Mamata Banerjee plans to set up two districts now and five more later
Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said two new districts — to be carved out of North and South 24-Parganas — would be set up for now and the plan for five more new districts would be put on hold over paucity of officers.
“It has been decided that Basirhat district will be carved out of North 24-Parganas and Sunderbans district will be created out of South 24-Parganas for now…. We don’t have officers to create seven new districts. So, only these two new districts will be created for now,” said the chief minister during an administrative review meeting in Nadia’s Ranaghat on Thursday.
In August, the state cabinet approved seven new districts — Ichhamati and Basirhat (from North 24-Parganas), Kandi and Jangipur (from Murshidabad), Sunderbans (from South 24-Parganas), Ranaghat (from Nadia) and Bishnupur (from Bankura).
Administrative sources said the process to set up new districts had started but over the past few weeks focus was on Basirhat and Sunderbans.
Some officials said the reason cited by Mamata was valid.
However, others differed, saying the real reason was the state’s poor financial condition. A bureaucrat pointed out that infrastructure for one new district could cost at least Rs 200 crore immediately, and hence Bengal could not afford seven new districts.