Mamata may talk to PM on Farakka sluice gate issue

She would also take up the implementation of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) during the meeting with the Prime Minister.

Kolkata: Seeking to step up her campaign on
the Farakka barrage broken sluice gates issue which she
claimed allowed "excess" Ganges water flow to Bangladesh, West
Bengal Chief Minister would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
in New Delhi on February 22 to flag her concern on the matter.

She would also take up the implementation of Gorkhaland
Territorial Administration (GTA) during the meeting with the
Prime Minister, Mamata told PTI.

"I sought an appointment with the Prime Minister to
discuss the issue of GTA and the problem arising out of
excess flow of water to Bangladesh through the broken sluice
gates on Farakka barrage. I will discuss these issues with him
on Wednesday. I will leave for Delhi tomorrow," she said.

The broken sluice gates of the barrage has been the
latest flashpoint between the Mamata Banerjee government and
the Centre.

The chief minister has expressed concern that the two
broken sluice gates had led to release of Ganga water to
Bangladesh much above what the neighbour is "entitled to"
during the dry season.

Recently, the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM), which had
spearheaded the movements for a separate statehood for the
Gorkhas in Darjeeling, threatened to go resume the agitation
for their demand from March 27 unless GTA was implemented
before that.

GJM leaders have also threatened to burn the original
tripartite agreement signed last year in Darjeeling in the
presence of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and Mamata
Banerjee and go for an indefinite agitation in the hills from
March 27.

The GJM leaders had met the chief minister over the
issue at Siliguri recently.

Banerjee said that the tripartite agreement on Gorkhaland
Territorial Administration had already been signed, but its
implementation was being delayed.

"Why should there be delay? I will seek PM`s
intervention", she said.

Asked if she would also discuss the controversial
proposal to set up the National Counter Terrorism Centre
(NCTC) with PM, the chief minister said, "I have already given
a letter to the Prime Minister that will speak for itself.

"Everything is mentioned in that letter," she said without
elaborating further.

Expressing concern over the alleged infringement of
federal rights of state, Banerjee in a letter to the Prime
Minister on February 14 had said: "It is difficult for
the state government to accept such arbitrary exercise of
power by the central government/central agency, which have a
bearing on the rights and privilege of the states as enshrined
in the Constitution of India."

Last Saturday, Banerjee had alleged that the Centre
had kept secret the fact about the two damaged sluice gates on
the Farakka Barrage, resulting in Bangladesh getting 82,801
cusecs of water as against 35,000 cusecs it is supposed to get
during the dry season.