The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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CM warns pond-filling promoters

Burdwan, Feb. 9: Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today cautioned a section of realtors that his government would take firm steps against those filling up water bodies in Calcutta and its neighbourhood to construct high-rise buildings.

“Some promoters are causing us a lot of trouble by constantly violating the government’s rules on filling up of ponds and other wetlands in their bid to construct highrises. This is posing a threat to the ecological balance,” Bhattacharjee said at the concluding function of the seventh state-level conference of the Paschim Banga Bigyan Mancha.

The chief minister added that that the government alone will not be able to prevent environment pollution by framing policies. He stressed the need to raise awareness against such acts.

Bhattacharjee said the development of science and humanity was not possible unless people discarded superstitious beliefs. “It is ridiculous that even superstar cricket players wear amulets before going to play the World Cup, believing this would help them win matches. They perhaps lack the common sense that an amulet has nothing to do with winning a cricket match.”

He regretted that “such superstitions” were still prevalent among some people, so much so that the government could not administer polio drops even to a single child in five blocks of Malda and Murshidabad.

Later, at meeting at Shyamsundar in the evening, Bhattacherjee said the government would buy potato from farmers to stop distress sale.

“There was surplus production of paddy. So my government decided to purchase the crop at a reasonable rate from farmers and save them from distress sale. The potato production is also surplus this year and the government will similarly purchase the crop from farmers.”

While the state’s approximate annual requirement of potatoes is about 53 metric tonnes, only Burdwan and Hooghly districts have produced 82 metric tonnes of the tuber this year.

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