Bengal drive to fix gaps in infrastructure and services
Mamata Banerjee on Monday announced a 45-day initiative called Paray Paray Samadhan (Solution at neighbourhood) to address problems in infrastructure and services at local levels.
The new initiative is a follow up to the Duare Sarkar programme, which was launched to reach out to people left out of government schemes.
“We have taken a new initiative Paray Paray Samadhan — to address local issues and to keep it at par with the Duare Sarkar programme — in a mission mode. The initiative would meet the local demands which don’t require large scale infrastructure projects,” the chief minister said during an administrative review meeting in Bolpur’s Gitanjali auditorium on Monday.
Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay said the drive would start on January 2 and continue till February 15.
“The state has already received 10,000 requests from various corners of the state to address local problems. The requests include a small infrastructure gap, lack of personnel at important institutes like health centres or some service gap in the locality like lack of pipe-line based drinking water supply. The new initiative would address the issues,” said Bandyopadhyay.
Sources at Nabanna said the programme had been planned after it was found that community-based problems were not being addressed through Duare Sarkar camps as people were visiting the camps to get to know about schemes that benefit individuals like pension schemes or Swasthya Sathi scheme.
The sources also said majority of the requests already submitted to the government were related to missing road links, lack of drinking water facilities, lack of paramedical staff or doctors at the local health centres.
The missing road links could be completed by erecting a culvert or by laying 2 to 3 km of rural roads, said an officer. Similarly, installation of a deep tubewell would solve the drinking water problems of a community, said an official.
“So, these are not costly for the government, but it needs an organised effort to solve the problems. The new programme would be initiated to address the issues in a coordinated manner,” the official added.
Officials said during the tenure of the Trinamul-led government in the past 10 years, major large scale infrastructure-related issues like development highways, setting up of Krishak Bazars
and Karmatirthas were taken up.
“It is the time to look into the small infrastructure gaps,” said a source.
A section of the officials, however, pointed out that during the Left Front, departments like Western Region Development and Sunderban development used to look after the infrastructure gaps at the grass roots level.
“Now, it seems that the departments have done nothing in the past 10 years and that’s why the state government was forced to launch a new scheme centrally ahead of the polls to address the local infrastructure gaps even after spending 10 years in power,” said a bureaucrat.