Monthly plan to access Budget

Journalism of Courage
Advertisement

In village surrounded by water, drinking water an issue

The TMC supremo has undertaken a two-day tour to Hingalganj and the Sundarbans area ahead of the panchayat elections in the state next year. Samsernagar falls under Kalitala panchayat which is under her party’s control.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee offers prayers at Bonbibi Temple at Samsernagar, Sunderbans, on Tuesday. Partha Paul

Thirty-six-year-old Sufiyan Bibi has wrapped up all her chores early and even stocked up on drinking water, all in anticipation of catching a glimpse of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the first time in her life.

“Drinking water is a big problem in our village. It takes half an hour from bicycle to reach the place from where drinking water is supplied or distributed. When there is no electricity, we face worst water crisis,” she says.

The TMC supremo has undertaken a two-day tour to Hingalganj and the Sundarbans area ahead of the panchayat elections in the state next year. Samsernagar falls under Kalitala panchayat which is under her party’s control.

On Tuesday, Banerjee visited Samsernagar and offered prayers to local deity Bonobibi. She was accompanied by Basirhat MP Nusrat Jahan and Hingalganj MLA Debes Mandal.

Subscriber Only Stories

“We have no direct supply of drinking water at our homes. There is a tap which is about 2 to 3 km from here. Twice a day, we go and bring water. Sometimes when we can’t do so, we drink water from the pond which isn’t clean,” says Rita Sardar, another resident of Samshernagar.

Samsernagar is very close to Bangladesh. It is one of the lesser-known tourist stops located at the confluence of the Ichhamati river.

The residents work either work as daily wage labourers or are engaged in fishing. They allege that the pond water contains impurities but the residents are still forced to use it for cooking purposes.

Advertisement

“Our village is situated within the last civilised island before Bangladesh in Bengal. On left side of the village, Kalindi river flows and on the opposite side one can see Bangladesh. Electricity supply is better but we have no proper supply of water in the area,” says another villager.

“I have no job right now. The 100-day work programme (under the MGNREGA) has come to a complete halt because of non-payment of wages. So, I am jobless. We can’t blame anyone for this. Because of the geographical location of Samsernagar, development works can’t reach us. The chief minster has declared that Sunderbans will be a separate district and maybe that will help,” says Paritosh Mondal, another villager.

“How will development work reach us when the local MP of the area can’t reach us,” says another villager but refuses to identify himself.

Advertisement

“Scarcity of drinking water remains a problem in our life. Panchayat polls are near it will be great if Didi (Mamata Banerjee) resolves our drinking water problem,” Mondal adds.

Pragati Munda says there is no proper hospital in the area and they have to travel to Kolkata, nearly 100 km, for medical needs.

Later in the day, the CM told villagers that she has written to the Centre for preparation of a master plan for socio-economic development of the Sunderbans. “I am transforming Sundarbans into a seperate district for all these reasons. You all travel far for small things. Hingalganj, Sandeshkhali, Menakha will have health centres. I have launched nine jetties. How all these areas surrounded by water can be well connected to other places so that more tourists can come, I am looking into it to,” the chief minister said.

First published on: 30-11-2022 at 04:57 IST
Next Story

Another bus catches fire: PMPML under fire from commuters, activists

Tags:
Home
ePaper
Next Story
close
X