West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday dropped by a slum area in Howrah. She walked into homes and spoke with local residents about the problems they face.
The Bengal chief Minister lost her cool when she came to know that there were just two toilets for around 400 people living at the number 2 Round Tank Puranabasti in Ward 29.
Banerjee had stopped at the slum on her way to an administrative meeting. After arriving at the meeting, she took Minister for Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Firhad Hakim to task.
"Bobby, your department was told... I visited a basti on my way here. Four hundred families. Two toilets and bathrooms. Why? We give money for slum development. Who is the councillor? What's he doing?" she asked Hakim, referring to him by his pet name.
There was silence. Mamata Banerjee was later informed that the local Trinamool councillor has been under arrest for murder since June 2017.
"So the councillor is in jail in some case. But the municipality is there. It is under an administrator. Why are you not overseeing the wards? I am telling you, in seven days you have to visit all the slum areas and fix their problems," Banerjee told Hakim.
Howrah Municipal Corporation is currently under an administrator because elections due in December 2018 have not been held yet.
"What is the problem with providing more bathrooms - six or eight at least?. Two bathrooms for 400 people. Can you imagine? What if that was the situation at your home? If there is a provision, why can't we provide? The civic body is under an administrator. Please start your work immediately," she said.
Banerjee's next stop was Digha, around 200 km from Kolkata, a popular seaside tourist town in East Midnapore district. West Bengal CM broke with routine there too, and sat in an outdoor location with some senior party leaders and chatted with fishermen - enquiring about the problems they face as well as their children and education.