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regular-article-logo Monday, 15 July 2024

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee blasts 'nexus' between land mafia and civic bodies

The chief minister’s reprimand came when she held a meeting at Nabanna with the heads of the Trinamool Congress-run municipalities and municipal corporations

Pranesh Sarkar Calcutta Published 25.06.24, 06:50 AM
Mamata Banerjee

Mamata Banerjee File image

Mamata Banerjee on Monday pulled up civic authorities — both elected representatives and bureaucrats — over encroachment on government land and illegal construction of high-rises, saying such activities were taking place only because of corruption by some of them.

The chief minister’s reprimand came when she held a meeting at Nabanna with the heads of the Trinamool Congress-run municipalities and municipal corporations.

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The meeting was telecast live on television and social media platforms.

The chief minister warned the civic bodies and the bureaucrats that she would not tolerate such irregularities anymore and strict actions would be initiated against those responsible for such things.

“Interest of multiple people has grown… I am talking about all — political persons, police and administration… I will not allow encroachment on government land or illegal construction. I have shown restraint so far. Enough is enough, I will not tolerate this anymore,” Mamata said during the meeting.

The chief minister mentioned that encroachment on government land and illegal constructions had become a major problem in areas like Howrah, Bidhannagar and Rajarhat. In her meeting with the senior government officials, the chief minister had expressed her dissatisfaction over encroachment of government land a few days ago.

“It is clear that the chief minister would not let the issue go as it was affecting the electoral prospects of the ruling party in the urban areas. Because of the encroachment, roads are getting narrower, areas are getting congested and civic amenities are getting affected,” said a source aware of the development.

Mamata clearly said those problems have made the areas dirty and so congested that even fire tenders would face to enter in case any fire incident takes place.

She made it clear that she would address the issue ahead of the 2026 Assembly polls so that it does not affect the prospect of her party.

“I will clear these problems first and then I will go for polls,” said the chief minister.

A section of the officials said that the chief minister had warned her party colleagues over irregularities in the past, but no such action was taken by any of the party leaders.

“But this time, she appeared to be serious as she has set up an enquiry committee to look into the encroachment of government land.
The chief secretary would lead the committee while making it clear that action would be taken against those who would be found guilty,” said a source.

Sources said that the chief minister was aware that if she takes the initiative to stop corruption in the civic bodies, the Opposition parties would not be able to take advantage of the grievance of the people residing in the urban areas.

“The chief minister has read the signs that urban populace were not happy with the services of the civic bodies… She does not want to take any chances ahead of the 2026 Assembly polls and that’s the reason why has laid stress on the services of civic bodies,” said an official.

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