Darjeeling, 12th July: Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee addressed the Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) oath-taking ceremony today in Chowrasta at Darjeeling. She congratulated the President of Bharatiya Gorkha Prajantantrik Morcha (BGPM) Anit Thapa and also the other 45 GTA constituencies elected members. Addressing the gathering, the CM stated that the event was being held a day before Bhanu Jayanti at Chowrasta, the most important place in Darjeeling.
Appealing to the people for peace in the days to come, Mamata Banerjee said: “I want you to promise me that you will not allow any opportunistic politician to foment trouble in the hills. If there is peace in the region, the economy will improve.”
Stating that a total of Rs 7000 crores was given by the state government to the GTA in the last 10 years, the CM said that there was hardly anything to show for it. She added that she wants prosperity to thrive in the hills and is looking forward to growing the employment opportunities in the hills. She advised the local administration to promote setting up more homestays to cater to the overwhelming tourists during the peak season. In regards to the encroachment of footpaths by the hawkers, the CM assured to rehabilitate and allocate proper shops for them.
Darjeeling has 200 acres of land that will be used for a great number of industries from IT hubs, pharmaceuticals, tourism and shopping malls and hotels, the CM further added. She listed medicinal herbs, food processing, and horticulture, as sectors that had immense growth potential. She said that the works of 2.5 km ropeway service between Rohini and Giddapahar will resume shortly. Banerjee directed Darjeeling District Hill TMC Party Chairman L B Rai to promote eco-tourism in Mirik. Chai Sundari Scheme will also be implemented in the tea garden areas of North Bengal. The CM spoke on setting up a hub of Presidency College will be set up in Kurseong. She asserted that she will not let any politicians or party disturb the peace of the hills.
The CM asked Anit Thapa to meet the CS and the secretary in Kolkata after the ceremony ends to discuss the potential of the hills in North Bengal. CM directed the administration to complete the pending projects and make way for new ones.
Darjeeling has been dealing with water scarcity for the longest time and the CM promised to resolve the matter by 2024. She also gave some ideas to make full use of the mineral of the hills and put it to good use.
The GTA election was held on June 26 after a gap of 10 years in the constituencies of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong and Mirik. Anit Thapa’s party Bharatiya Gorkha Prajatantrik Morcha (BGPM) won 27 seats out of 45 of which they had contested 36 seats. Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) won 05 out of 10 seats. Newly founded party of Ajoy Edward Hamro Party won 08 seats and the remaining independent candidates won 05. BGPM President Anit Thapa was sworn in as the Chief Executive of the semi-autonomous Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) today in Darjeeling in the presence of CM Mamata Banerjee. Mamata Banerjee reached Darjeeling yesterday for her 03-day tour.