Jairam Ramesh writes to Mamata Banerjee, cites road projects as central help

October 16, 2013

Mohua Chatterjee, TNN

(In his letter, Ramesh said…)


NEW DELHI: Soon after West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee wrote an angry letter to the PM complaining about norms being flouted in allotment of funds to states, rural development minister Jairam Ramesh wrote to the CM saying his department had finalized funds for 421 roads covering 1,887 km in the state.

 While Banerjee wrote to the PM on October 5, Ramesh’s missive came three days later.

In his letter, Ramesh said road work in Bankura, Purulia and Pashchim Medinipur districts would be taken up under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY) and an agreement would be signed between the PSUs undertaking the job and the Centre and the state government within the next 30 days.

Interestingly, Ramesh mentioned in the letter that funds were usually disbursed through central PSUs doing the work but it was now decided to hand over the funds directly to the state government. “I have been of the view that we should encourage state governments to exercise more direct control on project execution so that quality standards are maintained. Hence, we have decided that for West Bengal, we will release the funds directly to the state government who will then deal with the central PSUs,” Ramesh wrote.

“I am sure you will agree with me that West Bengal has received unprecedented level if cooperation in the matter of PMGSY roads as it has for other rural development programmes. This reflects the central government’s continuing priority to the welfare and well-being of the rural people of West Bengal,” he wrote.



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