Purulia no longer drought- prone: CM releases booklet chronicling its journey

Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has released a unique booklet titled In pursuit of a dream – towards water secure Purulia, on Tuesday.

The 43 page booklet contains reports of the study that has been commissioned by Alokesh Prasad Roy, District Magistrate, Purulia and district programme coordinator, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and edited by Dibyendu Sarkar, commissioner, MGNREGA.

Purulia, a drought-prone area, was considered till recently to be a backward district. After coming to power in 2011, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took several steps to carry out comprehensive development of the area. Schemes had been taken up by the Panchayat and Rural Development department, under MGNREGA.

In 2018, Purulia looks different because of Usharmukti, a series of projects taken up to rejuvenate the rivers that had dried up and turn barren lands into green ones. The booklet contains real life stories of villages.

As per a 2011 census, the total population of the district was 29,30,115, out of which 87.26 percent people reside in rural areas, while 12.74 percent are in urban areas. It may be mentioned that while addressing the administrative review meeting held in Purulia on Tuesday, the Chief Minister had urged the district administration to concentrate on mushroom and cashew cultivation, as both have a good future.

Agradih and Chitra are two individual villages in Agradih Chitra Gram Panchayat under Kashipur block. The population of the two villages is around 3,000. A total of five orchards have been created in the villages, covering over nine hectares.

MGNREGA is at the core of all the activities. The district administration has left no stones unturned to give convergence support to the projects. SC, ST and OBC Development and Finance Corporation has provided funds to bring 1,400 high quality pomegranate saplings of bhagwa variety from Solapur Agricultural Research Institute. Elaborate arrangements were made to ensure safety and growth of the plants.

The economic condition of the villagers of the two villages has improved due to pomegranate cultivation. Similarly, mango cultivation has also become very popular in Purulia.

Many self-help groups, mostly run by women, have come up to implement the projects. The SHG members have been given training and their economic revival has been remarkable. Usharmukti has initiated systematic documentation of the activities that have been carried out.

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