Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee directed the administration to take strict action if they receive any genuine complaint of atrocities on traders for donation during the festive season.
Banerjee held a high level meeting in Nabanna on Tuesday. Agriculture minister Purnendu Basu, Agriculture marketing minister Tapan Dasgupta, Chief Secretary Basudeb Banerjee, DG Surajit Kar Purakayastha, Commissioner of Kolkata Police Rajeev Kumar and representatives of trade bodies from different markets were present in the meeting.
In the evening, Banerjee inaugurated many Durga Mandaps including Suruchi Sangha in south Kolkata and went to an old age home Nabanir to spend some time with elderly women there.
Sources said that Banerjee asked the police to take immediate and necessary measures if any trader alleges that he was being pressurised to give donation against his or her will. She directed the police to release advertisement in this connection in order to make people aware about the consequences of demanding money forcefully.
It may be recalled that Chief Minister had directed all the police commissionerates and big Puja committees to extend financial support to small budget Pujas. Sources said that the initiative was taken to avoid incidents like atrocities on businessmen for donation to organise a Puja.
Soon after getting the direction of the Chief Minister, the top brass of both the Bengal Police and Kolkata Police passed the message till the last level of the rank and file to be strict in this regard and to keep watch whether anyone is putting pressure on truck drivers for donation by stopping the vehicles on thoroughfares. It leads to harassment of both drivers and vehicle owners. At the same time commuters are also harassed as it leads to traffic congestion. Direction has been given to take immediate action if anyone is threatening people for donation.
Sources said that she also discussed the security aspects of the city during Durga Puja. She directed to intensify vigil action and take necessary steps so that no untoward incident could take place during the festival.
Chief Minister has also directed the task force to take necessary steps to check price of all essential commodities as it is at present. She directed the ministers and officials to keep a watch so that price of fruits, vegetables and flowers cannot be increased all of sudden just ahead of the Puja.
At present potato is sold from the stalls of Sufal Bangla at Rs 14 per kg while the selling price of the staple food in open market is around Rs 18 to Rs 19. So she asked to increase the supply of potatoes in outlets of Sufal Bangla so that more people could get benefitted.
She also urged the representatives from different markets to extend their support so that the state government could maintain the price of essential goods during the Puja.