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

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

500 crores for GTA

12:27 PM

Since the month of June, the Gorkhaland Agitation has damaged and destroyed many Government and private properties in the Darjeeling hills. Within this three months, many violent incidents took place like burning down of the offices, properties, conducting raids and many others.As a result, the loss of the total properties approximately is more than one thousand crores.

The Chairman of GTA Binay Tamang had demanded the allocation of fund to the State Government for the initiation of renovating works of the damaged properties and also to restart the various development works which have been in complete halt since June in the hills.

Responding to the same the Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee has allocated Rs 500 crores for the development of hills yesterday.Chief Minister has clearly said that the above fund has to be utilized in a proper way, especially keeping in mind the cleanliness of the hills.

According to their plan, the GTA has to submit the fund utilization certificate to the State government. After that, the State Government will again allocate the funds.

As per source, the GTA members are quite satisfied with 500 crores allocated by the State government for the development of the hills.

Via Darjeelinghills


6:32 AM

Situation continues to remain tensed as both sides ramp up political rhetoric.

The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) today called an indefinite shutdown of government and Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) offices in Darjeeling hills from Monday.

The GJM, however, exempted schools, colleges, transport, hotels from the purview of the shutdown and said banks will remain open only twice a week.

"There will be indefinite shutdown in GTA offices, banks and government offices from Monday. The banks will open twice a week for public transactions. We have exempted schools, colleges, transport, hotels from the purview of the strike," GJM general secretary Roshan Giri told reporters here after the organisation's central committee meeting. He also announced that all the signboards written in Bengali will be removed from Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong, Mirik, Siliguri, Terai and Dooars region and signboards only in English and Nepali would be allowed.

"We will not attend GTA offices. Thrice a week we will organise torch rallies in the hills," he said. GTA and government offices will, however, remain open for four days from June 27. Earlier in the day, GJM supremo Bimal Gurung said that he was not for strikes. Gurung also called for "non-cooperation" movement with the state government and accused it of looting resources from the hills and depriving it of basic amenities. He said that agitation in Darjeeling hills will not stop until and unless a separate Gorkhaland is formed.

"If TMC wants to play with fire they will regret it," he said. "We will appeal to the people not to cooperate with the state government. It is taking away so much resources from the hills and what are the people of the hills getting? We are getting nothing. "This has to stop. We will fight for our freedom and will not allow the divisive politics in the hills," Gurung said. The GJM leadership today wrote to the Centre urging it to look into the Gorkhaland demand.

Mamata warns GJM of action, says will not go for compromise

In a stern warning to Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) for resorting to violence in Darjeeling, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said the state government would not go for any compromise and deal with those who violated law.

"They (GJM) have become politically bankrupt and resorted to violence. I hope good sense will prevail on them. We cannot live in peace by resorting to terror and violence," she told reporters at 'Uttarkanya', the mini-secretariat, here. "We have compromised a lot and it seems that now we have our back against the wall. You can compromise for the good and for peace but it cannot be done for bombs and arms," she said.

Indicating that the state government would act tough, the chief minister said the superintendent of police for Darjeeling has been changed and three senior IPS officers were sent to deal with the situation in the hill town. Asked whether GJM chief Bimal Gurung would be arrested for the violence in the town on Thursday last, she said law will take its own course. "If anybody has violated the law, he will be dealt accordingly".

The hill station had turned into a virtual battlefield after GJM supporters clashed with the police on Thursday when they were stopped from marching to the Raj Bhawan where the state cabinet meeting was underway. Reiterating her opposition to the bandh, Banerjee said, "Bandh is illegal. Even the High Court has declared it illegal." She said the election to Morcha-controlled Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) would be held and the new board will assume office by August 2.

"We will go to the people. They will also go. We will wait for the people's verdict", she said. Yesterday, Banerjee had stated that Morcha-led GTA had "failed" to carry out any development work in the hills and when their term was scheduled to be over next month, they have started "torturing the public". She also called for strengthening tourism industry in the hill town.

The situation in Darjeeling is "very stable and peaceful", the chief minister said, adding she was hopeful that everybody would contribute in maintaining peace. About the situation in the tea industry, Mamata accused CPI-M, Congress and BJP of "playing dirty politics" in the hills and said they would be held "responsible" if tea gardens are closed. "The Modi government had promised to acquire seven tea gardens but they have not done anything. We are helping the tea garden workers in every possible way," she said. The chief minister said the state government was open to negotiation and urged tea gardens workers not to pay heed to the CPI-M, Congress or the BJP and go for strike.

Via: PTI


9:42 AM

Kolkata, June 5 (IANS) Coming down heavily on the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration – the development body in the north West Bengal hills, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday announced a special audit to check how it has utilised the government aids and a punishment ifany discrepancies are found.

“I have decided to run a special audit on the money that GTA received from the government. If GTA has stolen money, I will not spare them. This is common man’s money,” Banerjee said at a public meeting in Darjeeling district’s Mirik.

“I have instructed the Finance Department to run a special audit on how the money has been used. If they have done a good job, we will reward them. But if we find some discrepancy, we will not spare even the secretary of the GTA,” she said.

The Trinamool Congress supremo also attacked the semi-autonomous administrative body on the issue of the state government’s new three language policy.

Claiming that she has never said Bengali would be compulsory in the hills, Banerjee alleged that GTA is spreading “such lies” to create a divide between Bengalis and Nepalis of the region, as they do not have any other political issues.

“I have never said that Bengali would be compulsory in the hills. This is 100 percent lie. I haven’t seen such a liar in my life who always resort to the politics of lies. (Gorkha National Liberation Front chief Subash) Ghising was not like this,” Banerjee said in a veiled reference to Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung.

The Ghising-led GNLF was in the forefront of the movement for a separate Gorkhaland since the 1980s, but lost its dominance to the GJM in 2008.

On July 18, 2011, a tripartite agreement was signed between the GJM, and the state and central governments for setting up a new autonomous, elected GTA, a hill council armed with more powers than its predecessor, the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) formed in the late 1980s.

The GJM won the first GTA elections held in 2012, and is running the board since then.

“The GTA election is approaching and they have no other issues. That is why they are resorting to this sort of politics. They are trying to divide the Bengalis and Nepalis here,” she claimed.

Pointing out that the state government has never objected to the students of the hills learning Nepali, Banerjee said it is important to know a little bit of Bengali to get job elsewhere in the state.

“We have never asked the students of the hills to stop learning Nepali, Hindi or English. It is always better to know as many languages as possible. But if we do not keep Bengali as an option, how would you people come to the other places in Bengal and work there?” she asked.

“In a Nepali-speaking region, knowing Nepali is important but in Bengal, knowing a little bit of Bengali is also important,” she added.

[Via: IANS]

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) threatens bandh in the Hills, Mamata warns no violence

8:19 AM
23rd Sep 2016 Darjeeling Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung has threatened to go for a bandh in the Hills on 23 September if Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee fails to give detail break up of this Rs 4000 crore which, according to the chief minister, has been given to the GTA.

"You carry forward several development schemes which you have already taken up. Our government will give money for such schemes. Don't worry for money. You just go ahead with your goals for developing the Hills," the chief minister Mamata Banerjee said, making it clear that her government would not allow any disruption in the ongoing development in Darjeeling.
Battle between Mamata and  Bimal Gurung
"Yesterday, she had announced that her government has given Rs 4000 crore to the Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA). We want a detail break up of this Rs 4000 crore which, according to the chief minister, has been given to the GTA. If the chief minister Mamata Banerjee fails to give any break-up by September 27, we will go for bandhs in Darjeeling from September 28," Gurung said on Friday.

According to a PTI report, GJM chief Bimal Gurung said that CM stated that Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) was given Rs 4000 crore by the state government and that the CM should give details of the money spent.

"Let her give the details of the amount by 27 September. Failing which we will call a bandh on 28 September," he said.

"The state government is forcing us to call a strike," Gurung said in Darjeeling around 1pm today. "An atmosphere of agitation is building up in the hills. Tourists should check the situation before making their travel plans," he added.

Around two hours later in Kalimpong, Mamata said she would not allow any shutdown.

"There will be no bandh. We will not allow negative and disruptive politics," Mamata said, before specifying why tourism was so important for the livelihood of the people in the hills.

Following the call for bandh, Mamata threatened that her government will not allow any bandh in the Darjeeling Hills and will resist any attempts to disrupt the development activities in the region.

Banerjee said that instead of working for development, they are indulging in politics.

"We want peace in hills. We will not allow violence. Enough is enough. We must work for development. We have developed Lamahatta, Mirik, Tiger Hill, Lava Lolegaon. But they want to destroy it all by violence," she said.

"We will not stop the process of development in the hills. We want people to get employment. We are here to address the issues of the hills. If the hills smile, we will smile," she said.

Gurung - already reeling from a spate of defections from the Morcha to Trinamul - said today: "It is not good for a chief minister to speak in excitement. She has given us Rs 238 crore for the development of the hills in the past four years and now, she claims that she has given Rs 4,000 crore. Even if she includes the salaries of staff and administrative expenses, the figure is a lie," said Gurung.

Morcha leaders today rolled out a set of numbers to drill holes into Mamata's claims. Government sources also produced their fact sheet to prove the chief minister's point (see chart).

Amid the debate on whose numbers were right, Gurung issued the strike threat, first call of the kind from the Morcha after more than three years. The last phase of the shutdown went on for a month till September 10, 2013, over the Gorkhaland demand.

The chief minister has announced to set up a development board for the Gurungs in Darjeeling. Mamata  has already formed development boards for ten tribal groups in Darjeeling including Lepchas,Bhutias, Tamangs. Now she has announced to set up Gurung development board in Darjeeling after the Pujas.

He took care to explain the two other reasons behind the strike call - increasing interference in the affairs of the hills by the state government and an alleged attempt to divide the community.

Although Morcha leaders tried to stress that the main reason behind the strike call was to expose the state government, an official said the threat was an indicator that Gurung was getting increasingly restless with the turn of events.

"He is realising that he is losing control over the hills and the strike call is a desperate attempt by him to remain relevant. The state government would not let the strike happen and a confrontation is imminent," said the officer.

To start with, the Trinamul Congress is gnawing at the Morcha's support base by forming development boards.

During the last Assembly elections, the Morcha's winning margin in the three hill constituencies fell by 68.5 per cent, compared to the 2011 results

"The civic and panchayat elections will take place in a few months. Of the four civic bodies in the hills, we are comfortably ahead of the Morcha in Kalimpong, Kurseong and Mirik. Didi has endeared herself to the rural people in the hills through repeated visits. Gurung is doing all this to retain his turf. He is scared," said a Trinamul insider.

According to him, Gurung is aware that the GTA would become redundant if Trinamul performs well in the civic and panchayat polls as major government projects could be carried out through these elected bodies.

The GTA has already become a fringe player in the hills as the state government is using the development boards to shower benefits on various communities. Today, Mamata handed over a cheque for Rs 10 crore to the Tamang body to build houses for the poor before inaugurating a youth hostel.

"All the development boards are with us. Harka (Bahadur Chhetri, a former Morcha leader) is with us... Bharati Pradhan is with us. Ghisingh's son is with us. We have the support of the hills," said Mamata.

Tomorrow, Trinamul will deal another blow to the Morcha as PWD and youth affairs minister Aroop Biswas will preside over a programme, where hundreds of Morcha supporters would join the ruling party.

Various sources

GJM youth supports Gurungs agitation for a separate state of Gorkhaland

5:21 PM
DARJEELING 19 Aug 2016 A day after Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung announced he would resign from the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration to spearhead an agitation for a separate  state, the party’s youth front pledged wholehearted support to his decision asserting they were ready to shed the Gandhi-wadi style of struggle.

Bolstered by Gurung’s speech on August 7 in Darjeeling where he urged the youths to promote agitation, almost all GJYM leaders today emphasised the need to give up the GTA for the sake of securing a separate Gorkha state. “We welcome our party president’s decision to quit the GTA and start the statehood agitation. We have are being suppressed by the state government while the central government appears least interested in our issue. Now we cannot continue with the Gandhi-wadi Andolan because the water has gone over our heads,” thundered Barood Thapa, the GJYM Kalimpong sub-division president, in a public meeting held today in Darjeeling.

The youth wing supports Gurung’s decision to kick-off an agitation, but it also wants the GTA to be discarded outright. “Allegations have been hurled by the Opposition that an agitation cannot be started while running the GTA. By doing away with the council, our party president will give a fitting reply to the detractors and that is exactly what we want,” said Thapa.
Gorkha Janmukti Yuwa Morcha (GJYM)
Gorkha Janmukti Yuwa Morcha (GJYM)
During the last phase of the Gorkhaland movement in 2013, Gurung had resigned as the chief executive of the GTA on July 30 but assumed office again on December 26 of that year. Last year too, on September 10, Gurung had threatened to resign but did not carry out his threat.

Thapa also warned of a Kashmir-like situation in Darjeeling in a thinly veiled threat to the state and central governments to get their attention. “We have pledged to follow Gandhian principles and have done so. But now we will be forced to make Darjeeling into another Kashmir if the central government does not give us justice,” warned Thapa.

Samardeep Blone, the Kurseong sub-division general secretary of the GJYM, put the onus on the Centre to come true on its assurances. He said BJP leaders should take note of the situation developing in the hills. “Through this public meeting, we want to ask the Prime Minister when would his statement of ‘Gorkha ka sapna, mera sapna’ become a reality. We are also tired of requesting the Darjeeling MP of placing our demand in Parliament. Now time has come for the BJP led Centre to keep its promise as mere assurances will not work anymore,” he said.

Other youth leaders took barbs at the hill TMC, the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) and Jan Andolan Party (JAP) alleging they had sold the statehood demand for petty politics. “They speak what they are directed by Bengal. The 1986 agitation was compromised because of betrayers and the same is happening now. But now we will not forgive the betrayers,” said Bhim Subba, president of the GJM Bijanbari-Goke constituency.

Meanwhile in Kurseong, GTA Sabhasad Anit Thapa said eight Sabhasads including himself would also resign if the party president went ahead and quit.

GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said the decision taken by the Sabhasads from Kurseong sub-division to resign was right. “The decision by the Sabhasads from Kurseong is a right one. We expect more Sabhasads to follow suit. We will be holding meetings over the next few days to discuss the issue,” said Giri, who is also a Sabhasad from the Sitong-Latpanchar constituency.

GTA Sabhasads Anit Thapa, Yogendra Rai, Anju Thapa, Ratan Thapa, Pranay Thapa, Prabha Chhetri, Mahendra Pradhan and Champa Bibar from Kurseong and Mirik sub-divisions today announced  they would also follow suit if the GJM president did go ahead and resign from the GTA within two and two and half months, as announced on Thursday.

“We will only do politics after we achieve a separate state. Our party president has decided to resign and start an agitation and we will follow him as a separate state is our ultimate aspiration,” said Yogendra Rai, Sabhasad of the Kurseong town-Deorali constituency, after a meeting in Kurseong this evening.GJM youth front welcomes Bimal Gurung's announcment to quit GTA.


AAY digital card state govt ploy to curb statehood demand - Bimal Gurung

12:25 PM
Bimal Gurung asks people to surrender AAY digital card, alleges state goverment ploy

DARJEELING 2 Aug 2016 Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung today accorded a different connotation to the Antyodaya Anna Yojana, terming it a state government ploy to quell the statehood  demand, and appealed to the people of the hills to surrender their digital cards.

The GJM president also questioned the state government’s inability to identify and implement the categorisation of APL (above poverty level) and BPL (below poverty level) people in the hills, even though the process started 16 years ago in 2000. Apparently, the AAY contemplates identification of the poorest of poor families from among the BPL covered under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) within the states and provides them food grains at a highly subsidised rate of Rs2 per kg for wheat and Rs3 per kg for rice.
Bimal Gurung asks people to surrender AAY digital card, alleges state goverment ploy
Bimal Gurung asks people to surrender AAY digital card, alleges state goverment ploy
“Issuing digitalised AAY cards is a state government conspiracy to prove that we (Gorkhas) are refugees, as is one of the criteria of the scheme," Gurung alleged today. "Through the AAY, the Bengal government wants to send out a message that refugees cannot demand a separate state."

He said the process started last month during the visit of President Pranab Mukherjee. “The President was invited to Darjeeling in July by the state government to convey him the message that the Gorkhas are not the only ones who reside in the hills. Bengal hijacked the birth anniversary programme of our poet Bhanubhakta Acharya on July 13. And now no instruction in Nepali is provided in  the digital card,” Gurung said, adding he would write about this to the state government.

The GJM president said it was his responsibility as a leader and chief executive of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration to make the people aware of the state government’s ill intentions. “Bengal is trying to create a scenario to deprive our rights and drive us out from the hills, slowly but surely. I appeal to those who have received their AAY digital card to surrender it to the district administration.

I have also asked the municipalities, Sabhasads and leaders in the panchayat areas to stop the distribution of AAY cards,” he said, and urged all political parties including the hill TMC to forget political differences and unite to oppose the state government's imposition.

Incidentally, the word refugee is not mentioned in government papers or notifications as a criterion, although slum dwellers, landless agricultural labourers, and persons earning on daily basis in informal sectors in rural and urban areas, among others are listed. Darjeeling district magistrate Anurag Srivastava said the term “refugee” was just a propaganda and asked people not to pay heed to it.

“The AAY is being implemented as the hills do not produce food grains and they have to be purchased from outside at high costs. As far as the issue of returning the digital card is concerned, people may do so if they wish to,” he said.

With no categorisation as BPL or APL, the entire hill populace is being treated as AAY, according to which 7,95,640 people will be given the digital cards. Almost 75 per cent of cards have already been distributed in the hills since it was introduced in July.


Didi's Development Board win support in Darjeeling

7:09 PM
Amitava Banerjee, HT, 31 July 2016, Darjeeling:At the time when Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has been labelling the creation of numerous development boards as “divide and rule policy” of the state government, the Biswakarma Youth Association (BYA) has rallied for the development boards saying development activities of these boards will result in the uplift of Gorkhas as a whole. The state government has created development boards for 10 Gorkha communities inviting flak from GJM. The Morcha claims the state government is trying to divide the Gorkhas by creating development boards for various Gorkha sub-communities.

“It is a ploy to dilute the Gorkhaland demand. It is divide and rule policy of the government,” alleged Bimal Gurung, president, GJM.

Gurung’s stand on the development boards has been sketchy. On one hand, he has alleged that the development boards are dividing the Gorkha society; on the other hand, the same Gurung claims he does not have any problem with the development boards provided the boards are under the control of GJM run Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) and not the state government.
Didi's Development Board win support in Darjeeling
“The development boards are in no way weakening Gorkha society. Development boards will strengthen the sub-communities thereby strengthening the entire Gorkha community. Rather than weakening the Gorkha community, the Gorkha community is being strengthened by the boards,” said KB Baraily, chief co-ordinator, BYA.

On July 13, chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced the formation of three development boards for Kami (Biswakarma), Damai and Sarki sub-communities in the presence of the President of India and Governor of West Bengal in Darjeeling.

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