The state government on Friday decided to convert the Bidhannagar and Rajarhat-Gopalpur municipalities into municipal corporations, thereby postponing the municipal elections that were due to be held in April.
The new corporation will thus be named Bidhannagar-Rajarhat-Gopalpur Municipal Corporation.
Announcing this on Friday, state minister for urban and municipal affairs, Firhad Hakim said it was a long-standing demand of the local people to give Bidhannagar, Rajarhat, Gopalpur — the areas that together constitute the New Town — the status of a corporation.
The decision was taken at the West Bengal cabinet meeting on Friday.
For this purpose, the state government will have to start a delimitation process, redrawing the corporation wards and the jurisdiction, voters list etc. “Once the process is over, Bidhannagar will go for the polls,” Hakim said.
The state BJP, however, called the move “a ploy” to defer the polls as the ruling Trinamool Congress was trailing in many of the existing wards as per the last Lok Sabha results.
“It is a ploy to defer the polls and bring in new areas under the Bidhannagar corporation to ensure that the ruling party has an upper hand before it goes to the polls,” said BJP leader Shamik Bhattacharya.
5,000 new police posts
In another major cabinet decision, the state government gave its nod for the creation of 4,647 new posts in the state police with Kolkata Police announcing appointments in those posts to strengthen both the forces for security reasons. Altogether, 3,266 posts have been created in the West Bengal Police and 1,381 posts in the city police for recruitment,” state’s higher education and parliamentary affairs minister, Partha Chatterjee said.
The sanction for the new posts in Kolkata police comes after new areas bifurcated from the North and South 24 Parganas were brought under the jurisdiction of the Kolkata police.
Flood control measures
The cabinet also sanctioned Rs 450 crore for taking preventive steps to avoid floods in the Kandi subdivision of Murshidabad district. The present allocation will help the area protect itself from the battering of successive floods.