West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said that deaths due to road accidents in the state has been reduced by 13 per cent in a year after the 'Safe Drive Save Life' programme was launched in July 2016. The West Bengal government had started the 'Safe Drive Save Life' drive to inculcate a sense of safe driving and responsible road behaviour among the people. "The Safe Drive Safe Life was running quite successfully. And one year's record shows that accidental deaths in the state has been reduced by 13 per cent after the introduction of the Safe Drive and Save Life programme," Banerjee said. The number of accidents in the state was decreased by 16 per cent during the period and that of injured due to road accidents has also gone down by 12.4 per cent, she said at the state secretariat after an administrative meeting. "We are only second to Punjab which is a small state compared to West Bengal," she said. Referring to a report submitted by transport secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay at today's meeting, Banerjee said, without elaborating, the Supreme Court has praised the state government's initiative in traffic discipline. The chief minister said the state government would initiate a traffic awareness programme this month and would continue it till February 15. "This is a time when accidents go up because of fog," she said. Meanwhile, it was decided at today's review meeting that e-governance would be made compulsory for every department from next month and departments not following the order will be blacklisted. "E-office has been made compulsory for every departments from January. This will will bring in transparency, credibility, accountability.
We have already started e-service. If some departments are found not following the instructions (in using the e-office) in cases of issuing e-tender, they will be blacklisted," she said. Meanwhile, the state government also took a decision to use 25 per cent of the fund left with departments after utilisation, and use them to develop rural roads and set up proper drinking water network in places like Purulia district where it has been a problem for long. "We have asked the DMs to inform the state government to let us know about the excess funds and out of that, 25 per cent will be utilised for this," the chief minister said. She expressed dissatisfaction over the delay in the piped water project in Purulia district by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) from which the state government had secured a loan of Rs 810 crore for the project. "It's almost four years that the Jica is working for a water project in Purulia. But they have floated the tenders now. We have decided to give priority to these areas so that they get water for the time being," Banerjee said. She said that the state government has earmarked Rs 44,000 crore for planned funds which had been Rs 36730 crore only last year. Besides the planned fund, the state will also be spending Rs 12,000 crore for infrastructure development, the chief minister said. An amount of Rs 13,714.32 crore was due from the Centre in various schemes such as the National Rural Employment Guarantee and the Swachh Bharat Mission.
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