The Bengal government will launch special Duare Sarkar camps later this month after finding out that residents in remote areas could not attend the camps held between May 21 and 31
“After detailed assessment and review, the state government has decided to hold ‘special’ camps to cover citizens who have not been able to access all services in the previous Duare Sarkar campaigns due to various geographical and social factors which made it challenging for them to access the same," reads and order issued by chief secretary H. K. Dwivedi.
The camps will be held four days a week, including Saturdays, but excluding Sundays, between June 13 and July 31.
The order also cited that the areas where the camps are set up will be identified by respective district magistrates.
“Inaccessible areas in the districts and areas where people of marginalised sections, including SC and ST communities, live will have to be kept in mind while selecting the location for the camps... The target is to reach out to cent percent people with government schemes,” said a senior official.
A senior bureaucrat said that the step was taken up after it was found that footfall in the fourth edition of Duare Sarkar camps had dipped compared to the first three.
“A total of 5.22 crore beneficiaries got services in four Duare Sarkar camps so far. The delivery was low in the last edition during which less than one crore valid applications were received,” said the bureaucrat.
Some officials said there are reasons behind lesser footfall in the fourth edition.
First, no new scheme was offered from the camps this time. Last time, Lakshmir Bhandar pushed footfall to more than 2 crore.
Second, as more than 5 crore beneficiaries have already got services, it is expected that footfall will decrease gradually until any new scheme is announced.
“But the government feels there may be some people who could not reach the camps. For them, the government will hold camps near where they live,” said an official.
According to some officials, next year’s panchayat poll is also a factor.
“It was in the backward districts such as Purulia, Jhargram and Bankura where Trinamul fared badly in the last panchayat polls. The BJP had performed well in these areas only because residents had grievances over services of the government. This time, the state does not want to take any chances,” said an official.
In the special camps, the state government will offer 14 services including mutation of land, Swasthya Sathi, Krishak Bandhu, caste certificates, various pension schemes and Lakshmir Bhandar.