Barely five months before the municipal polls, the process of forming a corporation with eight municipalities across Barrackpore industrial belt in North 24 Parganas has been initiated. The civic bodies that will be merged in the Barrackpore corporation are collecting data sought by the state urban development department through the district magistrate of North 24 Parganas. Two gram panchayats under Barrackpore Block No 2 will also be included in the corporation.
All the eight Trinamool-run municipalities at Titagarh, Bhatpara, Naihati, Barrackpore, North Barrackpore, Kanchrapara, Halisahar and Garulia come under Barrackpore parliamentary constituency that BJP’s Arjun Singh had wrested control of in the last Lok Sabha polls. The two gram panchayats at Mohanpur and Sewli, which will be part of the corporation, are also run by Trinamool.
According to administrative sources, the small municipalities like Titagarh, Halishahar, North Barrackpore and Garulia in the Barrackpore area do not have the infrastructure required to develop civic amenities.
“The state government is set to merge all the eight municipalities and two gram panchayats into the corporation with its headquarters in Barrackpore. It will improve civic services, provide more manpower and help area development. We have started the process. It will take some time for the corporation to be constituted,” said a senior district administrative official.
Sources said the government order about the formation of the corporation was already sent to the district magistrate’s office. After that, the Barrackpore’s SDO sent the letters to the eight municipalities. “The civic and panchayat heads have been asked to furnish details about their functioning, including the areas under their control, population and funds allocation and expenditure,” said Abul Kalam Azad Islam, SDO, Barrackpore.
Uttam Das, chairman of Barrackpore Municipality, said, “Several municipal corporations like Bidhannagar, Chandrnagore and Asansol were formed after Trinamool came to the power in 2011. Those corporations are being run successfully and citizens are getting better services. We have already received the letters from SDO, and started collecting necessary data.”
Opposition parties suspect that the plan to merge the municipalities into the corporation will cast its shadow on the municipal polls.
“The process will take time as bills will have to be passed in the assembly following the West Bengal Municipal Act. The move has huge political significance as it has to be decided now who will become mayor and mayor-in-council members for the corporation,” said Shankar Chatterjee, BJP’s state committee member and Barasat unit president.
Source: Times of India