At an administrative meeting in Durgapur, chief minister Mamata Banerjee expressed concerns over the bad condition of the Panagarh-Moregram state highway and other roads in Burdwan, pilfering of sand from the dry bed of the Ajay and Damodar rivers and coal smuggling in the Durgapur-Asansol belt
The problem: A 22km stretch of the Panagarh-Moregram state highway in Kanksa is riddled with potholes. Owners complain that their cars get damaged because of the road. Fatal accidents and traffic snarls are not uncommon.
What Mamata said: I ask the BDO to check the condition of the road and speak to the PWD on repairs. I have heard about traffic snarls in Panagarh and I want the problem to be solved.... I don’t know how, but it has to be done. I want good roads in our state.
Those responsible for solving problem: The NH2 stretch in the Panagarh bazaar area is maintained by the NHAI. A PWD official said patchwork repairs on the state highway were being held up because of rain. An NHAI official said repair of the NH2 would take place after monsoon.
The problem: The government leases out dry patches of rivers to sand dealers who pay the government revenue against lifting of sand. Many sand dealers lift sand beyond the permissible limit. There are allegations that the pilfering is done in connivance with a section of land department officials and police.
What Mamata said: I have information that sand smugglers are very active in Burdwan. I will not tolerate this.
Those responsible for solving problem: The land and land reforms department monitors the lifting of sand. A district land official said that after Mamata’s instructions, emphasis would be laid on raids and intense vigil
The problem: Indiscriminate mining by coal pilferers causes subsidence. Coal is smuggled out of Eastern Coalfields yards in Asansol-Durgapur.
Trinamul and police have been accused of being hand-in-glove with the coal mafia.
What Mamata said: I have taken initiatives to stop coal smuggling and set up a police commissionerate. But I have information that coal smuggling is still continuing.
I ask the police commissioner to stop this.
Those responsible for solving problem: Police conduct raids to check coal smuggling. An officer said raids would be intensified.