Kolkata, June 27 (IANS) The West Bengal government is launching 'waiting hubs' for pregnant women in remote islands of the Sundarbans where they can wait for a few days ahead of delivery, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced on Monday.

"For the first time in Bengal, we have started with a new concept of setting up waiting hubs for expecting mothers in the rural hospitals of far-flung areas of Sunderbans like Gosaba, Pathar Pratima and Sandeshkhali," Banerjee said in a post on her Facebook page.

The hubs will help overcome the challenge of providing safe motherhood in such geographically remote locations, she said.

"The basic objective behind this new endeavour is to keep the expecting mothers in these hubs seven to 10 days ahead of their expected date of delivery and move them to hospital when delivery time advances," she said.

Reiterating that over the last five years, institutional delivery has increased from 68 per cent to 90 per cent and infant mortality rate has reduced from 31 to 27 in Bengal, the Trinamool Congress supremo asserted the novel concept of waiting hubs for expecting mothers will "give further boost to institutional delivery, reduce Infant Mortality Rate and maternal morbidity."