July 9, 2018

Speaking at a press conference, in Kolkata

और आप को हैरानी होगी कि जो बजट एलोकेशन है वह भी हमारे समय में बढ़ा है पश्चिम बंगाल में और कई सारे प्रोजेक्ट जो अटके हुए हैं उसको भी हमने गति दी है| अभी-अभी मैं रिव्यू कर रहा था जो प्रोजेक्ट काफी टाइम से बढ़ नहीं पा रहे हैं उसमें मालूम पड़ा कि जो एयरपोर्ट से न्यू बैरकपुर में मेट्रो बढ़ानी है उसके लिए हमारे को 2000 नंबर एन्क्रोचमेंट न्यू बैरकपुर से बरासत के बीच में हटाने का काम नहीं हो पा रहा है, 33,000 स्क्वायर मीटर लैंड एक्वायर करके सरकार ने देनी है| 86 बिल्डिंग्स का प्रॉब्लम है, 30 हेक्टेयर प्राइवेट लैंड कार डेपो के लिए चाहिए| तो ऐसे हर एक चीज़ में कुछ न कुछ संकट है जिस के लिए हमें राज्य सरकार की मदद चाहिए होगी|

Q: तो इसके लिए आप राज्य सरकार से बात करेंगे सर?

A: हमारा रेगुलर चीफ सेक्रेटरी से अभी-अभी चेयरमैन रेलवे बोर्ड ने बात भी की थी. We have requested them to speed up these projects.

Q: Sir land is the major problem in West Bengal, do you feel so?

A: I don’t know. You should know better than me.

Q: Sir, the central government has set a target of 175 GW of solar power generation?

A: No. 100 GW solar power, 175 total renewable energy.

Q: Sorry, total renewable power by 2022, West Bengal has been given a target to generate some 5336 MW by 2022 on solar power. As of now, our state has achieved only about 70 to 80 MW, it’s 2019 almost?

A: Well, you know the position of your state better than I know.

Q: Did you fix any deadline for the completion of metro projects?

A: How can I fix any deadline if you don’t give me the right of way and land? We cannot fix any deadline without the right of way and land.

Q: Sir what about the East-West Metro?

A: On East-West Metro also, the alignments and all have been changed, which have completely changed the structure and the costing of the East-West corridor. Despite that, we are hopeful of completing one section, which is the elevated section of 7.5 kilometers from RAMP section to Sector 5 in March 2019. So that 7 kilometer section, elevated viaduct, we are hoping to complete. In the other section, which is underground, we had a lot of difficulty, because we could not get the alignment cleared and the right of way and all of that has been changed.

Q: Sir is there a chance to start the metro, Sector 5 to Salt Lake stadium on October 2nd?

A: We can ask them to try to do that by October.

Q: Sir, did you mention about the long term infra bonds?

A: I have just made a suggestion to a leading bank to consider some such proposals, so that long term financing can be available for long gestation projects.

Q: Sir how much do you propose to raise?

A: अभी तो एक फ़ोन कॉल किया है भईया. It’s just an idea, a thought that has been seeded. No further discussions have been held.

Q: Sir, ideally, how much would you like to raise?

A: Sky is the limit.

Q: Sir, Amit Mitra has recently alleged that the increased frequency of this, in GST the hawala transaction has increased in number?

A: They should stop it immediately in the state of West Bengal. I wish Mr Amit Mitra would act quickly in the state of West Bengal to stop all these illegal transactions.

Q: What is the portion of financing is coming from banks for infrastructure?

A: All good projects will get financing.

Q: No, what from banking sector, because there are long-term bonds which you have proposed?

A: I have not proposed. I have just seeded an idea. Nothing has been finalized. I was talking to a group of people that we are all the time thinking of new ideas.

Q: Sir for the Noapara-Barasat metro project; will you ask the state government to remove those encroachments?

A: Of course, we have already written to them and we will write again a letter after my visit. Please address a letter to the Chief Secretary.

Q: सर कोलकाता मेट्रो में अभी जितने भी रेक चल रहे हैं उसमें ज़्यादातर रेक पुराने हो चुके हैं और नया जो रेक आया हुआ है, पिछले एक साल से पड़ा हुआ है पब्लिक चढ़ नहीं पा रही है?

A: Once the trails… it has to be all the safety parameters have to be fulfilled. After we get the approval from Commissioner of Rail Safety they can start it.

Q: Sir what about the punctuality, because Howrah I am sure the division is the most efficient and busiest division in our state but the punctuality level is very much poor?

A: The punctuality is poor because former Railway Ministers and former governments did not invest in upgrading the infrastructure. They kept making political announcements without adequate capital to invest, and therefore, instead of completing projects in time and having right amount of trains running on each line, the entire network has got overloaded and some sections are running at 150% capacity, some are running at 180% capacity. So sadly, governments before 2014 and Railway Ministers, illustrious Railway Ministers before 2014 only made political announcements but never backed it up with capital, because of which less amount of money was spread over so many projects, nothing was getting completed. And the entire railway infrastructure we received in legacy in 2014 was in a very-very serious state of disorderly development.

Q: Sir Dr Amit Mitra has also alleged that the exporters are not getting the GST refunds?

A: I think Dr Amit Mitra should by now be very well aware that from 31st May to 16th June, we had a fortnight in which everybody was requested to come and take their refunds. Most refunds have been cleared, whoever applied has all been cleared, exporters were given the easy way of self-certification if their refund was less than 10 lakhs, and a chartered accountant certificate if it was more than 10 lakhs and refunds have been cleared. So I am sure the state government is very well aware of this.


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