Kharagpur, West Bengal:
Hitting out at the Centre for allegedly not releasing funds resulting in the state being unable to pay salaries to people working under the 100 days work scheme, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today advised setting up a “crisis management fund”.
She said that the fund will be created by taking a portion of the money allocated to some departments.
“For the last four months, people are not getting their salary under the 100 days work scheme. The primary reason is that the Centre has not given us the funds for it. We have not got what we are supposed to get.
“As a result, poor people are facing a crisis…In this situation, I will ask the chief secretary to find out a plan,” Ms Banerjee said during an administrative review meeting held at Kharagpur in Paschim Medinipur district.
For the time being, a “crisis management fund” will be created with a portion of funds allocated to departments like the Public Works Department, Irrigation, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Panchayat,” she said.
Non-technical works of these departments would be done through the 100 days scheme.
“I don’t know when they (central government) will release funds. Let us keep on pursuing that. I have already written to the Centre in this regard,” she said.
Ms Banerjee was referring to her letter written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week, seeking his intervention to release funds for MGNREGA and PM Awas Yojana (PMAY) in the state.
During the meeting, the chief minister criticised the PWD for delay in executing a few projects – building two gates and a community hall here.
She asked officials to drop PWD from the projects and instead employ engineers of the Howrah Improvement Trust and the Hooghly River Bridge Commissioner (HRBC) to complete the works.
Alleging that the PWD does not work properly leading to cost escalation, she directed Paschim Medinipur District Magistrate Rashmi Kamal to cancel the detailed project report (DPR) of the said projects.
Shocked to learn that the project cost of constructing two gates and a community hall was Rs 32 crore as per the DPR, Ms Banerjee said that it should be completed within a budget of Rs 6 crore.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)