Tag Archives: gta
BY VIVEK CHHETRI
Darjeeling, Dec. 23: Bimal Gurung has directed the Gorkha Janmukti Vidyarathi Morcha to close down the Darjeeling Government College office for an indefinite period starting tomorrow to protest the state government’s decision to transfer two teachers from the institution.
Although colleges in the hills are closed for winter vacations, the administrative wings of the institutions are open and a closure of the office would mean that the teachers who are to be transferred would not be given release orders, mandatory before joining a new college.
Sherpa Bhutia, the head of the geography department, is to be transferred to Chandernagore Government College. The other teacher, Willie Henry, who heads the zoology department, is supposed to be transferred to AB Sen College in Cooch Behar.
“We met our party president Bimal Gurung (today) and according to his directions, we are closing down Darjeeling Government College indefinitely from tomorrow,” Asok Chhetri, the vice-president of the Vidyarathi Morcha, told The Telegraph today.
Darjeeling Government College is the only government college in the hills. Under the GTA memorandum, the college is supposed to be handed over to the hill body
Gurung, the GTA chief executive, had directed GTA executive member R.P. Bhujel to send a written objection to the state higher education minister asking the government to stall the teachers’ transfers till the institution comes under the autonomous hill body.
The letter dated December 18 read: “I, as directed by Shri Bimal Gurung, Hon’ble Chief Executive, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Sabha, request you to kindly hold the transfer of these teachers till the transfer of Darjeeling Government College is completed.”
BY VIVEK CHHETRI
Darjeeling, Dec. 21: Bimal Gurung has asked the state government to stop the transfer of two teachers from the Darjeeling Government College to elsewhere in the state until the transfer of the institution’s jurisdiction from the state government to the GTA is completed.
Two heads of departments of Darjeeling Government College, Sherap Bhutia and Willie Henry, have been transferred to Chandernagore Government College and AB Sen College in Cooch Behar, respectively.
Bhutia heads the department of geography and Henry the zoology department.
A letter written by R.B. Bhujel, executive member of the GTA in charge of higher education, to the state higher education department said: “I, as directed by Shri Bimal Gurung, Hon’ble Chief Executive, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Sabha, request you to kindly hold the transfer of these teachers till the transfer of Darjeeling Government College is completed.”
“I spoke to the minister regarding the matter and he said he would look into it,” said Sharma. The Kurseong MLA also stated that senior officials of the state government had suggested that they should allow the two teachers to join the new place of posting and that they could be brought back to Darjeeling once the college is handed over to the GTA in the next one and a half months.
Darjeeling (West Bengal), Dec. 21 (ANI): The Gorkhaland Territorial Authority (GTA) in Darjeeling, West Bengal, has organised a 17 day-long tea tourism festival, with an aim to boost tourism in the state.
The spotlight was on the tea gardens around the hill station of Darjeeling.
The president of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), Bimal Gurung, said: “Earlier, the region was facing lot of disturbances but now the tea industry has improved and the quality of tea has also improved. Now, we are trying to promote development in the region and increase the sale of tea, so this was the aim of organizing the tea tourism festival.”
The programmes at the festival included a cultural show, a dance programme where one could see a cornucopia of tribal and other dances. Beside these are stalls where tourists can sample different qualities of tea from various gardens.
The Principal Secretary of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), Saumitra Mohan, said: “We are receiving good response. This festival was started last year to promote Darjeeling and tourism. This year also the festival is being organised, which indicates that we are continuing with the success that we received last year. The festival is organised to promote the culture, environment and the beauty of Darjeeling and to boost the tourism in the region. We have been quite successful with our aim.”
The festival, which began on December 20, will end on January 5, 2013.
India is one of the major producers and exporters of tea in the world market.
The auction will be held through ITA’s Darjeeling branch, Darjeeling Indian Tea Association (DITA), on the inaugural day of the second Darjeeling Tea & Tourism Festival being organised by Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) from December 20, according to an ITA release. At the charity auction, seven lots of whole leaf Darjeeling tea from seven famous valleys/sub-districts of Darjeeling district will be offered for sale.
BY VIVEK CHHETRI
The state government will be represented by the home secretary, while a joint secretary in the Union home ministry will attend the meeting on behalf of the Centre. The Morcha has delegated general secretary Roshan Giri and Darjeeling MLA Trilok Dewan to represent the party at the meeting.
A committee had been formed last year to review the implementation of the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) signed by the Centre, state and the Morcha for the creation of the GTA. This will be the first meeting of the review committee after the formation of the GTA.
Asked about the agenda of the meeting, Giri told The Telegraph: “All aspects of the GTA will be reviewed in the meeting.”
Sources said the Morcha was likely to demand more funds to the GTA, apart from Rs 200 crore that the Centre had promised to provide to the hill body annually for three consecutive years.
A GTA source said: “The GTA is of the opinion that the Centre needs to allot more funds as the hill body has already drawn up various projects which entail an expenditure of Rs 200 crore. The Centre is likely to be asked to explore various avenues like centrally assistance schemes through which more funds can be provided to the GTA.”
The Morcha might also raise issues which have been agreed upon in the MoA, but not addressed yet.
BY VIVEK CHHETRI
Darjeeling, Dec. 13: The West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (WBSEDCL) will pay around Rs 8 lakh to each of 51 families that had given land for the Ramman Hydel Project, instead of jobs that the company has given other landlosers.
The families will be given the money in January next year.
Sources said the decision to give this one-time cash was taken after residents of Ramman stopped work on a tunnel near the project site.
Over 200 hundred families had given land for the project that generates 31MW after being built in 1989.
“All of them had been given compensation. But apart from that, each family was promised a job. While many did get jobs, these 51 families were not given work by WBSEDCL, which had cited various technical problems,” said Prakash Gurung, GTA Sabha member from Rimbick-Lodhama.
He said some of 51 families had “no direct relation” (with the landloser), while others were too old to be given jobs.
The project built on a 300-acre plot is in Ramman, 60km from Darjeeling.
BY DEEP GAZMER
KALIMPONG: Heavy security cover was put in place in the Hills town on Monday after a clash broke out between the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and the Gorkhaland Rajya Nirman Morcha (GRNM), a break-away faction of the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF).
GRNM leaders alleged that their supporters were beaten up by GJM cadres when they were assembling at Dambar Chowk for their foundation-day programme. “We were gathering peacefully at Dambar Chowk around 3.30pm to attend our party‘s second foundation day programme when GJM cadres started pelting stones and beat our supporters with iron rods,” alleged GRNM president Dawa Pakhrin. He added that the GJM mob was led by Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) members Nima Tamang and Dawa Lepcha.
The GRNM was formed a year back to take up the cause of a separate Gorkhaland state. Pakhrin used to be the GNLF Kalimpong branch president but had left the party over political differences.
Pakhrin also alleged that five to seven GRNM supporters had sustained injuries due to the clash. An FIR has been lodged against Tamang and Lepcha and other GJM supporters in the Kalimpong police station. “Is this the democracy that the GJM leaders are boasting about? Today’s incident proves that the GJM’s policy is to spread terror to silence criticism and opposition,” said Pakhrin.
Darjeeling, Dec. 10: The GTA has decided to demolish all buildings at the Chowk Bazar square, one of the main business centres in Darjeeling, and develop it as a modern market complex with parking space and an underground rainwater harvesting facility.
The Chowk Bazar comprised a vacant space of around 180sqm and buildings on all the four sides when it was set up in the 1920s. Traders used to display their wares in the open area during the day. Concrete structures started coming up in the vacant area in the 1950s.
Although the entire property belongs to the Darjeeling municipality, it will be revamped by the GTA.
“This project is being undertaken by the GTA and not the Darjeeling municipality. The GTA has already held talks with shopkeepers at the market regarding the plan,” said Amar Singh Rai, the chairman of the municipality.
During an informal interaction with journalists last week, GTA chief executive Bimal Gurung said: “We will set up an underground rainwater harvesting system in the area. We will also have parking facilities.”
When the square was vacant, the British used to organise music performances by bands to welcome dignitaries who used to visit the hill station. The GTA now wants to clear the square and keep it vacant.
Darjeeling’s main vegetable market is at Chowk Bazar. There are also shops that sell garments, electronics and groceries. More than 100 traders do business at Chowk Bazar.
Khudu Tamang, president of the Paatpasala Sangh which is an organisation of vendors, said: “If they are coming up with a better plan, we welcome the move. However, we want the vegetable vendors to be given space on the ground floor of the area. It makes sense to give the vegetable vendors the ground floor as it will be easy to clean up the area.”
Rai said the civic body had already requested the GTA to earmark certain portions of the new complex to accommodate some of the hawkers evicted from Nehru Road and NB Singh Road. “We also want to set up a flea market in the complex,” he said.
The municipality had removed more than 200 hawkers from Nehru Road and NB Singh Road two months back and half of them were already given space to do business at Chowrastha.
GTA officials said they had already started working out the modalities of the project. “The complex will be built on a public-private-partnership (PPP) model. The modalities are being worked out at the moment,” said a GTA official overseeing the project.
Since the blueprint is yet to be ready, the cost of the project and the time frame for the completion could not be immediately known. But sources said the project cost could touch the Rs 18-20 crore mark.