KOLKATA -- Sixteen thousand police personnel have donated blood over the past one week to overcome the blood crisis in West Bengal during the ongoing summer, chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said here on Saturday.
The Chief Minister had earlier urged police personnel and her party Trinamool Congress workers to organise voluntary blood donation camps in the city and across districts to meet the shortage of blood in hospitals and blood banks as part of the celebrations to mark the sixth anniversary of her government. Besides, the Banerjee government on Saturday completed its first year in office in its second term.
"Till yesterday (Friday), 16,000 police personnel have donated blood," Banerjee said while addressing a function at the state secretariat, Nabanna.
She said the Trinamool workers and the state government employees had also started holding blood donation camps from Saturday.
"There will be nearly 50,000 bottles by 10 June," Banerjee said.
The Chief Minister said the total collection of around 66,000 bottles would mitigate the blood shortage in the state.
The state government, together with the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, also started an ambulance service during the day. The 53 air-conditioned ambulances would be used both in the city and the districts.
Banerjee also launched an air-conditioned fast bus service from Kolkata to Bolpur and Suri in Birbhum district.
In an oblique reference to the Narendra Modi government at the Centre, which is celebrating the completion of its third year in office on a grand scale, Banerjee said: "We could also have celebrated the sixth year of our government with fanfare. But we are not doing so.
"Instead, we are organising blood donation camps and starting ambulance services, besides taking up other social programmes for benefit of the public".
On the occasion, the state government also published a booklet and released a compact disc highlighting its successes over the years.
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