Showing posts with label Gorkhaland Territorial Administration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gorkhaland Territorial Administration. Show all posts

Term of GTA2 Board of Administrators extended by 6 months

4:27 PM
Amitava Banerjee

Darjeeling: The term of the Board of Administrators, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, has been extended for another six months.

A notification from the Home and Hill Affairs department, government of Bengal on September 15 stated that an Authority (read Board of Administrators) was appointed under the provision of Section 65(b) of the GTA Act 2011, to exercise, discharge and perform all the powers, duties and functions of the GTA.
Term of GTA2 Board of Administrators extended by 6 months

"The said Authority has been functioning as the Caretaking Authority of the GTA in terms of that notification. And holding of general election to re-constitute the GTA Sabha does not appear to be possible in the present situation" stated the notification.

 "The Governor, in terms of the relevant provision of Section 17(1) of the GTA Act 2011, is pleased to allow extension to the aforesaid Caretaking Authority of the GTA to function for a further period of six months with effect from 20-09-2018," read the notification. Incidentally, on September 20, 2017, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had announced the formation of an administrative board to run the GTA with Binay Tamang as Chairman and Anit Thapa as the Vice-Chairman.

Via : www.millenniumpost.in

Forest Rights Activist Transferred - Says "Its Vendetta Politics"

2:51 PM

Residents of nearly 24 odd forest villages that fall under the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration have been demanding the implementation of the Forest Rights Act 2006 before the Sevoke-Rangpo rail project kicks off. A major portion of the railway tracks between Sevoke, around 30 km away from Siliguri, to Rangpo in Sikkim is a part of Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts that are under the GTA and will cut through several forest villages and hamlets under the GTA areas.

Fighting for their rights is Himalaya Forest Village Organisation (HFVO) which comprises of members from forest villagers in the GTA region.

HFVO Secretary Mr. Lila Kumar Gurung who is a teacher at the local Kumai High School has now been transferred to Rimbick [You can check the transfer order here: https://khabarmagazine.com/archives/21396]. He claims this is a vendetta, for taking a stand in favour of the forest dwellers and asking the government to provide land rights to forest dwellers under the Forest Rights Act 2006.

The situation in the hills and terai is complicated because Panchayat elections haven't been held here since 2005. In the absence of Gram Sabhas, which can give a go-ahead to such projects, the Union ministry of tribal affairs had given elected GTA members the right to act as panchayat members. However, since GTA stands dissolved, the Gram Sabha - comprising of all the villagers naturally have the latitude to issue or deny such a no-objection certificate.

Hundreds of residents of forest villages in Kalimpong and Darjeeling, which constitute the Gram Sabhas as per the Recognition of the Forest Rights Act 2006, have started adopting resolutions, demanding conversion of forest villages into revenue villages to ensure their rights, before they issue the no-objection certificate.

The villagers have stated that they would not allow the authorities concerned to begin construction of the railway project without the NOC from each Gram Sabha. They further claimed that authorities cannot carry out work there without the NOC from the Gram Sabha, and that the GTA does not have the right to issue the NOC to the railway authorities for the forest land.

There are no three-tier elected bodies in the Hills of Darjeeling and Kalimpong as rural polls have not been held there for the past 18 years due to technical and legal matters which have yet to be resolved. As a result, there are no proper records of the Gram Sabha comprising at least 165 forest villages.

According to sources, 24 of the 165 forest villages will be affected by the tunnel to be dug for the railway project.

“When the administration has converted forest villages into revenue villages in Alipurduar and other districts for other projects, no initiative was taken to ensure forest rights for us in Darjeeling and Kalimpong district,” said Mr. Lila Kumar Gurung recently, following GTA Board of Administrator Chairman Binay Tamang's extreme reaction to him and HFVO in Kalimpong.

Mr. Gurung has further claimed that a conspiracy was being hatched to deprive the forest villagers of their rights. “We had met the then GTA chief executive Bimal Gurung and discussed the matter. Mr. Gurung had taken a decision in our favour, and it was decided that all the 165 villages would be converted into revenue villages.

Later, as Binoy Tamang was appointed as the GTA chairman, we also approached him in writing. But we came to know all of a sudden that he will issue the NOC to the railway authorities,” he further claimed.

Forest villagers from Rangpo, Kinley, Melli, Teesta, Rambhi and some others also claimed that they had written to chief minister Mamata Banerjee, demanding that forest villagers’ rights be ensured before implementing the Sevoke-Rango railway link project.

A resident of Rangpo village in Kalimpong area, Smaran Rai, said: “Villagers are worried about their future following continuous threats from the administration during a survey on the railway project.

Nobody knows what is in store for them, rehabilitation and alternative livelihood.” “Residents living in the small stretch (of the project) that falls in Sikkim are not facing such problems. The Sikkim government has already compensated them properly,” Mr. Rai said.

A rights activist Soumitra Ghosh said the present situation in the Hills is “not suitable” for some persons to assemble in a particular place and demand their fundamental right.

“Where will the forest villages go, seeking justice? Authorities have not yet started talking to villagers, when no work can be carried out without the NOC from the Gram Sabha as per a circular of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests under the Forest (Conservation) Act 1980, ensuring compliance of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006,” he said.

Speaking against the transfer, Mr. Neeraj Zimba of GNLF said, "This transfer order of Sri. Lila Kumar Gurung, General Secretary, Himalayan Forest Villager's Organisation from Kumai High School to Rimbick High School is part of Binay Tamang's "Political Deal(ing)" as openly declared by him recently at public meetings in Kurseong, Kalimpong and Bijanbari respectively. For the first time in the history of Gorkha Politics we have ever seen a Nominated Stooge openly declare from a public platform that he will politically victimise all those who doesn't support him and endorse his views. Mockery of Democratic values and free speech.फरेस्ट बनबस्तिको अधिकारको कुरा गर्दा आज लिला गुरुङलाई भिक्टिमाइज ट्रास्फर गरिएको छ। के यो नै हो गणतन्त्र?

All Should Protest Against this as this is not just a routine exercise or a mutual transfer but political victimization of a person who chose to speak truth to the power - a right which has been given rightly by the Constitution." [sic]

Mr. Lila Kumar Gurung in the meanwhile seems to be unflustered with the transfer order and said, "I am a teacher - my primary duty is to teach and I will do that anywhere. They must assume by transferring me to Rimbick they will weaken the movement, but they are wrong. The movement will only grow stronger. Rimbick is comprised of many forest villages that are also deprived, I look forward to working with those villages and organize them to seek inclusion into FRA 2006 at the earliest".

पर्जा-पट्टा दिलाउन 3 सदस्यीय कमिटी गठन: ४ जुलाईदेखि आवेदन स्वीकार गरिने।

7:42 AM
पर्जा-पट्टा दिलाउन 3 सदस्यीय कमिटी गठन:
४ जुलाईदेखि पर्जा-पट्टाको आवेदन स्वीकार गरिने।

दार्जीलिङ,१४ अगस्त।

सरकारी जमीनभित्र बसोबासो गर्दै आइरहेको भएतापनि हालसम्म पर्जापट्टा नभएका जीटीएक्षेत्रका वासिन्दाहरूको निम्ति निज गृह, निज भूमि प्रकल्पअन्तर्गत पर्जापट्टा दिलाउने दिशामा गोर्खा जनमुक्ति नारी मोर्चा निक्कै अघाड़ि बड़िसकेको छ। उक्त प्रकल्पमार्फत जीटीएक्षेत्रका वासिन्दाहरूलाई पर्जा-पट्टा  प्रदान गर्नको आधिकारीक तौरमा 3 सदस्यीय कमिटी गठन गरिएको छ भने आगामी 4 जूनदेखि पर्जापट्टाको निम्ति आवेदनहरू पनि स्वीकार गरिने भएको छ।

आज लालकोठीमा पश्चिम बगांल भूमि एवं भूमि सुधार विभागका शीर्षस्थ अधिकारीहरू अनि जीटीएका मुख्य सचिव सुब्रत विश्वास, जीटीए अध्यक्ष विनय तामाङलगायत गोर्खा जनमुक्ति नारी मोर्चाका प्रतिनिधिहरूमाझ एक बैठक बसिएको थियो भने सोही बैठकपछि उक्त निर्णय लिइएको नारी मोर्चा संयोजिका छिरीङ दाहालले जनाएकी छिन्।

दाहालले बताएअनुसार, गत 7 तारीखको दिन जीटीए अध्यक्ष विनय तामाङलाई नारी मोर्चाले यस प्रकल्पबारे अवगत चड़ाउँदै यस विषयमा आवश्यक पहल गर्नुको निम्ति अर्जी चड़ाएको थियो भने जीटीए अध्यक्षले तुरून्तै यसमाथि पहल शुरू गर्नुपर्ने जनाउँदै आजको बैठक आयोजन गरेको थियो। यसैकारण आज 2.30 बजी लालकोठीमा जीटीए एवं भूमि एवं भूमि सुधार विभागका अधिकारीहरूनाझ मा एउटा आधिकारीक बैठक भयो।

आजको उक्त बैठक अति नै सकरात्मक एवं फलदायक बनेको बताउँदै नारी मोर्चा संयोजिका छिरीङ दाहालले अब चाड़ै जीटीएक्षेत्रवासीहरूले आफ्नो जमीनको मालिकाना अधिकार पाउने दावी गरेकी छिन्।

हाम्रो मान्छेहरू सरकारी जमीनमा धेरै बर्षदेखि बसिरहेका छन्। तर पर्जा-पट्टा बिना उक्त जमीन मेरो हो भन्नु हाम्रो गलत धारणा हो। आफ्नो जमीनको आफै मालिक नभइञ्जेल हामी यहाँ हामी सुरक्षित बन्न सक्दैनौं।आफ्नै जग्गामा हामी भूमिहीन भएर संकटजनक स्थितिमा बाँचिरहेका थियौं। अब त्यो संकट हटिरहेको छ।5 डेसिमल सही तर हाम्रा मानिसहरूले आफ्नो पर्जा-पट्टा प्राप्त गर्नेछन्। यही वर्षभित्रमा हाम्रो मानिसहरूको पर्जा-पट्टा दिलाउन हामी प्रतिवद्ध छौं, पत्रकारहरूलाई सम्बोधन गर्दै दाहालले भनिन्।

उल्लेख्य, 2011 सालमा पश्चिम बगांल सरकारले निज भूमि निज गृह प्रकल्प शुरू गरेका थिए जसअन्तर्गत भूमिहीन मानिसहरूलाई प्रतिव्यक्ति 5 डेसिमल सरकारी जमीनको पर्जा-पट्टा प्रदान गरिने प्रावधान रहेको छ भने हालसम्म दार्जीलिङ पहाड़का कतिपय क्षेत्रहरूमा उक्त प्रकल्पको निम्ति प्रक्रिया शुरू गरिएको भएतापनि सम्पूर्ण जीटीएक्षेत्रभरि नै उक्त प्रकल्प लागु गर्नुपर्ने माग नारी मोर्चाले चर्काइरहेका छन्।

छिरीङ दाहाले बताएअनुसार, पर्जा-पट्टाको प्रक्रिया शुरू गर्नको निम्ति अब जीटीएक्षेत्रका कूल 8 वटा ब्लकमा नै 3 सदस्यीय कमिटी बनाइनेछ। उक्त तीन सदस्यीय कमिटीमा बीएलएलआरओ, बीडीओ अनि एकजना बीओए सदस्य रहनेछन्। प्रत्येक ब्लकमा आगामी 4 जूनदेखि उक्त प्रकल्पका आवेदनहरू शुरू गरिनेछ भने आधिकारीकरूमा आवेदन फारम वितरण गरिनेछ। सरकारी जमीन चाहे त्यो चियाकमान होस् या अन्य कुनै पनि सरकारी जमीनमा बसोबासो गर्ने भूमिहीनहरूले आवेदन बुझाउनसक्नेछन्। 4 जून पछि 3 साताभित्रमा सबै आवेदनहरू लिइसक्नेछ भने त्यसपछि जाँचकार्य गरेर बीएलएलआरओद्वारा जीटीए अध्यक्षलाई बुझाउनेछन्। जीटीए अध्यक्षको अनुमोदनपछि त्यसपछि जिल्ला प्रशासनले पर्जा-पट्टाको प्रक्रिया अघि बड़ाउनेछ।

आगामी 18 मईको दिन जीटीए अध्यक्षले उक्त तीन सदस्यीय कमिटीका सदस्यहरूसित बैठक बसी आवश्यक निर्देश एवं चर्चा-परिचर्चा गर्ने पनि छिरीङ दाहालले जनाएकी छिन्।

हरेक जनाले रूचि देखाएर यस प्रक्रियालाई सफल बनाउन व्यक्तिगतरूपमा पनि सहभागी बनिदिने पनि उनले सबैलाई आह्वान गरेकी छिन् भने नारी मोर्चाले पनि पूर्ण तत्परताको साथमा यस कार्यको निम्ति खट्ने पनि उनको भनाइ छ।

मिरिक नगरपालिकामा भूमिहीनहरूलाई लीज दिने प्रक्रिया चलिरहेको उल्लेख गर्दै दार्जीलिङ, खऱसाङ अनि कालेबुङ नगरपालिकाहरूले पनि चाड़ै यो प्रक्रिया शुरू गर्नुपर्ने पनि उनले माग गरिन् भने वनवासीहरूलाई पर्जा-पट्टा प्रदान गरिनुपर्ने विषयमा आजको सभामा चर्चा भएको उनको भनाइ छ। वनवासीहरूलाई पर्जा-पट्टाको मुद्दा हालमा जीटीएको पहलमा नै वन मन्त्रालयमा पुगेको र विचाराधीन अवस्थामा रहेको जीटीए अध्यक्षले बताएको दाहालले बताइन्। कानूनमुताविक वनवासीहरूलाई पट्टा दिनुको निम्ति ग्राम पञ्चायत हुन आवश्यक रहेको छ तर दागोपापकै कालमा 2005 सालदेखि  पहाड़मा पञ्चायत चुनाउ नभएको गर्दा वनवासीहरूलाई पट्टा प्रदान गर्न समस्या भइरहेको छ तथापि जीटीएको पक्षबाट सम्बन्धित क्षेत्रहरूका विधायकहरूलाई सदस्य बनाएर वनवासीहरूको पर्जा-पट्टा प्रदान गरिनुपर्ने माग जीटीएले उठाइरहेको र यही वर्षभित्रमा 168 वटै वनबस्तीहरूलाई पर्जा-पट्टा दिलाएरै छोड़्ने आजको सभामा जीटीए अध्यक्ष विनय तामाङले प्रतिवद्धता जाहेर गरेको पनि छिरीङ दाहालले बताएकी छिन्।

साभार:- प्रतिबिम्ब न्युज

Rohingya entry in the hill rumours, says Binoy Tamang

5:00 PM

SNS, Darjeeling/Kurseong, 29 April 2018: The chairman of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) Board of Administrators, Binoy Tarnang, has put to rest speculations that a group of Rohingya Muslims may have found their way up to the Hills.

Two youth leaders of a national party and some other local leaders and political parties have been misleading the Hill people by highlighting the Rohingyas in a wrong way for their own vested interests and keeping in mind the upcoming 2015 parliamentary elections," he said at a programme in Kurseong yesterday.

A video showing a group of Muslims getting down from a bus in Kalimpong had gone viral very recently, fuelling speculations that they may be Rohingya refugees. 

Fugitive leader of the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) Bimal Gurung had alleged that the state government may have been trying to have Rohiugyas settled down in the region, while leader of the Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League, Pratap Khati had written to the Kalmpong District Magistrate and the Superintendent of Police, urging them to look into the matter.

"The people who have reached Kalimpong are actually Indian citizens and students from a polytechnic college in Kolkata who have come to visit the place." Mr. Tamang said, adding that as the GTA chairman,he has been monitoring the issue seriously.

According to him, he will leave the GTA if anybody provides him proof of even a single camp of Rohingyas in Darjeeling Hills.

Defending the state government, Mr Tamang said that Darjeeling Hills or North Bengal is surrounded by international borders guarded by central forces and "not by the state government or Nabanna."

Mr. Tamang also issued a press release today and said that the rumours were the handiwork of political parties outside Darjeeling, which have set their eyes on the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

"This is a ploy of parties outside Darjeeling to destabilize the Hills that are gradually getting back to normal (after last year's violent Gorkhaland agitation), while these parties have set their eyes on the 2019 general elections and are trying to take political mileage by spreading violence again." Mr Tamang said. He further urged all the Hill people to ignore such false campaign and rumours and keep intact Darjeeling unity and communal harmony.

Sns

Gorkhaland 2017: When Miracles Failed and Criticism Invited FIRs

8:28 AM

Writes - @oyeketa

During the 104 days of the shutdown, Darjeeling experienced what every political uprising faces - blockades, food scarcity, police brutality, unlawful arrests, media-blackout, and everything else that can make any movement fall on its knees. But, what broke the back of Gorkhaland agitation in 2017 was its dependence on the ‘miracles of Delhi’ and lack of vision of the incumbent Hills leadership. When the miracle story failed to deliver, the incumbent Hills leadership had to run for covers, lost its credibility, and were exposed for their gross mismanagement Gorkhaland administration in 10-years tenure.

Everybody believed that the GTA, with all its limitation, could have brought major changes in the region. However, the ruling party of the Hills chose to sleep through it for 10 years, before being alarmed by the end their term. The fact is that the politicians never took GTA seriously, and it was only used as an excuse to embalm the egos self-proclaimed leaders.

It was not the public who needed Miracles, it was the Leaders. The public was tired equally of a failed leadership, as it was of the Police brutality. Tragically, the frustration reached a level where the public simply didn’t care. Leaders who were till now sitting on the fence until now too timid to speak up suddenly found a reason to rejuvenate when the promised Miracles failed to arrive and they quickly jumped into the pool.

Without a strong or accountable leader on the ground, rising food scarcity, it was just about a matter of time before the public would receive with both arms whatever little they get from the State government. Today, there is a semblance of normality in Darjeeling Hills, restored through a proxy administration, special economic packages and even forceful coercion. Democracy is yet to shine. But is Darjeeling happy and smiling? I will leave that for you to answer.

Amidst the deaths, heavy police crack-down, and economic hardships, Darjeeling lost control of the Gorkhaland issue and the movement had to be outsourced to people and organizations living outside the region. Starting June 2017, the Gorkhaland movement had its own little 'Arab Spring' moment, whereby the movement which till now was confined to the Hills, spread like wildfire across the globe. It was for the first time in its history of 107-years that Nepali-speaking people of the world came together to show their solidarity and support for the movement. Right from Manipur to Mumbai, and Bangaluru to Kashmir and Kathmandu, UAE, North America, Israel, Hongkong, and Europe, people stood up for Darjeeling. All thanks to Interment and Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and WhatsApp.

It is highly debatable whether the global outcry and Facebookization of Gorkhaland issue actually benefitted the movement. But, thanks to the mobilization, funds were collected to send food to the Hills during the shutdown and to organize legal aid for any other assistance victims. Neither the fund recipients nor the donors are talking about it, is a different matter altogether.

One section of the public is happy and satisfied to see their Social Media walls filled with Gorkhaland protests and support across the globe. Movement supporters and sympathizers were able to speak up, disagree, and even exchange ideas. At the surface, it appeared that the Gorkhaland movement has finally opened up for democratic reforms where people could share ideas and collaborate.

However, there is another section that thinks while the publicity was good, it has created further divisions and polarized groups into extremes. The Leadership vacuum in the 2017 agitation has opened grounds for different individuals and organizations to assume a leadership position. Certainly, ‘the more, the merrier’ did not bring any good. The coveted Gorkhaland leadership soon became the tug-of-war, and the actual issue gets sidelined. The problem becomes dangerous when each group begins to think of themselves as the saviour of the Gorkhaland movement, the place, and its people.

The Politics of Criticism:

Some individuals, parties, and groups spearheading the 2017 agitation grew bigger than the ‘Cause’ itself. And as is the routine, when you become big and powerful, you don’t like dissenters. Any chapter of a history book is full of such example, and Gorkhaland is no exception.

We have witnessed right from the 1980s, that Gorkhaland has very little tolerance for opposition and criticism. The forceful exodus of dissenters, political murders, and persecution are normal to us.

Legal jargons and constitutional terminologies were also a mainstay of the 2017 agitation. The level of legal consciousness is highly praiseworthy but becomes worrisome when it also becomes a tool for threatening anyone who raises a question or criticizes a move. Court notices, FIRs, threats of defamation have been used against one another by those who claim to fight for Gorkhaland.

From a condescending ‘your criticism makes us strong’ to filing FIRs, and threats of defamation became the new tool against those criticizing and demanding accountability. Legal notices, court orders, were sent for criticizing leaders, organization, or even seeking financial accountability. The only difference from the past is that it is done in a much more polite and sophisticated manner than in the past. The underlying message remains the same though – Fall in Line or you Shall be brought down.

So, the bigger question is 'what about Gorkhaland? What good did the global outcry yield for Darjeeling? Are the problems of education, economic sustenance, poverty, employment, any better now? What about the people who sent truckloads of food during the shutdown? Will they need another shutdown to be awakened again? Are we doing anything to uplift education? Is any group adopting villages and schools that was planned so much during the emergency? Is anyone volunteering to help students improve?

To be honest, I cannot sacrifice my comfortable job and life to worry about these petty things. When there is another emergency, I shall send whatever is possible and will help with likes and shares on Social media. What will you Do?

Via TheDC

GNLF seeks non-political person at GTA helm

8:14 PM

Gorkha National Liberation Front president Mann Ghisingh on Thursday said he would soon write to the state government, demanding non-political person to be appointed as the head of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA).

The party said that the Hill body was being presently run in a “biased manner.” Mr Ghising was speaking during an event to mark the 38th foundation day of the party, which they call the ‘Gorkhaland Namikaran Diwas,’ at a community hall at Lumthang at Happy Valley here.
Mr Ghisingh was said that they would write to the Election Commission, seeking panchayat elections in the Hills, even if it is for a single tier.

“Until the problems of the Hills are solved and a permanent solution comes forward, a neutral person with no political affiliation should be at the GTA helm. We are hearing a lot of complaints that the GTA is running in a biased manner and is one-sided. If a neutral person is appointed, he/she would listen to all sides. If this is not done in the coming days, there could be unrest in the hills. The situation here has finally normalised and the same thing should not be repeated, so we want a government person to run the body. We will soon send a letter to the state regarding this,” Mr Ghisingh said.

On the panchayat elections, he said, “The panchayat elections are being held everywhere in Bengal, but not in the Hills. People living in the panchayat areas are facing a lot of problems. A three-tier panchayat election in the hills may not be possible now as the constitution has to be amended, but a single-tier panchayat was possible during the DGHC (Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council), so they could do it now as well. We will write to the Election Commission, demanding for panchayat elections.”
Mr Ghisingh also commented on their present “good relationship” with the state government. “In chapter 1, we kept a good relationship with the state government and maintained diplomacy and did what we had to do, and now that chapter has ended, and there is no guarantee that chapter 2 will also be the same.

There could be a different strategy.” “We have to keep good relationships with the state government and move forward. But it should not be like, we sit when they ask us to, and stand up when they wish so. The GNLF is not like that, and till now, I have not bowed down my head for anyone. Even if my nature is that of a soft spoken person, I will only bow down my head for the one who has taught me to keep it high. I request leaders here not to threaten me, as we are not afraid, but just do not want this area to be disturbed,” he added.

[Via: Statesman News Service]

GTA2 to reorganise the engineering division

7:06 AM
GTA pops decentralise pill

Vivek Chhetri (The Telegaph)

Darjeeling: The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) has decided to decentralise some functions to ensure better governance at the hill body, which many believe was directionless in the previous regime.

Binay Tamang, chairman, board of administrators, GTA today held an administrative meeting in Kalimpong, which was attended by the board members and senior GTA officials including Subrata Biswas, principal secretary and C. Murugan, secretary of the hill body among others.

Saran Gurung, media executive, GTA,said: "The GTA has decided to reorganise  the engineering division and henceforth, there would be an engineering cell at each block which would be monitored by a centralised engineering cell."
Binay Tamang with Mamata Banerjee
Binay Tamang with Mamata Banerjee

There are eight blocks within GTA's territorial jurisdiction and so far a centralised engineering department was largely overseeing all works in the GTA area. "The engineering cell is among the most important wings of the GTA and we have decided to decentralised this cell for better governance," said Gurung.

It has also been decided that sub-assistant engineers will have to make weekly visits to various sites, assistant engineers have to visit fortnightly and executive engineers have to make field visit every month.

"The engineers will have to maintain site visit book and the progress needs to be reported to high authorities regularly. Agencies would not perform will be blacklisted and terminated with immediate effect," said Gurung.

Rs 26 crore for Darjeeling hill schools

7:08 AM

Vivek Chhetri

Darjeeling: The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) has decided to invest around Rs 26 crore to build 56 school buildings across the Darjeeling hills.

Amar Singh Rai, Darjeeling MLA and member of the education department of the GTA's board of administrators, said: "Under the Sarva Siksha Mission, the GTA has decided to construct 20 primary school buildings and 36 upper primary school buildings. Tenders have already been floated."

Upper primary schools have classes till VIII.

Sources said that primary schools building would be built at a cost of Rs 28 lakh each while construction of a upper primary school building would cost of Rs 58 lakh.

In total, Rs 5.6 crore will be spent on building primary schools and Rs 20.88 crore for upper primary school buildings.

Rai said: "Our aim has been to give a major thrust in education in the hills. We have identified those schools which are situated in far-flung areas of the hills. The GTA is holding continuous meeting with the state government on various developmental initiatives."

" Following the meetings with the state government, it has been decided that 99 school buildings will be constructed in the hills. The 56 buildings that are being constructed is part of the first phase of work," Rai added.

The minister informed that the GTA was working in tandem with the state government to ensure that the educational standard is improved in the hills.

"We are committed to improving education in the hills and regain the past glory. We will go our best and will place our progress report before the public for them to judge," he said.

In the last couple of months, the state government and the GTA has regularised jobs of 137 ad-hoc teachers.

In January, Binay Tamang, the GTA chairman of the board of administrator, had handed approval letters to 429 secondary teachers, solving a decade long problem.

The secondary teachers had been given appointment in various hill schools in 2010 by the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council but with the approval only coming from DGHC education secretary and not the district inspector of schools, the teacher's post retirement benefits were in doubt.

However, with the DI giving its approval, after the GTA pursued the issue, the secondary teachers problem have also been solved.

Via Telegraph
 
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