Bengal Govt has turned Gangasagar Mela into a money-minting event: LoP

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Kolkata, Jan 17 (IANS) The Leader of the Opposition (LoP) in West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, on Wednesday launched a scathing attack against the state government accusing the latter of converting the annual Gangasagar Mela into a money-minting event to fill its coffers.

“The bankrupt West Bengal Government is arm twisting the common people to earn big bucks. Every day tall claims are being made that the state government is providing top-notch facilities at the Gangasagar Mela and how maximum services are provided free of cost with the state bearing the expenses. However, these claims are far from the truth,” Adhikari claimed on Wednesday.

The LoP alleged that the devotees visiting Gangasagar Mela in Sagar Island were being forced to pay vessel fares that are more than the normal tariff.

According to him, the vessel fare to reach Gangasagar Mela Ground increased from Rs 49 in normal times to Rs 76 during the mela.

“Assuming that minimum 50 lakh people have availed the vessel service, the state government through the hike in fares during the mela days has raked in an extra Rs 38 crore,” the LoP claimed.

The local Trinamool Congress legislator and the state Sundarban Affairs Minister Bankim Hazra, however, termed the allegations as baseless.

He said that while the previous Left Front regime imposed an entry tax on the visitors to Gangasagar Mela, the current state government has done away with that.

Adhikari also claimed that the cost of the form for the Teachers’ Eligibility Test (TET) examination had been increased to Rs 500 in 2023 from Rs 100 in 2022.

“With 3,09,054 students appearing for the TET, the state government minted Rs 15,45 crore,” he alleged.



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