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Government won’t tolerate illegal construction on wetlands: Mamata Banerjee

‘Taking my name won’t save you,’ was the message the West Bengal CM gave.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata | Updated: August 3, 2016 2:09:11 am

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Cracking down on the illegal filling up of water bodies for real estate development, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said such acts would not be tolerated. “Whenever any incident of illegal filling up of water body is reported to put up a building, I have instructed police to take stern action against those. I am unable to undo what happened in the past but it will not be tolerated in the future,” Mamata said after a law and order meeting at Nabanna, the state secretariat. “If any promoter sends goons, the police will counter them strongly. We have to enforce discipline,” she told mediapersons here.

She asked the police department to take action even if someone involved in these activities takes the name of the Chief Minister or the ruling Trinamool Congress. “Offenders have no political or religious colour. Police will not spare any offender owing to his or her political affiliation. One would not be let go even if one takes my name. I will not spare anyone who takes the party’s name to expand his own business,” she said.

“Some people try to take advantage. I have got 4-5 such cases. In one such case, it was found that the allegations were not right. The promoter was trying to fill a water body, but faced opposition from local people,” the CM added.

A number of wetlands like the East Kolkata Wetlands are scattered around the metropolis, which has witnessed a real estate boom in the last few years. A crucial part of the ecosystem, wetlands absorb excess water, provide food, filter water and offer a unique habitat for different species. Mamata said in case of any violation, the police would file an FIR and take action as per the law. “It is the job of the police to prevent hooliganism. They have to do it properly,” she said.

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Sitting next to Mamata during the press conference was Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation Mayor, Sabyasachi Dutta, who had admitted in a sting operation that without syndicates, the government will fall. The Chief Minister also asked the police to be pro-active in maintaining peace. Amid reports of resurfacing of chit funds, she said some of these were indeed operational, and urged the people not to fall into such traps.

“This menace had started during the Left Front rule. We had repeatedly asked people not to put their money in chit funds but even now we hear people complain that they had deposited money in chit funds which had wrapped up their business and ran away with their money. I request the people with folded hands not to invest in chit funds. It is not possible for the government to pay if you lose money,” Mamata said.

“Do not succumb to greed. They are cheats,” she added. The CM said the state’s consumer affairs department would soon come out with adverts spreading awareness among people against these fraudulent chit fund companies.

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