Kolkata will be London, Darjeeling another Switzerland: Mamata

"We also want to develop Kolkata. Why can't Kolkata be another London? We want to undertake tourism based industries in the Sundarbans area. Like in African safari, we can also build up our area in Sundarbans. Darjeeling can be our Switzerland," she said here.
Banerjee was speaking after a meeting with Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia to finalise the state's annual plan.

The Planning Commission today approved West Bengal's annual Plan of Rs 22,214 crore for 2011-12, up from Rs 17,985 crore in the previous fiscal.

Banerjee said that infrastructure and tourism development among others, would be the priority areas for her Trinamool Congress-led government, which took charge last month ending 34-years of uninterrupted rule by the Left Front.

The Chief Minister said Kolkata's infrastructure, including the metro network, would be developed as per the Kolkata Development Project.

Besides, she said, the recent agreement with the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha had brought stability to the Darjeeling hills. Her government will give special attention to other regions of the state, including North Bengal, Jangalmahal and the Sundarbans, she said.
Banerjee said this would create a conducive environment for both setting up of industries and increasing tourism.

During the today's meeting, Banerjee asked the Planning Commission for help in facilitating better connectivity in her state. She also asked for air connectivity to six places including Malda, Santiniketan, Haldia and the Sundarbans.

The state government plans to set up 17 industrial clusters in West Bengal to boost growth of small and medium scale industries.

Yesterday, West Bengal Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee had said that steps were being taken to assess the present status of land of the closed industrial units and how they could be utilised.

According to informed sources, at least 5,000 industrial units are to be set up in the clusters and six of the clusters are to come up in minority-dominated areas.

"We have already decided that within two years we will create at least more than 10 lakh jobs for the unemployed youths," Banerjee said, adding that the jobs would be created in the planned industrial clusters.

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