Darjeeling: On a visit to Darjeeling, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday in an apparent message to Gorkha Janamukti Morcha said that it should allow unhindered development of the hills by maintaining peace.
Without making a direct reference to the GJM which wants a separate state, she called for maintaining peace in the Darjeeling hills.
"Politics should not be a barrier for carrying out development. The government wants to usher in development. Darjeeling was neglected in the past. I want to bring in development. If the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, Darjeeling municipality and the state government work together, it would be good for the people in the region," Banerjee said.
She was addressing a gathering at Mall in Darjeeling town after inaugurating a slew of projects including a Safari park at Sukhna near Siliguri and Balasan water project from where drinking water would be supplied to Darjeeling.
The Safari park is a project taken up by the state forest department, which will come up over an area of 261 acres at at a cost of Rs 255 crore, she said.
She said that Darjeeling was facing water scarcity and the drinking water project would mitigate the suffering of the people.
Banerjee said her government had written to the Centre for granting schedule tribe status to 11 Darjeeling hill communities. She also officially announced the formation of Tamang board.
"I feel happy when I see my brothers and sisters in the Hills smiling. I want you to maintain peace in the hills. The more tourists come here, the better will be your economy. I want to promote the culture of the hills. I want your cooperation. I have come to the Hills 40 times. I will keep coming back," she said.
She assured the gathering that the drinking water problem in Kurseong would also be sorted out as work for a pipelined water project had been taken up.
In her wish list for the hills, the Chief Minister said she wants a university in Darjeeling and an IT hub to come up.