Mamata Banerjee announces development projects for Darjeeling

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday announced a slew of development projects for the Darjeeling hills at an administrative review meeting attended by top leaders of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.

PTI| Last Updated: Jul 18, 2014, 20:55 PM IST

Darjeeling: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday announced a slew of development projects for the Darjeeling hills at an administrative review meeting attended by top leaders of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.

Flanked by GJM leaders including general secretary Roshan Giri and legislator Harkabahadur Chetri, the chief minister said that a biotechnology hub would be set up in Kalimpong, for which Rs five crore had been sanctioned.

"We will set up skill development park in every block of Darjeeling," she said on the second day of her three-day visit to the hills.
An IT park would be set up in Darjeeling for unemployed youths, she said. "It would take 10 months` time to prepare a project report, after which we can go ahead."

Banerjee said the meeting also decided to set up a committee to look into ways to protect citizens from earthquakes, and a "master plan" would be prepared in this regard.

She said that the Centre gives "a lot of assistance" in the cases of earthquake and landslide and accordingly the government was pursuing the matter with the central government.

"We have sanctioned Rs 7.9 crore for Darjeeling under Indira Awas Yojana. We have given 28 new buses for the Hills," she said.
A master plan would be prepared, she said, on development of an alternative tourist spot like Darjeeling and another on rainwater harvesting.

"Darjeeling has become much too congested and there were also accommodation problems faced by the tourists. There are so many other areas which we can develop in Kurseong and Kalimpong. A master plan would be prepared," she said.

She said that the GTA, Darjeeling municipality and the Environment Department would prepare a master plan on rainwater harvesting.

GTA Chief and GJM president Bimal Gurung met Banerjee at Richmond Hill in Darjeeling during the day.

GJM leader Harkabahadur Chetri giving a thumbs up to the meeting said, "Discussions were very good. It is good if there is co-ordination between the state government and the GTA. Bipartite and the tripartite meetings will be held to sort out problems in the light of the experience of running the GTA."