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July 18, 2014

Ushering a tide of development in Darjeeling, the Queen of Hills

Ushering a tide of development in Darjeeling, the Queen of Hills
Written by: Ankita Bose
Darjeeling, for very long has been a hub of political unrest. Owing to the beauty this town is adorned with, such unrest is bound to creep in and has been hanging onto the innocence of this place disrupting its otherwise peaceful and calm environment.
Gorkhaland, a proposed state of demand by the people of Darjeeling and Dooars has been a plea for the past several decades. To an extent that two mass movements have taken place under the aegis of local political parties. 
Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) a semi autonomous administrative body for the Darjeeling Hills was signed on 18th July, 2011. A formal setup as such was created to oversee the monetary, executive and decision making powers, all except Legislative authorities bringing about harmony in the locale.
Ms Mamata Banerjee post coming into authority in the past one year has tremendously encouraged North Bengal to become self sufficient and prosperous. A complete department has been set up to look into the workings and progress of Gorkhaland. 
Here are some projects initiated by our Chief Minister to fast-track development in North Bengal: 
  • 3 IT hubs have been inaugurated, each at Kurseong, Kalimpong and Mirik 
  • Fair price medical shops have been set in Darjeeling district hospital
  • An auditorium Gorkha Ranga Manch Bhawan has been inaugurated 
  • New tourist spots Lamahata or Sandakphu have been developed, Dalgaon, Bijonbari and Rimbik have been identified as new possible tourist destinations
  • Rs 80 Crore has been sanctioned by the CM of West Bengal for NH 55 linking the hills to plains
  • Proposed 2 new hydro-power projects at river Teesta and Rimbik
  • On October 23, 2013, Rs 103 crore was allotted for improving power supply in Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong 
  • Rs 2000 crore invested on a 300 MW hydel power project 
  • Rs 79 crore and Rs 29 crore is allotted for road infrastructure improvement and development of the highways respectively 
  • On February 5, 2013, the state cabinet cleared the proposal to set up a Lepcha Development Board under the Backward Classes Welfare Department, which came into existence on February 12, 2013 
  • The work of Dooars Mega Circuit Project, involving Rs 46 crore is in progress under the new CM
  • Initiated by the Chief Minister, sick tea gardens have been reopened 
  • WB Government has approved the formation of a Pineapple Development Centre which is going to be at Bidhannagar, P.S. Phansidewa, District Darjeeling
  • North Bengal has received its first Disaster Management Center with all modern equipments and trained personnel. 
  • A Ring Road is being constructed at Siliguri
  • WB CM has inaugurated a pipelined water supply project for Darjeeling on July 17, 2014
Even after the violence and political turbulence last year, Trinamool has not forgotten their duty and responsibility towards this anxious region. During the Bandh, the Government distributed ration to the people of the Hills. 
“Darjeeling is a part and parcel of Bengal. Darjeeling is my heart. I will not leave Darjeeling. There must be a limitation to everything. I have to maintain the dignity of the constitution and I am bound to do so. Let our State be happy with the development, peace, prosperity and progress”, were the words of the Chief Minister.