KOLKATA: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee went on a 10-km jog along with senior bureaucrats and police officers in north Bengal hill town Kurseong in Darjeeling district on Thursday to raise awareness about environment conservation.
The chief minister, known for her passion for walking whenever she visits places out of the state capital, never misses an opportunity to encourage others around her to walk as much as possible as it helps keep the body fit.
On Friday, Mamata Tweeted: "On the International Day of Climate Action, let us all solemnly pledge to make every effort to conserve the environment and save our planet. Save Green, Stay Clean.’’
On seeing some of those in her entourage tired, Mamata chose to walk some part of the distance. The chief minister taking an evening stroll is a familiar sight in Kolkata. If not possible in outdoor, Mamata walks equal distance using the treadmill at her Kalighat residence.
"Uphill jogging is a difficult task. I do physical exercise everyday. But neither me nor my body was fit enough to match the chief minister's pace on a steep stretch. Almost none of us, who were accompanying her, was prepared for this session," said an officer of the chief minister's security ring.
He said the chief minister left the circuit house around 6.30 am. "We thought she would take morning walk as usual. But after walking a few metres, she started jogging. We, too, followed her. We jogged matching with her pace for over five km but after that most of us started struggling to follow her. None of us was prepared for the session,’’ he said.
Mamata marched five-km downhill from Kurseong to the Mahanadi area and then took the return route uphill. A large number of local people came forward to have a glimpse of the chief minister during her walk.
Mamata was seen walking alongside her delegation from Rome to St Peter’s Basilica where Mother Teresa was conferred sainthood in September 2016. While visiting London, Bhutan and Singapore, Mamata and her team would often walk.
In Kolkata, one of Mamata’s favourite venues for evening walk used to be Eliot Park in central Kolkata. But she stopped going there since July this year after spotting three snakes baring their fangs.