Emergency and Utilities in West Bengal
West Bengal is a state is the eastern part of India, and happens to be the fourth most populous state in the country with more than 90 million inhabitants. In view of the burgeoning population, and with the prevalence of interstate movement of people from Bihar
into Bengal, the state has had to develop a vast network of emergency and utility services, and a robust infrastructure for the delivery of public goods to the people. Even though the population pressure has been one of the reasons responsible for Bengal falling behind with respect to the economic growth, as compared to some of the other Indian states, it still is one of the best places to live in India, as proved by a number of official and non government organizational surveys. In this article, we take a look at some of the important emergencies and utilities in the state of West Bengal.
Public Utilities in West Bengal
Banks in West Bengal
The development in banking infrastructure has been the keystone of India’s growth story in the recent times, and West Bengal also reflects the same idea. Initially, the successive governments attempted to make banks prioritize lending for agricultural activities and provide cheap credit to small and marginal farmers, especially to mitigate the disastrous droughts which had pervaded the state in the 1960s and 70s. Subsequent improvements in the conditions of agriculture, coupled with the fact that a major section of the population of the state has been traditionally reliant on agrarian jobs, led to a sustained rise in the demand for modernization and industrialization – an idea that gained currency following the Liberalization of the Economy in 1991. Consequently, the role of banks in this state transformed from being a provider of cheap credit to farmers and cooperatives to being the instruments of state sponsored development and industrialization.
Presently, West Bengal has banks of all kinds spread all throughout its territory – from the cooperative banks in rural sectors which concentrate on providing assistance to famers, to international commercial banks in the urban sector that cater to the needs and aspirations of the growing middle class. Private sector names like ICICI, HDFC, Axis, Karur Vysya, IDFC and YES Bank have al made significant inroads into the Bengal economy. Public sector banks like SBI, IDBI, Canara Bank, Central Bank of India and Punjab National Bank are also present across the length and breadth of the state. The novel concept of Regional Rural Banking, in which a commercial bank shall sponsor and train personnel for a regional bank, has been accepted by state authorities as a step forward towards bringing about inclusive economic growth, by ensuring that the facilities offered by banks can be extended to even the remotest part of the state. Check out the banking services in following major cities of West Bengal: Kolkata | Darjeeling | Howrah | Bardhaman | Kalyani | Durgapur | Jalpaiguri | Siliguri
Electricity Services in West Bengal
The state of electricity distribution in West Bengal underwent a massive transformation in 1972 when
the Department of Power
took charge from the Electricity Development Directorate
, which used to function under the supervision of Department of Commerce and Industries
. The urgent need to prioritize electricity use and distribution was felt in the aftermath of the Bangladesh war in 1971, which made a significant dent on the state of the national economy. West Bengal, being the closest to the theater of war in 1971, felt the most disastrous fall outs of the violence and bloodshed.
Thus, the need of power to drive the economic growth of the state, and its use as a long term asset to execute public and private sector projects became the top priorities of the state government when it undertook the responsibility to cautiously manage the state of power, energy and electricity in particular in Bengal. After acquiring some stability in power generation and distribution, the state then shifted its attention to conservation power and energy, which formed an integral of part the concept of sustainable development.
The Non Conventional Energy Resources Wing was accordingly transferred from the Department of Science and Technology to the Department of Power, in 2001, so as to facilitate better management of the scarce renewable energy resources of the state. Presently, West Bengal has achieved sufficiency in power generation and is placed in a favourable position to export power to other states, under suitable circumstances.Address - Department of Power and Non Conventional Energy Resources
New Secretariat Building, 7th Floor,
1 Kiran Sankar Roy Road,
Public Health Engineering Department (PHED)
This department was formed in 1987, segregating it from the Department of Health and Family Welfare that was being run by the state government. Implementation of programmes pertaining to sanitation services and water supply is the primary task of the PHED, which it undertakes through its administrative wing known as Public Health Engineering Directorate.
There are three sewerage systems which were established in West Bengal, as a part of the Phase I of the Ganga Action Plan – these three systems are located at Nabadwip, Kalyani
and Berhampore. Besides handling a slew of other public health projects which have come up in the recent times, this department also deals with the state government’s disaster management efforts.
Urban Planning and Development
With the gradual evolution of an influential middle class and an urban sector that was hitherto only confined to the capital city of Kolkata
, the state administration felt that there was an urgent need to incorporate urban planning into the mainstream governance schemes.
Accordingly, the West Bengal Town and Country (Planning and Development) Act, 1979
came into being and the Act mandated the creation of a number of planning and development authorities and institutions.
The functioning of these planning units, however, was dependent on their ability to harness the grassroots networking power of the urban and rural local bodies like the municipalities and panchayats. This was made possible by the 74th Constitution Amendment Act, 1992 which advocated the devolution of powers to the local bodies on the lines of ‘cooperative federalism’
, as enshrined in the Indian Constitution.
At present, the Urban Planning and Development Wing of the state government is focusing on the disadvantaged sections of the population – in both rural and urban areas – within its ambit, and trying to bring them into its ambit of operations via a number of community based programmes.
Emergency Services in West Bengal
The growth story of West Bengal has traditionally been focused on the rural regions which are dominated by agriculture based activities, and this roughly explains why the Communists could maintain a 34 year long stretch of supremacy in the state politics. However, the progress made by other parts of the country soon brought the state administrators to terms with the manifold benefits of embracing modern instruments of growth and development. A number of services and public facilities soon found their way into the households of Bengal, and some of them are mentioned below -
Blood Banks in West Bengal
Availability of blood is critical to the healthcare system of any country in the world, but its mere
availability does not ensure that those in dire need will get it on time. An efficient delivery system is thus the cornerstone of making the blood banks work according to the plan, and this has been made possible by the advent of modern infrastructure in Bengal. The use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has been put to good use in connecting blood banks with hospitals and health care centres, so as to keep the flow of health related information uninterrupted. Some of the important blood banks in the state are enlisted below –Bankura Sammillani Medical College & Hospital
- Dr. Kingshuk Bose, Director RBTC Contact No
– 9732344958, 9434520723Burdwan Medical College & Hospital
– Dr. Soma Dutta Ghosh Director, Dr. Snehangshu Mondal(MOIC)Contact No
- 9474638140, 9831423689North Bengal Medical College & Hospital
- Dr. M. DasContact No
- 9434121152Calcutta Medical College and Hospital
- Dr.Biswajit HalderContact No
- 9433737234Calcutta National Medical College Hospital
- Dr. Madhusudan MondalContact No
- 9433204823Institute of Blood Transfusion Medicine & Immunohaematology
- Dr. S.N.GuchayetContact No
- 9051600912NRS Medical College Hospital
- Dr. Dilip PandaContact No
- 9433135529R.G. Kar Medical College & Hospital
- Dr. Biswajit BhattacharyaContact No
Fire Services in West Bengal
This is handled by the West Bengal Fire Service Department which attends to emergency fire breakouts and related incidents which may occur at any place in the state. The fire department presently has more than 350 well equipped fire trucks and 103 fire stations. Some of the important personnel in the Directorate of the Fire Department are provided below – Durgapada Tarenia, I.P.S.- Director General - 2252 7172 (O)
Gopal Krishna Bhattacharya - Addl. Director General - 2252 1173 (O)
Asis Kumar Laha - Joint Director (Accounts) - 2252 1165 Extn. No.- 217
Abhijit Panday - D.O.F.P. – II ( Fire License) - 2252 1165 Extn. No.- 218
Goutam Mukherjee - Divn.Officer – (South 24 Parganas Division) - 2497 6285 / 6528
Samir Chowdhury - Divn.Officer – (Howrah Division) - 2666 6111
Sankar Sarkar - Divn.Officer – (North 24 Parganas Division) – 2594 1337
Tarak Nath Pradhan - Divn.Officer – (Hooghly Division) - 2662 8010
Chief Mobilizing Officer - D.G. Control & ‘A’ Divn. Control Room – 2252 1165
Ambulance Services in West Bengal
Here is a list of some of the important ambulance service providers in West Bengal:Swasti
HJ3 & HJ6, Rajarhat Road, Near Joramandir & Taltala,
Deshbandhunagar, Kolkata, West Bengal – 700059Contact
- 033 – 25707481U D Healthcare
- B 51, Survey Park, Santoshpur, Neelpukur, Kolkata, West Bengal – 700075Contact
- 033 – 24166037St John’s Ambulance Services
- 41/1A, Bhowanipur, Town Shend Road, Kolkata, West Bengal – 700025Contact
- 033 – 24761935
Apollo Gleneagles Hospital
58 Canal Circular Road E M Bypass, Kankurgachi, Kolkata, West Bengal - 700054Contact
Calcutta Chemist Corner Services
63, Khidirpur, Diamond Harbour Road, Kolkata, West Bengal - 700034Contact -
Dhanwantari Medical Clinic and Services
65, Diamond Harbour Road, Opposite Kolkata Hospital,
Khidirpur, Kolkata, West Bengal – 700023Contact
- 033 – 24495168Suri Sadar Hospital
- Garage Place, Suri Sadar Hospital. Contact
Calcutta Municipal Corporation
- 134, Chittaranjan Avenue, Kolkata, West Bengal - 700073Contact
- 22197202 22442365 22442748 22446015S.D Hospital More
- Bolpur, BirbhumContact
Also see the ambulance services in West Bengal: Kolkata
Besides these, all major medical colleges and hospitals in the districts of West Bengal have their own ambulance services which can be availed by patients at highly subsidized rates.