The state Panchayat and Rural development department will give prize worth Rs 10 lakh to the best district in maintaining cleanliness, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced on Thursday.
She declared Hooghly and North 24 Parganas Open Defecation Free (ODF) district on Thursday. The state government initiated Nirmal Bangla Mission ahead of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcement of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan on October 2, 2014. Nadia became the country’s first ODF district. Burdwan and South 24 Parganas will become ODF by March next year.
Banerjee said the state government would renovate the crematoriums as a part of Nirmal Bangla Mission. A sum of Rs 2,000 is already given to those who fail to cremate the bodies of their near and dear ones. “In many areas, people leave behind half burnt bodies of their relatives. Under Nirmal Bangla Mission, the crematoriums will be renovated.”
Earlier, the Chief Minister held an administrative review meeting. This was attended by the senior officials like the chief secretary Basudeb Banerjee, additional chief secretaries and officials of Hooghly district. The status of the ongoing projects was discussed and the district administration was asked to complete them in time. The meeting was scheduled for September 13 when Banerjee attended a rally in Singur. But later she changed the date. She also gave away bicycles to students under the Sabuj Sathi scheme.
She said that all students of state-run, sponsored and aided schools would get bicycles when they were promoted to Class IX under Sabuj Sathi project. The state government has already distributed 25 lakh cycles and another 15 lakh would be distributed by the end of the year.
Hitting out at the Opposition she said: “They had said that giving cycles was an election stunt. But there is no election now and we are true to our commitment of giving bicycles.” She hoped that the students from Bengal would become world famous. Through various projects like Shikshashree, Kanyashree and Sabujshree the state government was giving assistance to the young so that they can pursue their studies.
Before the festive season Banerjee urged people to maintain peace and communal harmony. “Sri Ramakrishna was born in the district and his message of communal harmony needs to be preached. Hooghly has a rich heritage and houses both Tarakeshwar temple, a pilgrimage of the Hindus and Guitiyari Sharif, a Holy place for the Muslims. We will always hold communal harmony in high esteem.”
Banerjee inaugurated a flyover connecting Chandannagar and Durgapur Expressway. Two parks were also inaugurated. She urged the administration to work sincerely. “If you want to work then there are lots of chances. Avail them and make your district a beautiful place,” she told the officials.