To improve communication with different islands in the Sundarbans, the West Bengal government has taken up a major programme to construct a number of bridges connecting important islands. Replying to a question at the West Bengal Assembly, state's Sundarbans Affairs Minister Manturam Pakhira said that such a step was necessary to improve total development in the Sundarbans and mainly for the benefit of people living in those inaccessible area. Construction of the proposed Gadkhali-Gosaba bridge has already received state government nod and the process for acquisition of land was going on now, the minister said adding that Rs 285 crore has already been sanctioned for the construction of this 2.7 km bridge. Apart from this the state government has also taken up a programme to construct five more bridges at the Sundarbans connecting different islands during the current 2017-18 financial year, which would be completed within three to four years, Pakhira said. Meanwhile between 2011 to 2017, the construction of seven bridges by the state government had been completed at an expense of Rs 100 crore, while 18 other bridges at an expense of Rs 400 crore were under construction in the Sundarbans, he said replying to a supplementary question in the House. Stating that the Modi government has not given a single paise, Pakhira said that all these expenses were borne by state government entirely. State's budgetary allocation for the Sundarbans Affairs department has also increased by 12 per cent to Rs 450 crore during the current 2017-18 financial year, he added.
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