Darjeeling Will Be Switzerland
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Darjeeling Will Be Switzerland

Dārjiling : India | Aug 05, 2012 at 5:59 AM PDT
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“I want Darjeeling and Dooars to be like Switzerland. Tourism should be developed here like never before,”The communists could not do any development in Darjeelin for the last two decades, but Mamata Banerjee did it in the first one year of tenure as the Chief Minister. She took sincere initiative to bring peace to the Hills. The positive response of GTA to participate in the polls yielded good results.The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) swept the polls to the newly created Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), capturing all 45 seats in the Darjeeling hills governing council. They were sworn in on August 4, in the presence of Union Home Minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde, and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee . Bimal Gurung was sworn in as the chief executive of GTA . Congratulating Chief minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee for successfully solving the hill problem, the new Union Home Minister Shinde said: “The GTA has a huge responsibility to ensure development in the hills. I had talks with Bimal Gurung, and I have high hopes that with his interest in working for the people, he will do well .As the newly elected 45 members of the Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA), including in Darjeeling, assured all help for the development of the hills. Rs 200 crore will be given every year for the next three years to GTA from the Centre for the development of the Hills.

The Central government will provide more funds for the development of the hills,” Shinde said at the swearing-in ceremony.“We will build a university, three ITIs, two polytechnics, a Nepali academy at Mongpu and a sainik school here in Darjeeling. The hospital will also be renovated,” the chief minister looked jubilant when she promised all these. She was beaming as usual when she says : Banerjee said. On July 18 last year, a tripartite agreement was signed between the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM), the state and Central governments for setting up a new autonomous, elected GTA, a hill council armed with more powers than the previous Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) formed in the late 1980s. The process of elections to the 45 GTA seats, held on July 29, came to an end on Thursday with GJM winning uncontested in all the 45 seats.The GJM had already won a majority even before the elections statred; the party bagged 28 constituencies uncontested, after the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) and independent candidates withdrew their names from the fray, accusing the GJM of letting “loose a reign of terror”.The TMC, which initially decided to contest 17 seats, also withdrew after Mamata Banerjee declared that they wanted GJM to run the council smoothly in their own convenient way.All are happy in the hills and the plains except those who did not want any mileage to be given to Bimal Gurung and GJMM. The earlier Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya dared not go to the hills. But Mamata Banerjee came , saw and conquered. It is another feather in the crown of Mamata Banerjee. The GTA Council will now start functioning as desired by her from the very first day of her in power. During the Left rule the relations with the Hills deteriorated. The demand for a separate land was becoming stronger.“ The state government is there with you.”said the elated Chief Minister of West Bengal in the swearing in ceremony to the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) which no longer demands the separate state of Gorkhaland.The GJMM movement has led to the loss of hundreds of lives, and has severely affected the region’s economic condition, especially tea and tourism. Now people are hopeful that tourism will be boosted. Peace has prevailed. The CPI(M) is crestfallen at the development in the hills.

drratanbhattacharjee is based in Kolkata, Bangla, India, and is a Reporter for Allvoices.
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