Lalgarh (West Bengal), April 24 (IANS) West Bengal aims to give 60 days of work to each household under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in the coming year, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said Tuesday.
She said that West Bengal has performed better than the national average in the country in providing rural employment.
'In spite of starting from the middle of the year we achieved 33 work days in just seven months which is higher than the national average of 31 work days. Our target is 60 days for the coming year and we are sure we will achieve that,' Banerjee said, addressing a rally in this town of West Midnapore.
Lalgarh, some 170 km from the state capital Kolkata and a part of Junglemahal - forested areas of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura where Maoists have a stronghold - Tuesday witnessed Banerjee's first visit after she assumed power in May 2011.
Banerjee said the government was committed to its promise of creating employment for the people of the area.
'We are working on providing employment to the people of Junglemahal and the process of recruiting 10,000 youths as security personnel has already started. There is nothing to worry for the others; they will be absorbed in other government jobs from time to time,' said Banerjee.
Congratulating the people of the area for standing up against the Maoists, Banerjee said: 'I congratulate you for standing up against them. Those who use guns are cowards. You are the real brave hearts. Do not let the green land of Lalgarh turn red with blood. Do not fall prey to their provocations.'
Banerjee on the occasion also distributed land pattas, Kisan Credit cards and documents of other governmental welfare schemes.
She also promised that all the families of Lalgarh will be given land under her pet project 'Nijo Bhumi Nijo Griha' (own land own house), under which the beneficiary is provided three cottah of land to build his own house.
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