Centre stopping funds for irrigation projects in Bengal : minister

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Kolkata, Feb 22 (IANS) West Bengal Irrigation Minister Rajib Banerjee on Thursday accused the Central government of stopping the funds for various irrigation projects in the state despite its mandate of bearing 50 per cent of the expense.

“The centre has a step-motherly attitude towards Bengal irrigation projects. The ongoing flood management schemes in the state are getting hampered due to the non-availability of central funds,” he alleged.

“In a number of state projects, there has been no response from the centre even after completion of necessary procedural formalities and repeated persuasion,” he said.

Banerjee also said that the investment clearance of Ghatal Master Plan for flood control in West Midnapore district has been withheld even after compliance of all formalities and that the Central government is not paying necessary importance to the state’s demand in certain projects.

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“If a state level minister writes a letter, an executive of the Central government sends a reply. Such is the indifference,” he added.

The state faced severe flood situation in many states of north Bengal as well as Gangetic West Bengal last year due to excessive rain.

The state government including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee accused the government-owned Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) of constantly releasing water from its dams in spite of warning from the state, that further worsened the flood situation.

–IANS

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