Though normal development
activities were being carried out by different
Government Departments in the Sundarban Region since
Independence, only during 1973, the extent of
backwardness, the very fact of difficult, inhospitable &
in accessible terrain, the critical gap in developmental
needs and the magnitude of the task confronting the
development agencies prompted the State Government to
create a distinct and specific body for development in
the region. Thus Sundarban Development Board was born in
1973, which was placed then under the Sundarban Area
Branch of the Development & Planning Department.
In January 1994, a new
Department viz. Sundarban Affairs Department was created
to give an impetus to the development efforts in
Sundarban region and Sundarban Development Board has
been placed under this Department.
Department implements developmental activities through
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.