Hooch sellers to be helped into alternate trade: MamataDecember 23rd, 2011 - 8:52 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, Dec 23 (IANS) In the aftermath of West Bengal’s worst hooch tragedy, the state government is mulling a social security scheme to enable sellers of illegal country liquor take up an alternate trade, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced Friday.
“Lot of people have died after consuming spurious liquor. We want to help these tradesmen take up an alternate business,” Banerjee told mediapersons here after a meeting with senior district level officials.
“We will come out with a scheme so as to provide a social security network to these people,” she said.
At least 171 people - mostly masons, labourers and hawkers - perished after consuming spurious liquor at shanties near Sangrampur railway station of South 24 Parganas district Dec 13-14.
Following the catastrophe, angry people across the state have been demolishing hooch dens while the state government’s excise and police personnel have also started massive raids.
The chief minister said the raids will continue and appealed to the people to help raise social awareness against social maladies like hooch and online lottery. The chief minister herself will lead a rally from central Kolkata’s College Square Dec 30 to spread social awareness about the perils of consuming illicit liquor.
Banerjee said disaster management groups will be set up in all districts to thwart “conspiracies” and “other incidents”.
The state government has also decided to form the West Bengal State Highways Authority for upkeep of existing roads and build new ones, she said.
“They will function on the lines of the National Highways Authority,” she said.
As per the recommendations of a two-member expert committee, the state government will unveil a new policy called “Nijo Bhumi, Nijo Griha” (own land, own home). Under the project, land will be given to landless and homeless families in the state.
“The project will be launched in Junglemahal (forested stretch in the three Maoist-affected western districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts) on Jan 12 next, the 150th birthday of Swami Vivekananda,” the chief minister said.
Finance Minister Amit Mitra, Industries Minister Parttha Chattopadhyay, Power minister Manish Gupta, and top bureaucrats were present at the meeting.
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Tags: bhumi, country liquor, disaster management, expert committee, hawkers, homeless families, hooch tragedy, illicit liquor, level officials, mamata banerjee, management groups, national highways authority, railway station, shanties, social awareness, social security network, social security scheme, spurious liquor, state highways, west bengal state