Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday pulled up the education department for poor academic activities in some schools.

A five-member group of ministers was formed for overseeing overall development of the rural sector. With work being delayed over the last three months on account of panchayat polls, the GoM was set up with panchayat and rural development minister Subrata Mukherjee, transport minister Subhendu Adhikari, urban development minister Firad Hakim, sports minister Aroop Biswas and food supplies minister Jyotipriya Mullick to monitor the progress of various schemes and to ensure that the development work in the rural areas is expedited.

At a meeting with officials of a few departments in Nabanna, Miss Banerjee is learnt to have inquired as to why academic activities were getting hampered in some schools.

Miss Banerjee had received several complaints that classes were irregular in a few schools and that some teachers were not taking classes regularly. She asked the chief secretary to look into the issue, identify the problems and come up with necessary solutions.

She also pointed out that some officers were not following the instructions of the ministers. In fact, she directly asked a senior education department official as to why he was not abiding by education minister Partha Chatterjee’s directives.

Miss Banerjee clarified that the officials have to abide by the instructions of respective ministers. The government will not tolerate it if officers ignore ministers, Miss Banerjee reportedly said at the meeting.

Miss Banerjee further complained that the Centre had withheld funds under the MGNREGA scheme, as a result of which workers in some districts were not getting their wages.

She asked state finance minister Amit Mitra to approach the Centre for clearing the pending dues. She also expressed her dissatisfaction at the fact the Centre has not provided compensation for crop damage suffered due to a hail storm that had occurred two years ago.

Miss Banerjee also reportedly inquired as to why she has been receiving complaints against rice mill owners over irregularities in rice procurement and directed the director general of police to take necessary action against the accused mill owners.

She instructed officials to expedite the process of disbursement of old age allowance.

Next, she took stock of the water level of rivers and condition of dams so as to take preventive measures to tackle flooding. “Irrigation secretary has been regularly sending feedback on river levels and dam condition for the last two months,” said Miss Banerjee. She directed district magistrates and other officials to take necessary measures to prevent dengue and similar diseases.

Meanwhile, the state government has formed a 29- member advisory committee headed by education minister Partha Chatterjee to celebrate the bicentenary of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.

Others members of the committee include ministers Subhendu Adhikari, Soumen Mahapatra, Bratya Basu and Shashi Panja, Opposition Leader Abdul Mannan, CPI-M MLA Sujan Chakraborty, poet Joy Goswami, writer Nrisingha Prasad Bhaduri and others.