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Friday, July 2, 2010

2hrs chakka jam withdrawn... Asok wants separate SSC for Hills...Plan to woo Terai Adivasis

KalimNews: There will be no more 2 hrs Chakkajam from saturday, declared GJMM. In its announcement it has mentioned that due to the inconvenience facing by the people and the drivers the demonstration of 2 hrs blocking the movement of vehicles is withdrawn. supporters of GJMM have commented that the party has been withdrawing its demonstartions and other programmes without any achievement and logical reasoning yet we are supporting it though we are fed up with  the announcements. 
Pius Jogi a grocer said since a long time GJMM is losing its base due to these kinds of programme. Harka bahadur Rai a driver asked "Dont they know that people are harassed whenever such obstruction programme is demonsatrated?", "It is ridiculous to announce such announcements". In his opinion it is due to the fear of police actions taken by some police stations like Darjeeling against the leaders of the GJNM and party is forced to withdraw the programme.
Growth mantra at time of Morcha lull - Ministers rattle of development projects for hills q Statehood campaign focus in Dooars, July 2: Two Bengal ministers went up to the Darjeeling hills with development mantra on their lips at a time the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha is making conciliatory gestures as part of a damage control exercise to redeem its image.
Municipal affairs minister Asok Bhattacharya announced in Darjeeling town today a slew of development projects for the region. In Kalimpong this morning, the minister of state for public works, Dasarath Tirkey, said that the government was “committed to the welfare of the hills”.
Bhattacharya, the CPM MLA from Siliguri, was on his first “official” visit to Darjeeling since 2007, when the Morcha came into being.
Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council administrator and Morcha bete noire B.L. Meena also visited the hill station with the minister after a long absence. Meena had been operating out of Pintail Village, on the outskirts of Siliguri. Bhattacharya, however, said he had instructed Meena to work from Darjeeling, one of demands of the hill people.
“Governance has to be established in the hills,” Bhattacharya said, giving the green light to a host of projects for which the hills have been agitating for almost a decade.
“Recruitment of teachers in schools has not taken place for a long time. The School Service Commission has remained defunct (from 2000 because former DGHC chairman Subash Ghisingh was opposed to it) here. There are 753 vacancies in primary schools and 300 in the secondary sections. We will form an ad-hoc recruitment committee and the process will start within two months,” said Bhattacharya.
“The ad hoc committee will comprise district officials only,” Bhattacharya said. He said the demands of 895 casual teachers for permanent job status would also be looked into.
Funds no longer seem to be a problem for the Darjeeling hills (see chart). “The DGHC has been directed to start renovating the Mirik lake with Rs 1 crore in the first phase. The total funds sanctioned for Mirik is Rs 3 crore,” said Bhattacharya. Around 50km from Darjeeling, Mirik is a tourism hotspot.
The minister has directed the district administration to simplify the process of issuing SC/ST certificates and immediately release the compensation of Rs 1 lakh each to families of those killed in landslides. He also said arrangements for distribution of patta (land rights) — to those who have lost land to landslides — would be expedited. “An additional Rs 1 crore will also be sanctioned for construction of houses damaged by Cyclone Aila,” said Bhattacharya.
The minister’s new-found enthusiasm for the hills, however, has raised a few eyebrows.
“With the Morcha in the backfoot, the government thinks it can make its presence felt in the hills. It is surprising that the minister announced so many projects in one sitting, while the same were stonewalled by the state when the demands had been made earlier,” said a resident of Darjeeling.
The Morcha had to face a backlash after ABGL chief Madan Tamang was murdered in May. Although the public fury was contained, Bimal Gurung’s party has been treading carefully, avoiding confrontation with the administration. It had cut short its indefinite strike in the hills last month and had also removed the Gorkhaland Personnel from some of the DGHC properties it had been occupying after Meena filed FIRs.
Today, the Morcha announced that it had decided to suspend the two-hour road blockades that it had been organising since Monday.
At this juncture, it is easier for the state government to try and get a toehold in the hills.
Bhattacharya refuted the allegation that the CPM was trying to make its presence felt at the time when the Morcha has relaxed its agitation. “My party has hardly any presence here. I have come here for development. There is no need for me to be visible,” he told a media conference at the circuit house. Earlier, Bhattacharya had held a meeting with the administrative officials.
In Kalimpong, Tirkey laid the foundation stone of the 16-kilometre bypass that will connect Seventh Mile to Deolo. Vehicles bound for places other than Kalimpong will not have to enter the town once the Rs 24-crore bypass is constructed.
“There must be peace in the hills. The state government will do all it can to ensure the speedy development of the region,” Tirkey said at the programme.
SNS. SILIGURI, 2 JULY: Visiting Darjeeling for the second time in two months, the state urban development minister Mr Asok Bhattacharya today promised to push for a separate school service commission for the Hills. Also, the minister has promised facilitating the revival of the dormant primary school council in Darjeeling in a month's time.
As of now, Darjeeling Hills does not come under the purview of the state School Service Commission (SSC) that regulates appoint of secondary teachers across West Bengal.
“Since the Darjeeling Hills is not covered by the SSC, a large number of teaching posts in the secondary schools here are lying vacant for a long time, impeding the growth of education in the Hills. Hence, I, along with our Rajya Sabha MP (Mr) Saman Pathak, have decided to impress upon the state education minister to come up with a separate SSC for Darjeeling in next two months’ time. Also, we would urge the education minister to revive the primary education council in Darjeeling and start filling up the vacant posts at the earliest possible,” Mr Bhattacharya said on returning from the Hills visit.
The urban development minister and the MP would call on the education minister Mr Partha De in Kolkata on 7 July over the issues. Mr Bhattacharya visited Darjeeling for the second time in two months today and held a two-hour administrative meeting at the Darjeeling circuit house with the district magistrate, the IG, the SP, DGHC administrator, the SDO Sadar and others.
Plan to woo Terai Adivasis
TT, Siliguri, July 2: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s Terai branch committee has decided to woo the tribals of the region to support it’s statehood demand, a day after the Adivasis met the state chief secretary to press for Sixth Schedule status for the Dooars and Terai.
“The state government has started a campaign against our party for delaying the next level of tripartite meeting and it is trying to misguide the tribals against us,” said Shankar Adhikary, the chief convener of the Morcha’s Terai branch committee, after the meeting at Milanmore, about 10km from here, today.
“We have decided to organise our campaign in the rural and tea garden areas across the Terai, telling people about the benefits they will get once the region is included in Gorkha Adivasi Pradesh,” Adhikary said.
Parishad state general secretary Tezkumar Toppo, however, refused to say much on the Morcha move. “I have nothing to say about their campaign. Our supporters are not going with them,” he said.
State to set up new BSF Frontier
SNS, SILIGURI, 2 JULY: In order to check infiltration and to ensure more security along India-Bangladesh border the state will set up a new BSF Frontier in central West Bengal, a senior BSF official said today.
“A senior BSF official has already been posted as IG in Malda to ready basic infrastructures for setting up another Frontier named ‘Malda Frontier’ which will tentatively start functioning by October this year”, the Inspector General of BSF, South Bengal Frontier, Mr CV Murlidhar, said over phone from Kolkata.
“The objective of this new frontier is to ensure more security along the border”, Mr Murlidhar said.
With the new frontier the state will be getting more battalion of BSF. According to BSF officials, at present the state has 36-battalion of BSF working along the border but after formation of the new Malda Frontier it will be getting at least 12 to 14 battalion. It be noted that many stretches of the border are porous where authorities could not complete fencing  in low laying and riverin areas to check border crime and infiltration.
Under the new frontier BSF authorities will create more sector offices in the Central West Bengal comprising some districts including Murshidabad, Malda and two Dinajpurs.
At present the BSF has one sector office at Narayanpur in Malda, under South Bengal Frontier, to monitor a part of this district and a large part of South Dinajpur district. However, Berhampore sector office in Murshidabad controls more than three blocks in Malda area. A part of North Dinajpur district, which is under the control of the North Bengal Frontier, may come up under Malda Frontier.
Senior BSF officials are working to demarcate the jurisdiction of a new frontier and in search of a suitable place for setting up its new office of Malda Frontier near Malda town. 

CRPF company to be stationed at Triveni
SE, DARJEELING, July 2: IG (North Bengal) Kundan Lal Tamata today said that a CRPF company will be stationed at Triveni guest house.
Speaking to reporters here after attending a meeting with State Urban Development minister Ashoke Bhattacharya, Tamta said that CRPF company will be stationed at the Triveni guest house very soon.
Tamta further informed that the Gorkhaland Personnel (GLP) bases have already been removed from Parajit guest house at Gorubathan, ADlim, Reli Khola and Dello areas. Now the remaining GLP camps will be removed from the government buildings, he said.
“The mission to remove the GLP camps from government buildings will continue and the concerned police stations have been given instructions”, said the IG.

Tele serial of Kalimpong
KalimNews : Chhuttiko Ghanti is the name of a telefilm produced by Sanahi Production, Kalimpong under the sponsorship of Krishak Kalyan Sangathan (KKS), Kalimpong based on the Mid-day meal affairs of Primary Schools. The film casts are Phurba Lama, Pradip Pakhrin, Suman Gurung, Anjela Bhujel, Lawang Tamang, Capt Bhumiraj Rai, Rajen Chhetri and some child artists. Penned down by Hira Chhetri and directed by Sashi Sunam, the telefilm is technically assisted by Narendra Tamang of KTv. The film is being screened at KKS office, Damber Chowk on 3 July from 2.30 PM.
This film is the second venture of the KKS and Sanahi combined. They had earlier released a telefilm in the name of Ek Gagri Paani on the theme of drinking water scarcity in the hills. The production has also made several comedy episodes under the title Kura Chha Baango and was popular among the local viewers as they contained the latest happenings in the society particularly in the political arena.
Employee electrocuted

Prakha, Gangtok, July 2: In a tragic twist of fate, a government employee was electrocuted to death yesterday night at around 11 pm at Gangtok when he apparently stumbled into a streetlight post which was leaking current.
The post was leaking current of 120 volts after it was probably hit by a car, said the State power department officials.
As per the version of the power officials, the body of Dhruva Chettri (35) was found lying near the post with signs of being electrocuted along the NH 31A here at Panihouse. Fragments of the glass shield of the street lamp were also scattered across the road along with some minor scratches at the post which appeared to have been hit by a vehicle, said assistant engineer Prakash Subba.
Chettri was a supervisor in the State irrigation department and was responsible to check the jhora (stream) binding workings in Sichey, Syari and Luing areas of Gangtok.
“The incident (streetlight being damaged) could have taken place after 7 pm as we had checked all the streetlight posts along that particular location. There was no leakage of current at that time”, said executive engineer Sunil Rai.
Subba had reached the spot after being informed about the death incident.
“When I reached the spot at around 1 am, I saw the body lying near the post and current was leaking from the post. The cover of the streetlight had been damaged totally and its fragments were strewn along the road. Some vehicle could have probably hit the post which caused the cover to fall down and dislocated the wire to cause leaking of current. When I measured the current, it was 120 volts much less than the usual 220 volts”, said Subba.
The power officials suspected that some hours after the streetlight was damaged, Chettri could have stumbled into the post unknowingly and electrocuted at the spot. Though it is cannot be said for certain that current of 120 volts could kill an adult, the current could have stayed in his body as he was wet due to rain and ultimately killed him, they believed.
The power officials said that current was leaking only from that particular post.
It cannot be immediately explained as to why Chettri was walking along that particular stretch at Panihouse so late in the night. He was from Burtuk which is some distance away from the area.
His body was taken straight to the morgue of STNM hospital where the postmortem was conducted today morning after which the body was released to the family members. It was informed that the body had electrocuted in the right shoulder.
Family members informed that Chettri was coming from Sichey. He leaves behind his wife and a six year old son.
Irrigation department officials who had gathered the morgue said that Chettri was a hard working employee for the past ten years. He was a sincere and dedicated worker said his colleagues.
Meanwhile, Gangtok Sadar police is investigations on the circumstances that led to the death of Chettri and it is believed that the police are approaching the angle of hit and run case.
At the present, a case under section 174 of CrPC (unnatural death) has been registered at Gangtok Sadar police station, sources said.
Police investigations are also on the way to explore whether the case is a hit and run case and it is suspected that Chettri could have been hit by some vehicle, sources said.
Hill special for Queen’s baton 
Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, July 2: Hill flavour will mark the welcome ceremony of Queen’s Baton in Darjeeling with all the programmes lined up for the day smacking of traditions associated with the communities living here.
The baton will be received at Rangpo (Sikkim-Bengal border) on July 18 after which it will be brought in a convoy till Chitray in Kalimpong subdivision. Well-known sports personalities will run for a kilometre with the baton from Chitray to Teesta Bazar from where it will be brought to Batasia.
“Members of different communities like the Tamangs, Rais and the Sherpas in their traditional dresses will line up from Teesta to Batasia. Welcome arches will be erected all along the route,” said Pasang Bal, the district information and culture officer.
A 6-km marathon from Batasia will end at Gymkhana Club in Darjeeling where a cultural programme showcasing the traditional dances — like snow lion and yak dances — will be organised from 6pm. “Darjeeling hills is a melting pot of all communities and this aspect will be displayed. Only traditional songs and dances will be performed during the function,” said Bal.
The baton was initially scheduled to reach Darjeeling on July 17 and was supposed to leave for Guwahati the next day. “However, there has been a change of plan and the baton will be kept in Siliguri on July 19 before it flies off the next day,” the official added.
Kurseong will also have its tryst with the historic event as a marathon run is being planned from the tourist lodge there to the railway station. A list of sportspersons who will be allowed to “touch” the baton has already been sent to the organisers of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and a final list is expected soon.
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has promised to ensure that the Queen’s Baton relay is a smooth affair. This means that agitation like closure of government offices is being ruled out till July 19.
The relay was flagged off from Buckingham Palace in the presence of President Pratibha Patil on October 29 to mark the curtain raiser for the Commonwealth Games.

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