Urdu will be 2nd language

The state Cabinet on Friday has approved a proposal regarding the declaration of Urdu as the second language in areas where 10 per cent of the total population speak in Urdu and has also given the in principle nod to set up West Bengal Highway Development Corporation for the improvement and maintenance of the state highways and their connecting thoroughfares.

The Cabinet has also decided to include Joka I and Joka II under Kolkata Municipal Corporation and approved another proposal of relinquish the state government's share of East West Metro Project, which would now be executed by the Indian Railways.

The decision to declare Urdu as the second language in areas with more than 10 per cent Urdu speaking population according to 2001 Census is a move that will have far reaching consequences. The decision will give Urdu a much needed fillip in Kolkata.

The state government would reply in Urdu in response to people who would send letter to the state authorities in Urdu Urdu will be taught in the areas having more than 10 per cent Urdu speaking people because of the decision.

Besides Kolkata, Asansol, Jamuria, Goaltore I, Goaltore II, Titagar are some of the places where Urdu will become second official language. "The chief minister also wants to declare Urdu as second official languages for areas with more than 10 per cent Urdu speaking people according to the 2011 Census. We would do it," the state urban development minister Firad Hakim said.

Meanwhile, Purnendu Chatterjee said the Chief Minister has emphasised on the development of state highways and their connecting roads. For this purpose, West Bengal Highway Development Corporation will be set up in Public Private Partnership (PPP) model. The Memorandum of Agreement will be prepared and the corporation will start functioning with a working capital of Rs 50 crore. Registration of the corporation will be done soon. The PPP model was chosen to ensure the flow of corporate funds, he said, adding, the Chief Minister wants to take up a road improvement project similar in line with the Centre's Golden Quadrilateral Project. The Chief Minister has proposed a name - Swarnali Rasta Prakalpa (Golden Road Project) - which would be executed by the corporation, he said.

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