First ever Bengal-GTA joint programme in Darjeeling

For the first time ever, the West Bengal government and the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration will organise a joint programme in Darjeeling on August 6 in an apparent bid to strengthen the warming up of relations between the two sides which had soured up in the past few years.
Bengal - GTA TOGETHER on  “Clean and Green Darjeeling”  programme
Bengal - GTA TOGETHER on  “Clean and Green Darjeeling”  programme
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will be in Darjeeling to launch the “Clean and Green Darjeeling” project, which is part of the Swach Bharat Abhiyan, a Central initiative launched Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year. Relations between the state government and the GTA had gone bitter with the hill body accusing the former of unnecessarily interfering in its independent functioning.

Last month, the chief minister said the state government and the GTA would work together to develop the hills and even announced a slew of programmes to be taken up. Meantime, GTA chief executive Bimal Gurung, after a meeting with Mamata, had termed it the “best of all the meetings so far” with her or the state government.

Darjeeling district magistrate Anurag Srivastav said, “The chief minister will be arriving on August 5 and attend the launch of the Clean and Green Darjeeling drive the next day. This programme will be organised jointly by the district administration and the GTA. Other than this, we have not been informed about her itinerary.”

During her June visit, the chief minister had announced that the Green and Clean Darjeeling project would soon be started in the hills. She had also talked about constructing 53,000 toilets for various households and about making Darjeeling plastic free. All these initiatives are expected to be announced by the chief minister on August 6. Talks on the modalities of the programmes are being discussed between the district administration and the GTA.

"Since it is a joint exercise, we are discussing the modalities with the GTA and a meeting was also held yesterday. The Clean and Green Darjeeling project is not only about keeping the hills clean, but also encompasses sanitation. The chief minister will not only be launching the project but is expected to announce a comprehensive programme ranging from afforestation to banning plastic,” said the DM.

Preparations for the chief minister’s visit are already in progress with a pandal being set up at Chowrastha, the venue of the programme. The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president, in his speech on the occasion of Shahid Diwas on July 27, had said the GTA Sabhasads, secretaries and municipality chairmen would welcome the chief minister in his absence. “I will not be in Darjeeling when the CM visits but in Delhi. I have already communicated this to the chief minister. However, she will be welcomed by the Sabhasads and other officials of the GTA,” he said that day.

The GJM chief also said he did not want to get into any confrontation with the state government and that the CM should not be spoken ill of and she should be happy when in the hills.

Jyoti Kumar Rai, the GJM assistant secretary and a Sabhasad, said, "This is the first time that the GTA and the state government are jointly organising a programme in Darjeeling. Our president will not be able to attend the programme but we will be there.” When asked if the joint programme was an indication of the improving relationship between the state government and the GTA, Rai declined to give out much. "The programme is part of the Swach Bharat Abhiyan; hence both the state and the GTA are executing it together,” he said. Gurung will leave for Delhi on Saturday to meet the prime minister and pursue the issue of providing compensation to those affected by the recent landslides in the hills. He is also expected to take up issues related to the GTA.

Source - EOI

Share this:

Post a Comment

Copyright © Indian Gorkhas. Designed by Darjeeling Web Solutions