Mamata Banerjee to resume her district administrative meetings

News Desk: Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal Chief Minister will resume her signature administrative meetings with district officials once again from Monday. They used to be a regular affair otherwise, where the Chief Minister had been often seen taking spot decisions, pull up district officials for any kind of slack and even commission changes in full public view.

But they came to a standstill due to the outbreak of the pandemic. Between August 24 and 25, Banerjee will hold meetings with the district administration of 9 districts to review the Covid situation and also the developmental works which have been hugely affected since the beginning of Lockdown in March. The meetings are slated to happen over video conferencing. The main objective is to study the progress in several developmental projects where work has come to a halt due to covid. Sources say that ahead of elections next year, Mamata Banerjee wants the projects to near completion.

On August 24, Banerjee will meet the officials of North 24 Paraganas, South 24 Paraganas, Howrah and Hooghly. Apart from Kolkata, these districts have been equally affected by the Super Cyclone Amphan that ravaged West Bengal on May 20. The next day she will hold meetings with officials of Birbhum, Bankura, Purba Bardhaman, Paschim Bardhaman and Purulia.

“The purpose of the meetings is to give a fresh push to developmental projects. The government doesn’t have funds but the work which has started will have to be completed. Thus these meetings will help us assess the situation and take some decision. The state has been spending a lot after Covid crisis and the finance department has put a freeze on all expenses apart from what is needed to fight the pandemic” said a government official who will be part of the meeting on both the days.

The state government officials claim that the rural economy will need a fresh push beyond NREGA for employment generation as Covid and Amphan have both impacted the lives of millions across Bengal. All district magistrates, SDPO, SDO, BDO, SP and other senior Police personnel from districts have been asked to be present in the meeting along with Panchayat leaders. Issues of misappropriation of relief, corruption and police action to contain political violence that has often ensued after Amphan are likely to come up in Monday’s meeting.