Mamata announces sops for Sunderbans

January 31st, 2012 - 7:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee Gosaba (West Bengal), Jan 31 (IANS) Announcing various sops for the development of the Sunderbans area of South 24 Parganas district, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday criticised the previous Left Front government for neglecting the ecologically rich region.

“They (Left government) have done nothing for the development of the Sunderbans area after it was hit by cyclone Aila in 2009. They have only indulged in corruption and siphoning off funds, which has lead to such a huge financial debt of the state. We are paying back that debt,” Banerjee said while addressing a program in Gosaba area of South 24 Parganas.

The Sunderbans — the world’s largest single block of tidal mangrove forests — has faced immense destruction after it was hit by cyclone Aila in 2009 which left hundreds of people dead and thousands homeless.

“What was the fishing department doing all these years? We will provide fishermen with all the help. We have plans to make 20,000 houses for the minorities. We will build houses for the poor people of the area,” Banerjee said.

She also unveiled several plans for turning Sunderbans into a tourism destination.

“Within next two years all the villages of the Sagar island area will have access to electricity. We will also set 450 tubewells so that the people have access to pure drinking water,” said Banerjee, who is on an official visit to Sunderbans.

Banerjee also announced Rs.2 lakh compensation each to the families of the three fishermen who were killed by Bangladeshi pirates last week.

“The state government will also give Rs.50,000 as compensation to the injured,” said Banerjee.

Three Indian fishermen were killed and eight others injured in an attack by Bangladeshi pirates in Sunderbans area Friday night.

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