From now onwards the state government will fund the entire premium for the crop insurance of state farmers, announced chief minister Mamata Banerjee at the Geetanjali auditorium in Bolpur in Birbhum district during a administrative review meeting here today.

She said though the Centre funds only 20 per cent and the state funds the rest 80 per cent of the crop insurance scheme, the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre claims in advertisements that the Union government provides the entire fund of the crop insurance. The fund has been directly credited to the bank accounts by the state while the insurance companies take photographs and place in advertisements for the Union government, she alleged.

“The BJP is trying to politicise the issue and now we have taken a stand that our government will not accept any central money for this scheme,” Miss Banerjee added. She has also explained in detail her new project – Kriskah Bondhu Scheme, where the farmers of the age group from 18 years to 60 years will get assistance of Rs 5000 per acre twice a year and will get a sum of rupees two lakhs in case of death.

Stressing the need for having more ‘jol dhoro jol bhoro’ projects in Birbhum district, chief minister Mamata Banerjee has directed officials to identify drought prone areas of the district and keep an eye on those areas. Excavate more ponds under the 100 days NREGA Scheme to store more water for the lean season under the jol dhoro jol bhoro scheme, she told officials.

“Both for drinking water and irrigation Birbhum district have problems. Deep tubewells should be set up for alternative irrigation systems and for drinking water the steps should be taken within March to April,” she added.

Miss Banerjee also directed the local administration to set up special camps for paddy procurement at locations as close as possible to the farmers.

The chief minister also highlighted the issue of increasing road accident cases in Birbhum district. She stressed on focusing on the Safe Drive Save Life Project and has directed the district police to seize the license of wayward drivers. Only today, three people were killed in a road accident in Rampurhat.

“We have given you all equipment but still there has been no improvement,” she said.

“In many cases it has been found that the khalasis (helpers) have been driving the heavy vehicles. Take stern actions against them,” she directed the Birbhum police superintendent, Shyam Singh, in the administrative meeting on Wednesday.

She also directed the officers in charge of Nanoor, Rampurhat and Dubrajpur Police Stations to maintain peace in the areas adjoining Jharkhand and also directed OC Nanoor to seize all bombs and illegal arms in his area.

The CM has also directed the district officials concerned to maintain transparency in sand bank auctions and said that no sand mafia activities will be tolerated in Birbhum district.

The chief minister is on a two-day your of the district. She will address a public meeting at Kamarpara ground in Illamabazar in Birbhum district on Thursday. Security has been beefed up in view of her visit to the district.