Two days after Mamata Banerjee showered goodies on West Bengal in the railway budget, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee brought more cheer for the people of the eastern state.
Mukherjee's proposal to include embankment schemes along rivers Bhagirathi and Ganga-Padma in the Central Sponsored Flood Management Programme, is good news for people in a vast stretch of north Bengal, where river erosion is a major problem.
In the process, Mukherjee also served his constituency Jangipur in Murshidabad district, which is hard hit by the erosion.
The Ganges-Padma erosion has impacted the lives of thousands in Murshidabad, with many of them displaced due to tides, especially between Farakka and Jalangi and from Jangipur to Sagardighi area.
While mentioning the 'Mission Clean Ganga 2020' under the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) with the objective that no untreated municipal sewage or industrial effluent will be discharged into the national river, Mukherjee said in his budget speech: "I propose to double the allocation for NGRBA in 2010-11 to Rs.500 crore."
He added: "I am happy to inform the honourable members that schemes on bank protection works along river Bhagirathi and river Ganga-Padma in parts of Murshidabad and Nadia district of West Bengal have been included in the Centrally Sponsored Flood Management Programme.
Mukherjee also provided budgetary support for drainage schemes of river-basins in East Midnapore and West Midnapore districts besides for the flood master plan on Kandi in Murshidabad district.
"I also propose to provide budgetary support for drainage scheme of Kaliaghai-Kapaleswari Baghai basin in the district of Purba and Paschim Midnapore, and Master Plan of Kandi sub-division in Murshidabad, West Bengal," the finance minister said.
He also said that there is a need to develop an alternate port at Sagar Island in South 24 Parganas district.
"Recognising the need for developing an alternate port facility in West Bengal, it is proposed to develop a project at Sagar Island. Necessary funds will be provided in due course," he said.