Calcutta, Aug. 21: Sam Pitroda told The Telegraph today he had drawn up several IT-driven plans for Bengal in consultation with Mamata Banerjee two years ago, but her government had “not shown much interest” since then.
Pitroda, adviser to the Prime Minister in public information infrastructure and innovations, will be chief guest at Presidency University’s first convocation tomorrow.
“I was in touch with her (Mamata), (but) not recently. The last time I met her was two years ago. I shared a plan that we had worked on together for Bengal — on IT, education, knowledge and a few other areas using technology,” Pitroda said.
“The plan was also to develop the IT industry in Bengal. We were to work with the IT department and its secretary.”
Then the line went cold, with Pitroda’s team contacting state government officials “several times” but not receiving any response, he said. “They haven’t really taken much initiative. I believe they are doing their own work.”
State government officials refused comment.
As railway minister in 1999-2001, Mamata had formed a panel headed by Pitroda to use telecom for the development of the rail network. She turned to him again during her second stint in 2009-11.
Then, on July 16, 2011, weeks after becoming chief minister, Mamata announced that Pitroda would be her government’s chief adviser on Bengal’s resurgence. Pitroda had then met Mamata at Writers’ and given a presentation titled “Resurgence Bengal”.
“His advice will be of great use to us,” Mamata had said.
Asked if he would seek an appointment with Mamata this time, Pitroda said this would not be possible because he had a “jam-packed” programme tomorrow.