Mamata Banerjee at Itahar on Thursday. Picture by Sanat Kumar Sinha
Aug. 30: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee today said she had no objection to an AIIMS-like institute in Raiganj provided the 100 acres required for the project were provided to the government.
Her statement in Itahar, North Dinajpur, came amid allegations by Raiganj Congress MP Deepa Das Munshi that the chief minister was trying to relocate the project to Nadia.
Deepa and other Congress leaders are set to start demonstrations on September 19 in different parts of north Bengal to demand that the AIIMS-like hospital should not be moved from Raiganj.
At the rally, Mamata said: “Politics is being played in the name of an AIIMS-like hospital in Raiganj. I have no objection to it. Give me the land and I will make it happen. Our health secretary Sanjay Mitra, chief secretary Samar Ghosh, home secretary Basudeb Banerjee, everyone is here.”
The chief minister also announced that the government would establish multi-speciality hospitals in Raiganj and Islampur.
The AIIMS-like hospital at Raiganj was a plan of ailing Congress leader Priya Ranjan Das Munshi, whose wife Deepa is the MP from Raiganj.
The Centre had sanctioned Rs 823 crore for the hospital and the state has to provide 100 acres.
Today, Mamata said: “Around 100 acres are required for the hospital. Those who are criticising me must remember that I am not going to forcibly acquire land. I won’t point a gun to a farmer’s head and ask him to give his land. That is not going to happen.”
Deepa responded by saying that Mamata was “playing politics” over the AIIMS-like hospital herself.
“Farmers in Raiganj are willing to give their land for the hospital. But the only person unwilling to go ahead with the proposed hospital is chief minister. It is the state government’s job to acquire land from the farmers,” she told The Telegraph from Delhi.
Mamata also declared the upgrade of Itahar block primary health centre to a rural hospital and the setting up of two sick newborn care units in North Dinajpur, apart from funds for the development of various government hospitals in the district. She said Rs 93 crore would be sanctioned for minority welfare projects in the district.
The chief minister announced a slew of projects, including an IT hub and a mother and child care hub, for Malda district today.
At a meeting with ministers, senior bureaucrats and district officials at the Malda College auditorium this afternoon, Mamata spoke to ministers, senior bureaucrats and district officials at the Malda College auditorium this afternoon.
The chief minister asked for five acres of land from the Englishbazar municipality to set up the IT hub.
“I have asked your municipal chairman, Krishnendu Chowdhury, and minister Sabitri Mitra for five acres where we can set up an IT hub. We also want to create and mother and child care hub here and I have set aside Rs 16 crore for the purpose. We will also build a multi-speciality hospital in Chanchal and set up 22 sick newborn care units across the district,” the chief minister said.
She announced a plan to set up 13 model schools and several secondary and higher secondary schools.
She said the construction of polytechnics was in progress in 13 blocks in the district.
Mamata also announced the creation of a silk park for which Rs 39 crore had been allocated. The district has also been given Rs 41 crore for water supply.
She also announced that the government would accord municipality status to Chanchal, Gajole and Kaliachak.
The chief minister will lay the foundation of a railway wagon factory at Buniadpur tomorrow. The factory is expected to generate thousands of jobs in South Dinajpur district that doesn’t have a major industry at present.
Railway officials said the wagon factory would be set up on a 25-acre plot adjacent to the railway station at Buniadpur with an investment of Rs 135 core.
Today, she also met South Dinajpur district officials in Balurghat.The district magistrate said that the chief minister praised the officials for the good work under the MNREGA scheme.