The Centre is likely to appoint a new Governor of West Bengal within a month, a post which has fallen vacant after the expiry of the tenure of Gopal Krishna Gandhi.
“I had some discussion with the Prime Minister, but I cannot disclose anything in the matter. The appointment of a full—time Governor will be done before the Republic Day,” Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said here on Sunday.
Mr. Bhattacharjee, who was here to attend the CPI(M) Politburo meeting, called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday and discussed several developmental projects with them.
He said he sought the urgent intervention of the Centre in stopping the problem of siltation and the shallow trough at the Haldia Port, which was seriously affecting navigation of large ships.
Seeking immediate steps by the Centre to start de-silting operations “before it is too late”, he said it was not only creating problems for West Bengal’s economy, but those of the Northeast and eastern states like Jharkhand as well.
Mr. Bhattacharjee said he also suggested that the Textile Ministry come out with a Jute Policy to encourage exports as jute bags were in great demand in European countries. It would also go a long way in protecting the interests of the jute growers, mills and their workers, he said. There are 56 jute factories in West Bengal.
At his meeting with the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister said the government had recently imposed a “complete ban” on any kind of construction on the Raniganj-Asansol area on the grounds that it was a coal belt.
“There are already several big industries in the area, which were constructed many years ago. Now they say, you cannot construct anything. While mining is important, there has to be some construction at the same time.
“A total ban has been imposed on any construction. There cannot be a unilateral decision. I told the Prime Minister to find some way out,” Mr. Bhattacharjee said, adding that he submitted documents and a map of the Raniganj-Asansol area to the Prime Minister and will send him some more documents.
A project for an aerotropolis, a mini-city with an airport, has been approved and is coming up in the same area.
This would be the first of its kind in the country.
The issue of unabated Maoist violence in some parts of the state and attacks on CPI(M) activists also came up during Mr. Bhattacharjee’s discussion with the Prime Minister.