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Jagori village to light up before Mamata visit

- West Midnapore electricity officials work on a war footing to fulfil promises made by the chief minister
West Midnapore district magistrate Ghulam Ali Ansari (right) with other government officials at Bogduba, Jagori’s village. Picture by Samir Mondal

Midnapore, Dec. 30: The West Midnapore district administration is working on a war footing to ensure electricity reaches the Jungle Mahal village of surrendered Maoist Jagori Baske before chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s visit on January 4.

The bidyut karmadhakshya of the zilla parishad, Amulya Maity, claimed electricity would reach the village a day before the Mamata’s visit.

“We have decided to reach power to Jagori’s village and its adjoining areas in Jungle Mahal by January 3,” he said.

Jagori, one of the accused in the armed attack on the EFR camp at Sildah in which 24 jawans were killed in February 2010, was among the top ranking Maoists who had surrendered in October 2011 after the death of Kishan. On November 17 that year, the surrendered rebel met the chief minister at Writers’ Buildings along with her husband and her son and urged Mamata to carry out development work in her village, Bogduba.

The chief minister had then asked the district administration to carry out the development work in Jagori’s village and its adjoining areas in Jungle Mahal.

Sources said the district officials were under pressure to ensure the chief minister’s instructions were followed to the last detail. The government has of late been focusing on completing as many projects as possible before the Lok Sabha polls, due in May.

Mamata has also sought reports from the districts about the progress of projects in their area.

The rural electrification project manager, Kalyan Kumar Ghosal, said power lines would be drawn from Maniardi, 3km away.

He said leaves of district employees associated with the electricity department had been cancelled 10 days ago for completing the project “on a war footing”. “Usually such a task takes at least two months. But we are doing work quickly and intend to finish the project before the chief minister’s visit,” he said.

Villagers said government officials had been frequenting the area since last week. Local Trinamul leaders also held several meetings in the village to assure the residents that the work would be done according to the chief minister’s wishes.

Jagori’s 70-year-old mother Gurubari said she had complained about electricity to district magistrate Mohammed Ghulam Ali Ansari, the zilla parishad sabhadhipati and bidyut karmadhaksha Amulya Maity when they visited Bogduba on December 19.

“I told the officials that the promises made to my daughter by the chief minister about the development of my village and its adjoining areas of Jungle Mahal were not kept. I told them that there is no electricity or regular supply of drinking water,” the septuagenarian said.

A district official today said: “The rural electrification department has been entrusted with the job of reaching power from Maniardi village to Bogduba at a cost of Rs 20 lakh. Other areas of Jungle Mahal will also get electricity.”

Over 100 poles have been erected for the purpose.