ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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LABOUR-Hosiery Workers of Calcutta

December 17, 1977 The Committee, despite all its experiences, still had some hope in the possible implementation of the scheme. The visits to ministers and officials con- tinued, the memoranda continued, but to scant avail. The Committee requested a conference to discuss the matter, but this was put off again and again because one or the other official could not attend "as the date mentioned was not suitable". By sheer force of inertia internal memos on the scheme continued to be written, in delightfully vague officialese. For example, memo number TA 3-21536/75 dated blank- 7.75 from the Director of Agriculture to the Agriculture Secretary that "certain details are being collected from the officers concerned on the follow-up action". The Agriculture Secretary did not bo- ther to enquire too closely as to what these 'details' were, and whether after so much study more details were needed. On 28.4.1975 yet another high- level conference took place in the chamber of the PWD Minister at which, inter alia the following decision was taken and duly recorded: "The works relating to forming a canal by the southern side of Aakulam kayal and deepening of TS canal from Muttana bund to Veli railway bridge may be taken up immediately. And for this Chief Engineer may expedite technical sanction." By the time the Chief Engineer finally gave technical sanction the cost had mounted, and hence a fresh Government Order was needed. This was issued on 7.2.1976 by the Secretary tc Government of the Water and Powei (Irrigation) Department. The sanction given was for a sum of Rs 34.30 lakhs, To date, however, the scheme has no! been implemented, and the cost estimate has risen to nearly Rs 45 lakhs a; opposed to Rs 26 lakhs had the scheme been completed in 1967. In the mean, time the Harijans of Aakulam are stil without their land or huts and flood still sweep low-lying areas of Trivan drum city, killing many children each year and adding to the burden of the city's inhabitants. As for the Aakulan Kayal Reclamation Committee, its mem bers are still making feeble efforts bringing the attention of such divers institutions as the Centre for Develop ment Studies (based in Aakulam) and the NCC corps to the scheme, in the hope that these bodies would petition the authorities on behalf of the Aaku- lam people. The Committee has also suggested that in case the Government departments do not want to implement the scheme, "agencies like the Land Mortgage Bank, Land Development Corporation and SFDA, etc" may be asked to do the job.

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