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SUNDARBAN DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Constitutionally, it is a distinct development agency guided by the decisions of a Board comprising elected representatives (MLAs / Sabhadhipaties), Administrators (District Magistrates of the two districts), noted Social Workers and Non Government Organisations (NGOs) and representatives of State Govt. Depts. Functionally, however, it is a Directorate, erstwhile under the Sundarban Area Branch of the Development & Planning Department, and since 1994 under the Sundarban Affairs Department of the State Government.
Even in the British ruled India, the need for a separate agency for Sundarban was felt and "SUNDARBAN COMMISSIONER" used to look after all the related issues since early Nineteenth Century. However in Independent India the developmental needs of the region was being monitored by the normal established administrative set up (24-Parganas District administration) till 1972.
In pursuance of the State Government policy of entrusting the planning and co-ordination of development activities in the backward region to specified agencies, the Sundarban Development Board under the Development & Planning Department was set up in 1973 for the socio-economic development of the Sundarban.
The functions entrusted to the Sundarban Development :-
- (a) Formulation of integrated programme for effective utilization of the resources placed at its disposal from various sources.
- (b) Co-ordination of execution of plans for the development of the region.
- (c) Supervision of the execution of any project for the development of the region as a whole or part of it.
- (d) Review and evaluate the progress of implementation and make adjustment in policies and measures as the review may indicate.
The constitution of the Board at the initial stage was :-
- (a) Minister-in-Charge of Sundarban Area Branch of - Chairman Development & Planning Department.
- (b) Vice-Chairman of the West Bengal State Planning - Member (Ex-officio) Board.
- (c) Three M.L.A.s of Sundarban area to be nominated - Member (Ex-officio) by State Government The Executive head of Sundarban Development Board was designated as Member Secretary.