The Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority (SJDA) will not take up new projects for now as the state government had been strictly following austerity measures, according to the Minister of State (Independent charge) for urban
development & municipal affairs (UD&MA) Chandrima Bhattacharya.
Ms Bhattacharya spoke after a meeting with SJDA chairman Sourav Chakraborty, Jalpaiguri district magistrate Moumita Godara Basu, administrative officers, engineers and board members here today.
“Our focus is to complete the ongoing projects. There are 18 ongoing projects and the vetting process of 16 of them has been completed. No new project will be announced now because the chief minister Mamata Banerjee has stressed on austerity measures,” Ms Bhattacharya said.
Among the ongoing development projects is the construction of roads and bridges. According to officials, the SJDA had sought approval of Rs 129 crore for 67 projects from the UD&MA department for 2020-21 fiscal. The state government has so far approved around Rs 62 crore, it is learnt.
Ms Bhattacharya said the government will look into the proposal of including a few areas of Nagrakata and Dhupguri in the Jalpaiguri district under the jurisdiction of the SJDA. At present, the SJDA has been entrusted with the responsibility of Planning & Development of Siliguri-Jalpaiguri Planning Area, which covers 2222.59 sq km area in Siliguri, Matigara, Naxalbari, Phansidewa and Kharibari in Darjeeling district and Jalpaiguri Sadar, Rajganj, entire Malbazaar block, Mal Municipal area and parts of Mainaguri Police Station in Jalpaiguri District.
Meanwhile, Ms Bhattacharya took a dig at former Siliguri mayor and minister of the UD & MA department Asok Bhattacharya for his swipe at her. Ms Bhattacharya had alleged yesterday that the previous Left run-civic board at the Siliguri Municipal Corporation had failed to perform.
“I don’t need to learn the subject of the UD& MA department and municipal law from him. If he wishes, he can learn from me,” she said today.