I have never seen such a peaceful election in the hills: Mamata Banerjee

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday called for peace and prosperity in Darjeeling and proposed a slew of projects in the hills.

She was speaking in Darjeeling at the swearing-in ceremony of the elected members of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), whose elections were held after a gap of 10 years.

Mamata Banerjee said she will not come to usurp power in Darjeeling and wanted friendship with the people of the hills.

“I want friendship. I don’t want any quarrel. I have only one interest. The hills must move forward. Trust me, I will not come here to usurp power. I will come with love.”

“I have never seen such a peaceful election in the hills. I don’t want a repeat of what happened in the past. Now you have to promise me one thing. Whoever may be the leader, no one will allow any trouble in the hills. If there is peace, the economy will prosper,” said the chief minister.

The chief minister proposed three new satellite towns in the hills, in the fringes of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong, which will include an industrial hub, shops, home stays, shopping malls and restaurants among others. For Mirik, she proposed an earthquake resistant eco-tourism hub.

She proposed a slew of projects including skill training centres for job generation in the hills, schemes to boost homestays and eco-tourism centres around tea gardens, piped drinking water for all by 2024, special business summit for hills, bottling plants around hill streams, government loan for lady drivers, etc.



I’ll even give my blood to stop the division of Bengal: Mamata Banerjee

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today addressed meetings of party workers in Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri.

Highlights of her speeches.

  • They had spoken about Gorkhaland but we will never let that happen. Their intent during elections is to create a rift between the people of the hills and of the Terai and Dooars.
  • Some leaders have no better work than to threaten me. They are talking about killing me if I don’t make North Bengal a separate state. I dare them to point guns at me. I know very well how to blunt their actions.
  • The BJP had promised to open the closed-down tea gardens, but have they done it?
  • The BJP government has increased the price of domestic gas by as much as Rs 500. They give hope before elections but after elections are over, increase the prices of fuels.
  • Let me make it clear. I am ready to give my blood but will not let Bengal be divided.
  • You may be angry over some individual leaders, but don’t misunderstand the party. Without Trinamool, there will no longer be any schemes.
  • If we make a mistake, please correct us. Tell me if you have any complaints.

Didi led an anti-CAA protest march in Hills today

Today, Mamata Banerjee led a 4-km-long protest march in Darjeeling hills against the new citizenship law. The rally began at Bhanu Bhakta Bhavan near Mall in Darjeeling and concluded in the Chowkbazar area.. For the last few weeks, Didi has been leading protests across the State against this unconstitutional law.

Several protest marches have been held in Kolkata, led by Mamata Banerjee. Trinamool Chhatra Parishad and Trinamool Mahila Congress have held sit-in demonstrations as well. 

Bangla is the only State to boycott the meeting on NPR called by the Union Government. At the inauguration of the Uttarbanga Utsav too she had said that there will be no NPR and CAA in Bangla. She assured the people that she would guard them 365 days a year.


Darjeeling: Looking at a bright future

Darjeeling has witnessed phenomenal growth and development in the last seven and a half years. Despite few incidents of unrest in the Hills, efforts led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee were decisive in re-establishing peace there.

Health: 4 fair-price medicine centres, 6 fair-price diagnostic centres, free beds, 8 SNSUs, 2 SNCUs, 3 CCUs, 3 HDUs

Schools: 131 schools established, 116 schools’ levels upgraded

Scholarships: 2.28 lakh students under Kanyashree, more than 1.07 lakh students under Sikshashree

Higher education: Darjeeling Hill University coming up in Mongpu; 2 government degree colleges, 2 ITIs coming up

Kisan Mandi: 3 Kisan Mandis set up

100 Days’ Work: More than 4.17 crore man-days created from FY 2013-14 to 2017-18

Housing: About 22,000 people benefitted from housing schemes, including rural housing

Industry: First Hill Business Summit held in 2018, at which investment proposals worth Rs 2,000 crore were received

Roads & bridges: 3,611 km of roads built/repaired/widened

Tourism: Bengal Safari Park near Siliguri; environment-friendly tourist lodge on Tiger Hill, renovation of Netaji Museum in Giddapahar; Roy Villa in Darjeeling, where Sister Nivedita died, acquired by the State Government and renovated

Development boards: 16 development boards created for 16 communities in the district for the communities’ social development and cultural well-being

Samajik Suraksha Yojana: 1.82 lakh unorganised labourers enlisted

Karmatirtha: 3 Karmatirthas built

Sports: Himal-Terai-Dooars Spots Festival being held every year with a lot of enthusiasm


BJP MP ran away after winning 2014 election: Mamata Banerjee in Darjeeling

Trinamool Chairperson Mamata Banerjee today addressed a public meeting at Darjeeling. She said that the BJP MP ran away after winning in 2014 elections.

Highlights of her speech:

My salute to the Gorkha contingent. They are the pride of the country. They have sacrificed their lives for the country.

It is my humble request to you to cast your vote in favour of GJM-supported Trinamool candidate Amar Singh Rai

I do not come to the Hills only during elections, and run away thereafter. I come here regularly.

In the last seven years, I have come to the Hills more than 100 times

Bimal Gurung supported BJP in the elections. After winning, did SS Ahluwalia come to the Hills?

We had requested the Centre to set up a university in the Hills. They did not. So, we set up the Hill University here

They incite violence and tension in the Hills for political reasons. They don’t want the Hills to prosper

Amar Singh Rai was the MLA of Darjeeling. He is a bhumiputra of the Hills.

We have not brought any candidate from Delhi. They gave a ticket to Ahluwalia, who ran after eating halua.

Their candidate is from Manipur. He will campaign, distribute money and disappear

We set up a committee for industries in Darjeeling. Amar Singh Rai was the Chairman of the committee

We need three-pronged planning for the development of Hills – short-term, mid-term and long-term

Trinamool will play a significant role in the formation of the next government at Centre

Your MP also became a minister at Centre. Did the Hills benefit at all? What did he do for you?

He knew he’d lose from Darjeeling, so he ran away to Bardhaman

Has the BJP President ever visited the Hills by road? Does he know about the local places? He comes via helicopter, gives a speech and goes away

What has the BJP done for the country for five years

We made Kalimpong a new district. An education hub is coming up at Kurseong.

More than 2 crore people lost their jobs in 2017-18. 12,000 farmers committed suicide.

Demonetisation and GST destroyed the economy. Traders and businessmen suffered

They promised to bring back black money from abroad, and deposit Rs 15 lakh in every bank account. Did they do it?

Five years ago he was a chaiwallah. Now he has become chaiwallah. They have not kept their promises

Chowkidar chor hain, jhoota hain, lootera hain.

40 jawans died in Pulwama. He is asking for votes in the names of jawans. The Centre had information from intelligence. It is their responsibility because they did not take any action.

Terrorism has increased by 260% under Modi’s rule. Unemployment is at 45-year high.

In the name of NRC, they want to drive everyone away. Who are they to decide who will stay and who won’t?

Names of 40 lakh people were excluded in the NRC list in Assam. They excluded the names of Gorkhas, Bengalis, Hindus, Muslims, Biharis… everyone.

They brought the Citizenship Amendment Bill. We opposed the Bill in Parliament, because of which it could not be passed

Under this Bill, you will lose your citizenship for five years. If you become a foreigner for five years, what will be your future? It is not certain whether you will get citizenship again.

The country is under threat. Rights and freedom of the people are under threat

Those who raise the voice against the Centre, they send the agencies to intimidate them

Modi made a film on himself; he thinks he is great. A TV channel has been started in his name. They are only doing publicity

In 2014 itself we asked the Centre to include several communities in the Scheduled Tribe list. They did not do it. Now, they are asking votes on this issue

Many tea garden workers suffered during the strike. Many workers do not get salaries on time. Right now, we cannot announce any decision because of the model code of conduct but we will take a humanitarian decision after elections.

We have formed a review committee to look into the matter of giving pattas to long-time residents of tea gardens

We want the identity of Gorkha brothers and sisters to be safeguarded. We want a solution to the issue of Hills

We want bond of friendship and love between Hills and plains.

State Govt comes up with Energy Action Plan

Bangla has seen a rapid growth in electricity consumption, both industrial and domestic. This is the result of the Trinamool Congress Government’s push, under the leadership of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, towards excellence of Bangla in all matters.

As per the government’s calculations, this is only expected to rise. To cope with that and in line with the current stress on non-conventional energy across the world because of environmental issues, the State Electricity Department has come up with an ‘Energy Action Plan’.

This is the first time that a State Government has decided to come up with a policy dedicated to exploring unknown areas on how power can be generated from unconventional sources. Power generation from non-conventional sources (also called renewable sources) like sun, wind, tides, etc. reduces emission.

This is also in line with India’s declaration at the 2015 Paris Convention that it would achieve 40 per cent power generation through renewable sources by 2030.

A senior official of the department said through the development of the ‘Energy Action Plan, the department aims to produce the best quality electricity, at par with the Western countries, in the next two to three years.

In the future, there will be a paradigm shift from conventional energy to renewable energy, and hence the government is taking all necessary steps to make the whole process more sustainable, said the official.

Stressing on the generation of hydroelectricity, the Bangla Government has taken up a number of new initiatives. Several hydroelectric projects are coming up on the Teesta River, namely Teesta-I, Teesta-II, Teesta-V, Teesta Intermediate State and Rammam Stage-I (on the Rammam River, a tributary of the Teesta) in Darjeeling, each having a capacity of 80 to 84 megawatts (MW).

In the solar energy sector, Bangla has already seen a great deal of improvement. To this end, solar panels have been set up on the rooftops of various government buildings, schools, colleges and other offices by the Power Department.

The government is also firming up plans for electricity generation from tidal energy and wind energy.

The main challenge is putting the energy produced from renewable sources into the grid. Unless the energy is supplied into the grid, the utilisation of power on a large scale cannot be possible. The Energy Action Plan would enable solutions to this issue.

In the renewable energy sector, according to another senior official of the State Power Department, Bangla has produced around 71 gigawatts (GW), and the department has set a target of reaching 175GW in the next two years.

He also said that with the increase in the demand for power in the State, hundreds of substations have been constructed in the past few years. In the last one year alone, 10 extra high voltage (EHV) substations have been constructed. Many 220 kV substations are also coming up.

Source: Millennium Post

The Hills are very close to my heart: Mamata Banerjee

Bangla Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today laid the foundation stone of ‘Darjeeling Hill University’ at a function in Darjeeling, to commemorate Teachers’ Day. This university will come up at Mungpoo.

Highlights of the Chief Minister’s speech:

Today is the birth anniversary of Dr Radhakrishnan, which is observed as Teachers’ Day. My tribute to all Siksha Gurus on this occasion. They are the pillars of our society, assets of the country.

Today we have honoured 60 teachers with ‘Siksha Ratna’ award and 13 schools have been awarded the ‘Best School’ award. We are also honouring Swapna Barman (who won Gold in Heptathlon at Asian Games). We are a poor government. We have to pay Rs 48,000 crore as instalment for the debt incurred by the previous Left Front Government. Yet, we try our best to help. We have given a cheque of Rs 10 lakh to Swapna’s mother and promised a government job to her brother. If she wants, we will give a government job to her also.

We are formulating a new Sports Policy so that our players can participate in international competitions. We are here to provide all help and cooperation.

Today is a day of pride for Darjeeling. We have laid the foundation of ‘Darjeeling Hill University’ today. We will name this campus after Tenzing Norgay. Another campus will come up which will be named after Kanchenjunga. One more campus will be named after Bhanu Bhakta ji.

The engineering college here will be connected to this university. We are setting up an education hub at Kurseong. Presidency University is also setting up a campus here. An education hub is coming up at Kalimpong also.

We have allocated 25 acres of land for ‘Darjeeling Hill University’. The subjects that will be taught here include, humanities, social sciences, media science, information technology, vocational training, tourism, travel management, tea management, horticulture, Himalayan Studies etc. The university will award diploma certificates also.

We have set up 23 universities in the last seven years, nine more are coming up. Foundation stone for a university named after Gandhiji will be laid on his birth anniversary. We are setting up a Greenfield university at Hooghly. Bishwa Bangla University is coming up at Bolpur. New universities are coming up Alipurduar and Jhargram also.

These new universities will help us spread the light of education. Students will no longer need to go outside to study. Darjeeling is known for its education infrastructure. Even the Prime Minister of Bhutan once told me he studied at Graham’s Home.

The police here is conducting a community development programme called ‘Rising Star’ – it is a commendable effort. Darjeeling is known for its talented music and dance performers. We have decided to organise a cultural festival in Darjeeling in 2019 with all the Asian countries.

We have distributed cycles to 1 crore students of classes IX to XII. Since it is difficult to ride a cycle in the hilly areas, we have decided to distribute school bags and raincoats to 28,000 students in the Hills. No one will be deprived.

Many new roads have been created in Darjeeling. The Hills are very close to my heart. We have formed a committee for the development of this region. They will prepare a report within six months with short term, mid-term and long term plans for development. We will explore ways of increasing employment opportunities, home tourism, industry, software, IT. I am confident this committee will be successful.

We started home tourism in Lamahatta for the first time. Thrust needs to be given to this sector. I would request the boards to construct 500 houses every year (instead of 1000) and spend rest of the funds for boosting home tourism.

Today we have given forest rights to 431 people for the first time. Land conversion will happen soon. This will solve a lot of problems.
I also had a talk with the chairman of Darjeeling municipality. I urged him to renovate the public clocks in the town. Lal Kothi will also be beautified. The Gandhi road in Darjeeling will be paved with paver blocks. Pedestrians will benefit because of that. Take small initiatives, make big impact.

I want Darjeeling Hills to prosper. I want you to stay happy. I want to see Darjeeling smiling, Kurseong smiling, Mirik smiling, Kalimpong smiling and Kunchenjunga smiling.

Nature is your biggest asset. You do not have to beg before others. Take a resolve to utilise your own resources and march ahead with pride. My best wishes to all.

Jai Hind. Bande Mataram.

Bangla CM to hand over land pattas in Hills

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will be handing over land rights documents (pattas) to more than 400 families residing in the forest villages of Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts on September 5, during her visit to the Hills.

She will be handing over the land rights documents to about 300 families of Darjeeling district and more than 100 families from Kalimpong district.

A review meeting between the state government and Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) officials was held recently in Darjeeling to work out the modalities.

In Darjeeling district, 1,509 claims were received from the Scheduled Tribe communities residing in the forest villages, along with 1,232 claims from Other Traditional Forest Dwellers.

In Kalimpong district, there were 3,376 claims from the ST community and 4,626 from other communities.

There are 59 forest villages in Darjeeling-Pulbazar block, 31 in Jorebungalow-Sukhia block, 11 in Rungli Rungliot block, 21 in Kurseong block, four in Mirik block, 21 in Kalimpong-1 block, 18 in Kalimpong-2 block and 18 in the Gorubathan block.

Source: Millennium Post

Massive improvement in public library infrastructure in Bangla

Today is National Library Day. Over the last seven years, the public library infrastructure in Bangla has undergone a sea-change.

The Directorate of Library Services of the State Government has been doing a lot to spread the light of knowledge to students across Bangla. Under the Trinamool Congress Government, the directorate has started several new services and programmes.

Significant achievements:

Public Library Day: Public Library Day in West Bengal for the year 2013-2014 observed in a befitting manner for the first time

Public awareness of Kanyashree: Public libraries raising awareness on iconic State Government projects like Kanyashree

Encouraging women: ‘Women’s Corners’ designated in many government and government-sponsored libraries to increase access to women readers including neo-literates, particularly in areas dominated by minorities and other marginalised segments of population

‘Read Your Own Book’ section: New initiative taken to open ‘Read Your Own Book’ section in State Central Library, where anybody with little or no space to read at home may come to the library with their own books

Improving infrastructure for backward castes: Emphasis being given on improvement of infrastructural facilities in the SC, ST, OBC and minority-concentrated areas, and the Hill Areas of Darjeeling district

Increase in funds for needy regions: Quantum leap in fund released for needy regions – Rs 3 crore for more than 125 public libraries in the Jangalmahal region, Rs 5 crore for more than 135 libraries in the Hill Areas of Darjeeling district, more than Rs 13 crore for libraries situated in the SC and ST-dominated areas

Study centres: Steps taken for opening of study centres in seven government public libraries for availing the study materials of Netaji Subhas Open University and of various competitive examinations; career guidance programmes held

Information centres: Information centres set up in several district, town and sub-divisional libraries

Plan to improve libraries: Long-term planning initiated to improve library services of the State; final report submitted to government recommending the short-term, mid-term and long-term measures that need to be taken up

Computer connection: More than 400 libraries given computers with internet connection for the benefit of the readers

Salary through account transfer on first day of month: Now salaries of all employees of all government-sponsored public libraries disbursed on the first day of every month directly in the individual employee’s name through public sector banks

MSME: Marching ahead in Bangla

Bangla is a leading state in the country in micro, small and medium enterprises. The multi pronged strategy and continuous innovative interventions of the State Government during the last seven years towards promotion of MSME focusing on inclusive growth have resulted in significant achievements in MSME sector.

Some of the notable achievements are mentioned below:

  • Among the top rankers in Ease of Doing Business in India, Highest number of MSME establishments (52.7 lakh) in organised (ie., registered) and unorganised (ie., unregistered) sectors, contributing 11.62% of the total MSME establishments in India employing 1,09,15,626 people
  • 28,008 units on an average registered per year between 2011-18, compared to 12,192 units between 2004-11
  • Average of 2,09,108 people employed per year between 2011 and 2018 in registered MSME sector, compared to a yearly average of 1,29,904 people between 2004 and 2011
  • 381 clusters established as in 2017, against 49 clusters as inn 2011
  • Average bank credit flow per year to MSME sector of Rs 24,272 crore between 2004 and 2011, compared to Rs 7,302 crore per year between 2004 and 2011
  • 20 industrial parks being developed under Scheme of Approved Industrial Parks and TexPro Bengal
  • More than 65,000 entrepreneurs provided services on filing udyog Aadhaar registration and disposing of statutory approvals
  • 13 Synergy events organised at State and regional-level, guiding and providing spot solutions on statutory and business requirements to over 50,000 entrepreneurs
  • Rs. 1,500 crore worth business proposals received from Hill Business Summit 2018 held in Darjeeling
  • Web-based services launched: statutory support – www.myenterprisewb.in, financial support – www.msmebengalinvest.in, technology support – www. msmetfc.in,
  • 1,47,500 entrepreneurs visited and took help of web-based tutorial at www.myenterprisewb.in