Pramod Giri , HT, 12 Jul 2016, SILIGURI: With only eight-and-a-half months remaining to spend Rs 800 core, North Bengal development minister Rabindranath Ghosh does not want to waste time in the cumbersome and lengthy process of vetting development projects and preparing detailed project reports.
Rather the minister wants respective district administrations to complete requisite formalities and get project files ready for fast implementation.
Ghosh, who on Sunday held a meeting with senior officials of seven North Bengal districts here, said preparations for the last Assembly election and the ongoing monsoon have already taken up a large chunk of time of 2016-2017. Hence, there is an urgent need to expedite development works, he said.
The minister said vetting of development projects and preparation of detailed projects reports would be completed by respective district administrations. North Bengal development department will pass the projects and issue tenders. The tender process would be completed by the end of monsoon and work would start immediately after the rain stops, said Ghosh.
He asked district magistrates to pull up their socks and get projects ready with estimates and detailed project reports cleared. The North Bengal development department would carry out projects worth Rs 800 crore in seven districts of the region during financial year 2016-2017.
“In order to expedite development work, respective district magistrates have been asked to keep projects ready so that work can be started immediately after monsoon,” he said.
The minister, who represents Cooch Behar district in the state Assembly, said his department has received development proposals worth Rs 100 crore from the district. Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri have submitted proposals worth Rs 40 and Rs 68 crore respectively. The four districts of Malda, Darjeeling, North Dinajpur and South Dinajpur are lagging behind, according to the minister.
Among the priorities for the North Bengal development department is to construct night shelters for relatives of patients in district hospitals all across the region. The minister said, “We will come up with night shelters for relatives of patients and for would-be mothers.” Similarly, cheap and healthy canteen facilities in district hospitals would be started soon, he informed. This financial year the budget allocation for the North Bengal department is Rs 517 crore.