Emphasising that she had paid many visits to South 24 Parganas district in a short span of time, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Tuesday that she ensures that she personally visits the places that she plans development projects for.

 “I visit the places I plan development projects for. Unless you go on ground, you cannot conceive of the realities of the area,” she said at a function at Bakkhali in the district.

Ms. Banerjee said that in the past the remote areas of the State were always neglected, but her government had ensured that these places had been made a priority.

She announced that a board would be set up to ensure implementation of development projects in the Sunderbans.

The Chief Minister announced a slew of projects, a majority of them related to developing tourism, for the region. She said that the body would work on the lines of the Haldia Development Authority and the Digha Sankarpur Development Authority.

“The panchayats in the area will continue their work just as before. But the development board will implement the other projects here,” Ms. Banerjee said, adding that it will work on building tourism infrastructure at Bakkhali, Namkhana, Fraserganj and Jharkhali in the region.

She said that after she held a discussion with hotel associations and senior officials of the State government a plan of action was being worked out.

Ms. Banerjee said that five multi-purpose cyclone shelters that will accommodate 22,000 people will be set up on Sagar Island.

She also said that she understood the problems of fishermen in the Sunderbans who inadvertently cross the international border with Bangladesh and are apprehended for doing so.

 “A navigation system would be installed in every fishing trawler in the region and all fishermen will be issued identity papers to prevent this,” she said.