Bengal: CM Mamata reviews civic work, pulls up councillors not performing well

North 24 Parganas: Seeks appointment of observers to compile reports on municipal work and submit them to CMO

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday chaired an administrative review meeting in the North 24 Parganas voicing dissatisfaction over the functioning of several municipalities. Reading the riot act to erring councillors during the meeting at the Nazrul centenary house in Madhyamgram, she said “those not performing well might be forced into deep introspection in future”.

Directing the appointment of observers for each municipality, the chief minister said they will travel around cities and collate information on municipal work after interacting with the general public. The observers will be mandated to keep an eye on how the councillors are faring and send their reports to the CM.

“There are several complaints that political leaders are seldom available to meet the needs of the people. Their phones are either switched off or they don’t pick up. This won’t work. People representatives have to be by them at all times and should be available on the phone from 10 am to 10 pm,” the chief minister said, adding that “keeping the lights, and roads in order and ensuring uninterrupted water supply are priorities. They can’t abandon their work.”

The CM singled out the municipalities in Barrackpore, Titagarh, Kamarhati, Noapara and North Dumdum for criticism. “There are problems aplenty in municipal areas. Why aren’t you giving enough importance to municipal work in their areas?” Banerjee told officials.

It is understood that the observers will keep track of the work of councillors and talk to residents to find out what their problems are. “After that, you will compile reports on your ledger,” the CM said. She also advised the councillors and civic officials to maintain good equations with local MLAs and MPs. “I have received complaints that politicians are seldom available on the phone. Why can’t they reach you on the phone? Make sure you listen to them and address their needs.” The unforgiving words on civic administrations assume significance as the municipal polls are not far away.

The CM also raised concern over multiple accidents at Chingrihata crossing, which falls within the jurisdiction of Bidhannagar municipality. “Why are accidents happening every day in Chingrihata? Why should people be the victims of an ego fight between Kolkata Police and Bidhannagar Police Commissionerate?” Banerjee said as she directed the police to resolve all misunderstandings among themselves. She gave clear instructions that no more accidents should take place in the Chingrihata area.

The CM announced that January 1 will henceforth be observed as ‘Students’ Day’ in the state.

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