West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday announced jobs and financial aid as compensation to families of those who lost their lives or are missing for more than a decade owing to Maoist violence in the Jangalmahal area of the state. Banerjee also announced jobs as special home guards to a member of each of the families who lost their next of kin to elephant attack.
“Family members of those who died or are missing for over a decade in Maoist violence will be given financial compensation of Rs 4 lakh and one of the next of kin will be provided job as a special home guard,” she said. The Janglemahal area spread over the districts of Paschim Medinipur, Purulia, Bankura and Jhargram had witnessed Maoists insurgency from 2008 to 2012.
“We have taken a policy decision that assistance will be provided to the families of those who die in elephant attacks and the next of kin of the victim will be provided with a job as a special home guard,” she said. Addressing an administrative meeting at Kharagpur area of West Midnapore district, the chief minister said that people die in elephant attacks in some parts of the state, mainly in Jhargram, Purulia, Medinipur, Bankura and in some districts of North Bengal.
Banerjee handed over the appointment letter to one person, a family member of whom died in elephant attack in the forests of Jhargram. She also announced that junior constables who have completed five years in service, numbering 4,284 this year, will be promoted as constables.
She handed over promotion letters to four of them. Banerjee asked the state director general of police to hand over the promotion letters to others before the Durga Puja, to be held in the last week of October.
On the implementation of the central flagship health scheme, Ayushman Bharat, in the state, she said, “We already have our own Swasthya Sathi health scheme in the state. If the Centre wants us to implement the Ayushman Bharat, then it should be fully funded by them.” Billed as the world’s largest government healthcare programme, Ayushman Bharat is funded with 60 per cent contribution coming from the central government and the remaining from the states. Banerjee had also written to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan last month saying that Ayushman Bharat would be implemented in West Bengal if it is fully funded by the Centre and the funds are routed through the state government.
The chief minister said that the West Bengal government introduced Swasthya Sathi programme two years before the central government’s Ayushman Bharat. The chief minister said that with an aim to strengthen the existing system of disseminating information on various schemes, the state government has decided to set up around 2,744 ‘Bangla Sahayata Kendras’ (BSK) across the 23 districts of the state in the first phase.
The BSKs will be set up in the offices of SDOs, BDOs and more than 800 libraries and all primary health centres. Each BSK will have two data entry operators with computers, she said.
She said that tourism projects through private investment will create 8,000 jobs. With migrant workers returning to the state due to COVID-19 pandemic, these projects will provide much-needed employment to people, Banerjee said.
The chief minister said that Norton will invest Rs 15 crore to set up a chemical plant at Vidyasagar industrial park in Paschim Medinipur district and the company was provided with 10 acre of land. She said that 12,000 km of roads are being either newly laid or repaired in the state under a new project which will be completed by December, giving the rural economy a boost.
Banerjee said that more than 10 crore people in the state are getting ration through the Khadya Sathi scheme of the state government. She said that an initiative will be taken to ensure that women in red light areas, transgenders and backward people get ration cards.
Regarding the Ghatal Master Plan, which was formulated to overcome the perennial problem of floods in Ghatal block of the district, the chief minister said that sanction of this project by the central government has been pending since 2015. “I am tired of asking the Centre for sanction of the project,” she said, adding that the state government has been working to complete parts of the project on its own.
Felicitating the principal of Sabang College for introducing Santhali language in the curriculum, Banerjee said that the subject is being taught in eight colleges in Paschim Medinipur district..