February 13, 2010


When the Home Minister came to Kolkata to meet the chief ministers of Bengal, Orissa, and Jharkhand over the modus operandi to “tackle ‘Maoist’ violence,” Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee handed over to him a slim document that summed up the continuity of developmental work going on relentlessly, with the welfare of the poor firmly in sight, in the violence-affected jangal mahal.

We can briefly summarise the basic premises of the six page document, thus.

1. The expenditure of allocated amount of REGA for Midnapore west has increased by nearly 98% from 2008 to 2009 with an additional creation of close to 85% of man-days

2. In Purulia the concomitant figures are respectively close to 147%, and 180%

3. In Bankura by the same criteria, the figures that are arrived at are 80% and 94%

4. There has been a doubling or more of expenditure in the supply of potable water with other allocations for development of the supply-related infrastructure in these districts

5. The laal maati or red clay area has seen in this period creation of nearly 800 km of pucca and metalled road with 275 km about to be completed as an additional component.

6. Until December of last year, more than 30 thousand of the poor have been in receipt of shelter under the Awas Yojana

7. 50 thousand ST elderly have received pension as members of the BPL

8. Nearly 14 thousand forest patta have been distributed

9. The total amount of land under pattadari thus reaches 5300 acres

10. The three red clay districts witness the successful running of 74 ICDS projects afresh plus 18 thousand Anganwadi Kendras

The document clearly shows how the pro-poor developmental efforts could be carries on relentlessly by the popular Bengal Left Front government despite obstacles of every kind having been thrown on the path of progress, and the bourgeois media have been at their best (worst?) trying spread canards about how the red clay zones remain in the backwater of development(INN).

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