West Bengal to revamp jetties, plans to roll out ‘Jaldhara’ scheme

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Kolkata, April 28 (IANS) Following the collapse of a temporary jetty over the Hooghly river, the West Bengal government plans to revamp jetties across districts, an official said on Friday.

According to Principal Secretary, Transport, Alapan Bandyopadhyay, the state government, which identified unsafe semi-motorised boats as one of the main reasons for accidents, planned to convert such boats into mechanised ones to avert accidents.

“It has been decided that the state will launch Jaldhara scheme – on the lines of Gatidhara – to provide financial assistance for converting semi-mechanised unsafe boats into mechanised Aand also for procuring safe legalised boats,” he told reporters after a high level meeting convened by the Chief Secretary.

Announcing the scheme, Bandyopadhyay said around 30 per cent of the total conversion or procurement cost with a ceiling of Rs 1 lakh would be provided to the owners of boats. There are around 14,000 semi-mechanised boats in the state.

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“State government has decided to concretise the temporary jetties that are popular and important for localities. We will destroy the temporary jetties that have come up next to permanent ones,” he said.

Apart from this, a technical committee comprising Chief Engineers of the Engineering Departments including Irrigation and Waterways, PWD and PHE has been set up for suggesting long term and short term measures for revamping the jetties, he said.

“It has also been decided to bring important jetties under the Standard Operating Procedures including proper lighting facilities, availability of gates, safety and life saving arrangements at the jetties,” he said.

There are about 1,000 jetties of which around 700 are much used. Out of these, 130 odd have been identified as major jetties.

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