieving more than 100 percent implementation of the Gatidhara scheme. The target was to bring 10,000 unemployed youths under the Gatidhara scheme in the 2017-18 fiscal. But a total of 10,553 unemployed youths have received the benefit.
In the 2015-16 fiscal, the state Transport department had brought 5,200 unemployed youths under the scheme and in 2016-17, it was 8,500. In the past three financial years, the state Transport department has brought as many as 24,253 unemployed youths under the scheme. In the current fiscal, more than 700 people have received the sanction letters of the scheme so far.
The department has also taken several steps to ensure safe water transport. Adhikari, along with Additional Chief Secretary of the Transport department Alapan Bandyopadhyay and other senior officials of the department visited MV Shikhashree, which has been introduced recently to ensure safe journey of people across river Hooghly.
The three-tier vessel has the capacity to carry 400 passengers. There is accommodation for 250 passengers in the lower deck, while in the middle and upper decks, as many as 125 and 25 people can be accommodated. Adhikari said that more such updated and modern vessels will be introduced by August this year.