Kolkata: Planning Commission has sanctioned Rs 8,000 crore for development purposes in 11 backward districts in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said here on Saturday.

“Planing Commission has sanctioned Rs 8,000 crore which will be utilised for development and improvement of roads, hospitals and water sectors in 11 backward districts,” Banerjee told reporters at Writers' Buildings.

She said that 30 percent of the fund would be available during this fiscal, and the balance next year.

The Chief Minister said that her government had been facing an uphill task in the development of different sectors, like health, road, drinking water provision and other vital sectors, “due to faulty planning of the previous Left Front government.”

“It is quite difficult to come out of the financial crisis,” she said, adding that her government had already sent all DPRs (detailed project reports) to the Planning Commission.

Giving special thrust to improve moribund healthcare sector in the state, the Chief Minister said that seven health districts would be created in 2012 to upgrade healthcare system in areas like Diamond Harbour, Basirhat, Jhargram, Asansol, Rampurhat, Nandigram and Vishnupur.

She said that to reduce high rate of child mortality, which is 40,000 each year, the state government had decided to set up six new neo-natal care units in B C Roy children's hospital, Bangur hospital, and district hospitals in Howrah, Malda, Siliguri and Burdwan.

She said that 3,500 new beds were being added in the state hospitals, for which Rs 1,200 crore would be spent.

“We want 100 percent polio eradication in our state which has till now registered 98 percent,” the Chief Minister said.

Banerjee said that a task force had been formed for ensuring better mother-child healthcare. The task force would be headed by noted physician Tridib Banerjee who would be given status of a minister of state and he would move around in district hospitals to see for himself state of affairs.

The Chief Minister said that initiatives had been taken for setting up super-speciality hospitals in 11 districts, including Bankura, Birbhum, South and North Dinajpur, Jalpaiguri, Malda, Murshidabad, Purulia, East and West Midnapore. Besides, mobile medical units would be set up in 11 blocks of Maoist-hit Junglemahal.

She said new district hospitals would be functional in Jhargram shortly.

Earlier, the Chief Minister alleged that farmers in the state had been facing difficulties in getting urea at just price.

Banerjee said that she had shot off a letter to the Centre calling for reducing urea price.

(Agencies)