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Friday, September 2, 2011

GTA bill passed with changes State hears voice of hills..“Lepcha Development Council Ditey Hobey”... कालेबुङमा धर्ना निरन्तर-लेप्चाहरूले कोलकातामा कराए-'लेप्चा डेभलोपमेन्ट काउन्सिल दिते होबे'...Six hill teachers awarded Siksha Ratna...सिन्देबुङ वाटरशेड पाइलट प्रोजेक्टको 31 लाख रुपियॉं दागोपापले कता लग्यो?...मोहन ठकुरी अनि कृष्णसिंह मोक्तानलाई त्रिमूर्ति पुरस्कार...कालेबुङमा हुने व्याड्मिन्टेन खेल... विद्यार्थी आत्महत्यामाथि सङ्गोष्ठी गरिने...अब सिन्कोना मजदूरहरूको दैनिक हाजिरा 160 सिन्कोनाबासीको निम्ति यो ठूलो उपलब्धी हो-रुचाल ...सिक्किम काठ छिराउँदा छिराउँदै तस्करहरू बन विभागको पञ्जामा

WB assembly passes GTA Bill for new hill Darjeeling council
Economictimes, 2 Sept, Kolkata: KOLKATA: The West Bengal assembly today passed a bill, paving way for the formation of a new autonomous hill council in Darjeeling after several amendments were brought by the state government while accepting objections raised by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha. 
A total of 54 amendments to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Bill moved by Chief Whip of the Trinamool Congress Sobhandeb Chattopadhay was passed by the House by voice vote accepting key objections of GJM including to incorporate financial and administrative powers in addition to executive powers as mentioned in the GTA agreement. 
The government, however, rejected most of the amendments moved by CPI-M members Surya Kanta Mishra, who is the Leader of the Opposition, and Anisur Rahman. 
An amendment providing for reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward classes in the GTA moved by Mishra was accepted, on the other hand. The CPI-M asked the government to refer the bill to a select committee for further scrutiny, but it was rejected by the House by voice vote. 
Terming the GTA agreement and the Bill as a new beginning for Darjeeling, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said there was no point creating confrontation among the people in the hills and the adivasis in the plains. 
"This is a historic day. This is a day to step into the future and a new beginning for Darjeeling. We will give full cooperation to the GTA. Darjeeling is the heart of the state. Darjeeling and Dooars and Terai are like brothers and sisters. They cannot be separated from each other," she said. GTA bill placed by Partha chatterjee Parliamentary affairs minister of TMC was passed with 24 ammendments in the Bidhan Sabha of Paschim Banga.The bill endorsed by the state cabinet was placed.
GTA bill passed with changes State hears voice of hills
TT, Calcutta, Sept. 2: The government today accommodated most of the changes sought by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and passed the bill to set up the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration for the Darjeeling hills.
The Mamata Banerjee government, through the 54 amendments it brought to the GTA bill, tried to ensure that the legislation was in accordance with the tripartite agreement and the hill body got more autonomy.
Soon after the bill was circulated among the MLAs on Monday, the Morcha leadership had said the bill did not reflect all the provisions agreed upon in the deal signed by the hill party, the state and the Centre, on July 18.
The Morcha was also cut up because the preamble of the bill did not mention that one of the reasons for the creation of the GTA was to establish the ethnic identity of the Gorkhas.
“The state government today made several amendments to the bill and we are happy that all our demands have been fulfilled,” said Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri after the bill was passed in the House by a voice vote. Some demands, however, like removal of “incompetence” as reason for the government to supersede the GTA was not accommodated.
The leader of the Opposition, Surjya Kanta Mishra, requested the government to send the bill to a select committee, but the government rejected the suggestion. Unlike a standing committee which exists for every department and for the entire term of the government, a select committee is created only on a need-basis. It consists of expert MLAs who can deal with a particular issue and is dissolved as soon as the issue is resolved.
“Unanimous decisions used to be taken (a reference to the Left Front regime) on issues pertaining to the hills. The government should try to reach a consensus over this bill. We also want to include the word ‘Darjeeling’ in the name of the proposed body,” said Mishra.
Mishra also protested the setting up of a government panel to look into the Morcha demand to bring territories in the Dooars and the Terai under the GTA. “I have no objection to more autonomy for this body, but further inclusion of territory will open a Pandora’s Box …. Also, the elections to the GTA should be conducted by the state election commission and not the state government,” said Mishra. 

The government, however, turned down all of Mishra’s suggestions. In reply to Opposition charges, the chief minister cited the Left Front government’s willingness to name the new hill body, the Gorkhaland Regional Authority after a round of tripartite talks in August last year. 
She also reassured the people of the Dooars and the Terai that “no harm” would come their way. “A campaign is on against us, people are being misinformed that we will give up the Terai and the Dooars and divide the state. The people of Darjeeling are our brothers, those of the Dooars and the Terai are our sisters. We will not let harm come in the way of either our brothers or our sisters,” said Mamata. 
She also told the House that the government would set up a development board for Lepchas. The Lepchas, one of the indigenous tribes of the Darjeeling hills, have been demanding a development council which will preserve the culture of the community and also help in its growth. They had been demonstrating in front of Writers’ for some time. Many of them had been arrested last month for violating Section 144 in front of Writers’. 
Of the 54 amendments to the hill bill, 41 involved the omission of the word “sabha”, the repeated use of which the Morcha had objected to. The hill body had said the word undermined the new arrangement by conveying the idea that only a “sabha” or a local body was being created and not an entire administrative set-up.

“We have worked hard to ensure that nothing in the bill is against our interest unlike the earlier political leaders who were in a hurry to accept whatever was being offered. We have been sincere to our people and it is their victory,” said an elated Giri, while directing a barb at the GNLF whose chief Subash Ghisingh had signed the agreement for the formation of the DGHC.
 “It is a historic day for the people of Darjeeling. We are happy with this bill. However, our demand for a separate state stands. We are hopeful that one day this House will rise to justify the just demand for Gorkhaland,” said Morcha MLA Harka Bahadur Chhetri.
During the discussion on the bill before its enactment, the Opposition had raised questions on whether the integrity of the state was being jeopardised by the government’s concessions to the Morcha.
In his response, Chhetri told the House: “Let the question of integrity no longer be used as a weapon to suppress the voices of the minorities.”
“Lepcha Development Council Ditey Hobey” 
PR, KalimNews, Kolkata, 2 July: Mass rally organized by Lepcha Rights Movement under the Leadership of Chief Coordinator Mr. N.T. Lepcha, started from Raja Subodh Mallick Square to Rani Rashmoni Avenue at 11.30 am in Kolkata on 02/09/2011. 
The Lepchas of West Bengal who have been sitting in dharna and holding rallies since 11th of August 2011 here in Kolkata, came out in their full traditional attire with a integrated slogan for Lepcha Development Council and other demands. "Lepcha Development Council Detey Hobey" in Bengali resounded in the streets connecting the above mentioned locations. 
The sloganeering was also done in Hindi and as well as in Lepcha to lay stress to the long pending demands of the Lepchas. The rally of almost 250 strong, included many local Kolkatans most of whom were social activists & intellectuals (Saradindu Biswas;Lecturer St. Xaviers' college, Ravi Shankar;Hindi Muslim friendly relation, Sachin Mitra; Sangram Front, Kaushik;Yuva Bharati, Prashanta Halder;–Association for Protection of Democratic Rights, Santra Adhikari; Trade Union leader, Jayanta Dutta;RTI & Human Rights Activist, Murad Hossen;National Alliance of People's movement, Tapti Chatterjee; Ahalya Nari Samajer Mukhopatra, Tapash Manna; Singur Activist) from different organizations based here in Kolkata, exhibited full vigour and enthusiasm as the onlookers watched with appreciation in the slight drizzle that considerably lowered the temperature and fueled the fervor of the Lepchas. 
When the Rally reached Rani Rashmoni Avenue the participants became fervent and passionate which resulted in slight scuffle with the police security provided. The situation became slightly avid and almost led to violation of Section 144 in the area. This prompted the PA to Speaker of the Legislative Assembly to announce that 4 members of the Lepcha Rights Movement were invited to meet the Speaker Manas Bhattacharya of the Legislative Assembly on 05.09.11 at 1300 hours. The meeting at the Rani Rashmoni Avenue saw many intelligent and encouraging speeches being delivered by different intellectuals and social activists to lift up the spirits of the Lepchas who have been holding rallys and dharnas for almost a month here in Kolkata. The speeches of Ren NT Lepcha (Chief coordinator) and Ren Bhupendra Lepcha (Convenor) were persuasive and clarified the grounds on which the Lepchas are demanding the said Council.
कालेबुङमा धर्ना निरन्तर-लेप्चाहरूले कोलकातामा कराए-'लेप्चा डेभलोपमेन्ट काउन्सिल दिते होबे'
मनोज बोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कोलकाता,  2 सितम्बर।कोलकातामा आज लेप्चाहरूले निकालेको जुलूसमा त्यहॉंका विभिन्न सङ्गठनहरूले समर्थन मात्र जनाएन सहभागी पनि बन्यो। विभिन्न सङ्गठनका प्रतिनिधिहरू पनि लेप्चाहरूसित नै जुलूसमा सहभागी बनेर लेप्चा आन्दोलनकारीहरूसित नै बङ्गला भाषामा 'लेप्चा डेभलोपमेन्ट काउन्सिल दिते होबे'को नारा लगाए। जुलूस दिउँसो सॉंढे एघाह्रमा कोलकाताको राजा सुबोध स्वायरदेखि रानी राशमनी एभिन्यूसम्म निकालिएको थियो जसलाई लेप्चा राइट मुभमेन्टका मुख्य संयोजक एन.टी लेप्चाले अगुवाई गरेका थिए। सॉंस्कृतिक भेषभूषामा जुलूसमा निस्किएका 250 पचास जना लेप्चा प्रतिनिधिहरूलाई स्थानीय बुद्दिजीवीहरूले पनि साथ दिएका थिए। 
सेन्टजेभियर कलेजका प्राचार्य साराबिन्दु विश्वास, हिन्दु-मुश्लिम फ्रेण्डली रिलेशनका रबी शङ्‌कर, कौसिकको सरगम फ्रण्टका  सचिन मित्र, युवा भारतीका प्रशान्त हल्दार, एसोसिएसन फर प्रोटेक्सन अफ डेमोक्रेटिक राईटका सन्त्र अधिकारी, ट्रेड युनियन नेता जयन्त दत्त, आरटीआई अनि ह्युमन राइटका सदस्य मुराद हुसैन, नेश्नल एलाइन्स अफ पिपल्स मुभमेन्टका ताप्ती च्याटर्जी, सिङ्गुर आन्दोलनकारी तपस मन्ना अनि अहल्या नारीका सहदस्यहरूले लेप्चाहरूको मागलाई न्यासंगत बताउँदै व्यापक समर्थन दिए। उनीहरूले पनि लेप्चा प्रतिनिधिहरूसित नै जुलूसमा भाग लिएका थिए। 
रानी राशमनी एभिन्यू पुगेपछि जुलूस उत्तेजित बनेको थियो। उत्तेजनालाई साम्य गर्न प्रशासनले पुलिस बल तैनाथ गर्न परेको थियो भने क्षेत्रमा 144 धारा पनि लगाइएको थियो। यसैबीच विधानसभा सदनका सभामुख मानस भट्टाचार्यका  पीएले चार लेप्चा प्रतिनिधिहरूसित कुराकानी गरेपछि सभामुख मानस भट्टाचार्यले लेप्चा प्रतिनिधिहरूसित उनीहरूको दाबीबारे कुराकानी गर्न 5 सितम्बरको दिन भेट्‌ने आश्वासन दिए। रानी राशमनी एभिन्यूमा नै कोलकाता धर्नाका मूल संयोजक एन.टी लेप्चा अनि समन्वयक भूपेन्द्र लेप्चाले प्रदर्शनकारीहरूलाई सम्बोधन गर्दै सभामुखद्वारा पाइएको आश्वासनबारे जानकारी गराएका थिए। यता आज लेप्चाहरूले कालेबुङ महकुमा अधिकारीको कार्यालय अघि गरिरहेको अनिश्चितकालीन धर्नाले दुइ दिन टेक्यो। धर्नालाई निरन्तर गर्न आज कालेबुङ बाहेक पनि दार्जीलिङ, खरसाङ अनि मिरिकका लेप्चा प्रतिनिधिहरूले पनि उपस्थिति दिएका थिए। 
लेप्चा डेभलोपमेन्ट काउन्सिल, राज्यसभा र विधानसभामा लेप्चा प्रतिनिधिहरूको मनोनयन अनि लेप्चा भाषाको पठन पठनको माग गर्दै 9 अगस्तदेखि आन्दोलित लेप्चाहरूले हिजोदेखि अनिश्चितकालीन धर्ना शुरू गरेका छन्‌ भने सरकारले लेप्चाहरूले गरेको दाबीलाई अनदेखा गरे अनिश्चितकालीन धर्ना नै अनिश्चितकालीन भोकहडतालमा रुपान्तर हुने बताइएको छ। इण्डिजिनस लेप्चा ट्राइबल एसोसिएसनका अध्यक्ष ल्याङसोङ तामसाङ, लेप्चा राइज मुभमेन्टका सचिव पी.टी. सिमिक अनि लेप्चा युथ एसोसिएसनका सहसचिव टशु थिङले प्रतिनिधित्व गरेको धर्नामा बङ्गाल सरकारले शीघ्र नै लेप्चाहरूको मागमाथि हस्तक्षेप गर्नुपर्ने माग गर्दै व्यापक नाराबाजी गरे। 
पी.टी. सिमिकले धर्नामा प्रतिनिधिहरू थपिँदै जाने बताए। तिनले भने, ज्योति बसु आए अनि गए, बुद्धदेव भट्टाचार्य पनि आए र अब ममता व्यानर्जी आएकी छन्‌, उनले आफ्ना छोराछोरीलाई मिलाएर राख्नेछिन भन्ने आशा गरिएको छ। तिनले अहिलेसम्म सरकारले लेप्चाहरूको समस्यालाई लिएर एकै शब्द नबोलेको बताउँदै भने, हाम्रो माग पुरा गर्न समय लाग्न सक्छ तर केही नबोलेर हामीलाई सरकारले अनदेखा गर्न मिल्दैन। कमसेकम हामीलाई ममता व्यानर्जीले आश्वासन दिनुपर्छ। तिनले लेप्चा डेभलोपमेन्ट काउन्सिललाई एक पृथक परिषद बताउँदै सरकारी हस्तक्षेपमा नै परिषद चल्ने बताए। तिनले भने, सरकारकै निगरानीमा लेप्चाहरूको भाषा, साहित्य र संस्कृतिको संरक्षण हुन आवश्यक छ।

Six hill teachers to receive Siksha Ratna 
KalimNews, 2 Sept, Kalimpong: Government of Paschim Banga is felicitatting 100 teachers of the state with Siksha Ratna. On the occasion of teachers' day six DGHC teachers will also be awarded the "Siksha Ratna" at Rabindra Sadan, Kolkata on 5th September. Of the six teachers three are secondary and three primary teachers.
The three secondary teachers are Kamal Gurung of Ghoom Boys' HS School, Saraswati Chhetri of Jaldhaka HS School and Pradip Gurung of Juddhabir HS School. The three primary teachers are Jiwan kumar Chhetri of R.C.Mission Jr. Basic School, Maney Bhanjyang, Jagdish Chandra Pradhan of Swami Vivekanda Primary School, Darjeeling and Bhakta raj Bhandari of Manedanra Tribal Primary School, Rimbick.
After Banga Vibhushan, Mamata Banerjee will now award Shiksha Ratna to 100 teachers from the state on September 5, Teacher's Day.
Each teacher will be felicitated and rewarded with Rs 25,000 and a citation as an award.
During the Left Front government's rule, around 17 to 25 teachers were awarded Rs 10,000 along with a citation every year on Teachers' Day. The number has increased to 100 under the Trinamool government. The recipients will receive the award from the CM herself. "The criteria to receive a nomination are much on the lines of the centre. The qualification of teachers, their contribution in the field of education and society, their achievements as a teacher and their motivation which has encouraged students will be taken into consideration before finalising the names," said an school education department official.
सिन्देबुङ वाटरशेड पाइलट प्रोजेक्टको  31 लाख रुपियॉं दागोपापले कता लग्यो? 
मनोज बोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 2 सितम्बर : चारवर्ष भयो एकिकृत ग्रामीण विकासको निम्ति कृषि विभाग अन्तरगर्गत आएको सिन्देबुङ वाटरशेड पाइलट प्रोजेक्टको 31 लाख रुपियॉंको अत्तोपत्तो छैन। यसै योजनाको निम्ति केन्द्रिय योजना अन्तर्गत आएको राशि दागोपापमा आए पनि सिन्देबुङ आइपुगेन। कालेबुङ कृषि विभागकोे देखरेखमा सिन्देबुङमा 2008मा नै यो योजना शुरू गरिएको थियो। क्षेत्रको माटो व्यवस्थापन, पानी संरक्षण अनि क्षेत्रीय कृषि उन्नयनको निम्ति सिञ्चाईको निम्ति जिल्लामा नै नमुनाको रूपमा थालिएको यो योजना अहिलेसम्म थॉंतीमा रहेको छ। 
स्थानीय कृषकहरू अझसम्म पनि यो योजना कार्यान्वयन पर्खेर बसेका छन्‌। यस सम्बन्धमा कृषि अधिकारी डी.टी लेप्चासित जान्न चहॉंदा तिनले विभागको सहकार्यमा योजना शुरू भए पनि दागोपापबाट राशि नै नछोडिएकोले थॉंतीमा रहेको बताएका छन्‌। जानकारी अनुसार केन्द्रिय योजना रहेकोले यसको राशिलाई दागोपापले रोकेर राख्नु अनुचित हो। तर चारवर्षसम्म पनि दागोपापले यो राशि छोडेको छैन। यस सम्बन्धमा विभागीय अधिकारीहरूले दागोपाप प्रशासकलाई कैयौंपल्ट ज्ञापन र सम्झनापत्र दिइसकेको छ। तरै पनि दागोपापबाट राशि नछोड्‌नुको कारण आफूहरूलाई थाहा नरहेको अधिकारीहरूले जनाएका छन्‌। वाटरशेडको योजना केन्द्रको योजना रहेकोले यसमा दागोपापको हस्तक्षेपलाई वास्तवमा मान्य नगरिनुपर्ने हो, तर दागोपापले नै राशि नछोडेपछि यो योजना अघि नबढेको थाहा लागेको छ, स्थानीय एक कृषकले बताए। 
तिनले अझ भने, सरकारले ग्रामीण विकासको निम्ति योजनाहरू र राशि त अनुमोदन गर्छ तर दागोपापमा आइपुगेपछि कता हराउँछ हराउँछ। अन्न हजारेको भ्रष्टचारको विरूद्ध लड्‌ने नाटक गर्नेहरूले बरू दागोपापको यो रवैयाको विरोध गरे क्षेत्रीय गरीबहरूले राहत पाउने थियो। थाहा लागे अनुसार जिल्लाको नमुना योजनाकोरूपमा सिन्देबुङको 5 हजार हेक्टर जमीनमा यो योजना शुरू गरिएको थियो। शुरूमा योजना अघि बढाउन मोठ रकमबाट 2 लाख 45 हजार दागोपापले छोडेको थियो तर त्यसउता राशि पनि छोडेन योजना पनि अघि बढेन। 
थॉंतीमा रहेको योजनालाई सफल गर्न सकिए क्षेत्रको आर्थिक उन्नयनको निम्ति प्रभावकारी कार्य हुन सक्ने भएकोले कालेबुङ कृषक कल्याण सङ्गठनले यसबारे कृषि अधिकारीहरूसित सोध खोज गर्‍यो। सङ्गठनका सचिव विष्णु छेत्री अनुसार कृषकहरूले यस्ता धेरै योजनाहरूको लाभ उठाउन सकेका छैनन्‌ जो सरकारले उनीहरूको निम्ति बनाएका छन्‌। सरकारले दिए पनि क्षेत्रीय प्रशासनको यस्ताखाले रवैया हुने कारण कृषकहरू अघि बढ्‌न सकिरहेका छैनन्‌। 
तिनले भने, योजनालाई शुरू गरिनुपर्ने हाम्रो माग छ। यसै नमुनालाई हेरेर जिल्लाका अन्य क्षेत्रमा पनि यस्तैखाले योजना कार्यान्वयन हुन सकोस्‌। यता अघिकारी लेप्चाले योजना पुरानो भएकोले अहिलेको महङ्गाई अनुसार पुरानो मूल्यमा काम अघि बढाउन गाह्रो हुने बताएका छन्‌। यता कालेबुङ कृषक कल्याण सङ्गठनले भने यत्रो राशि कृषकहरूको निम्ति आए पनि आखिर किन दागोपापले रोकेर राखेको छ भन्ने प्रश्न उठाएको छ। 

सुरुक कृषक सङ्घ गठन
मनोज बोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 2 सितम्बर : अलैंची खेतीको निम्ति प्रख्यात तोदे ताङ्‌ता क्षेत्रका कृषकहरू क्षेत्रको कृषि विकासको निम्ति एकजुट हुन थालेका छन्‌। क्षेत्रको मूल खेती नै अंलैची रहेकोको भए पनि अनेकौं रोगहरू लागेको कारण अहिले यसको खेतीबाट कृषकहरूले उचित आम्दानी गर्न सकिरहेका छैनन्‌। यसको निम्ति क्षेत्रका कृषकहरूले कृषि सम्बन्धका   निकायहरूसित बारम्बार नै समन्वय बनाएर अघि बढिरहेका छन्‌। यसै क्रममा कालेबुङ कृषक कल्याण सङ्गठनको पहलमा क्षेत्रीय कृषकहरूलाई एकिकृत गर्दै सुरूकमा  एउटा कृषक सङ्घ गठन गरिएको छ। सङ्घका मूल संयोजक मनि राईले जनाए अनुसार मिङ्‌मा शेर्पाको घर प्राङ्गनमा भएको बैठकमा गठन गरिएको सङ्घका संयोजक मिङ्‌मा शेर्पा रहेका छन्‌ भने दस जना कार्याकारी सदस्यको समिति बनाइएको छ। स्थानीय प्रौड कृषक कहरसिङ छेत्रीले सभालाई अध्यक्षता गर्दै कृषकीय अनुभव राखेको पनि राईले जनाएका छन्‌। राईले सङ्गठन मार्फत सरकारले किनारीकृत कृषकहरूको निम्ति प्रदान गरेको योजनाहरूबाट आफूहरू पनि लाभान्वित हुनको निम्ति कृषकहरू सङ्गठित भएको जनाएका छन्‌।
मोहन ठकुरी अनि कृष्णसिंह मोक्तानलाई त्रिमूर्ति पुरस्कार 
मनोज बोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 2 सितम्बर : दार्जीलिङका वरिष्ठ उपन्यासकार कृष्णसिंह मोक्तान अनि मङ्‌पूका मुर्ध्यन्य कवि  मोहन ठकुरीलाई त्रिमूति निकेतन काठमाण्डौले हिजो एक समारोहबीच सातौं त्रिमूर्ति पुरस्कारले सम्मान जनायो। क्षिमुक्ति भवनमा भएको पुरस्कार वितरण समारोहमा प्रमुख अतिथि नेपाल प्रज्ञाप्रतिष्ठानका कुलपति बैरागी काइँला रहेका थिए। यस समारोहमा नै त्रिमुर्ति निकेतनले  नेपाल र भारतका  जम्मा 8 जना साहित्यकारहरूलाई पुरस्कार र सम्मान प्रदान गर्‍यो। 
समारोहमा मुख्य अतिथि बैरागी काइलाको बाहुलीबाट दार्जीलिङका दुइ साहित्यकार मोक्तान अनि ठकुरीले सातौं त्रिमुर्ति पुरस्कार ग्रहण गरे। उनीहरूलाई पुरस्कार स्वरुप सम्मान पत्र, स्मृति चिन्ह अनि नगद राशि 25 हजार रुपिया प्रदान गरिएको छ। कार्यक्रमलाई सम्बोधन गर्दै निकेतनका सदस्यसचिव नरेन्द्रराज प्रसाईले नेपाली भाषासाहित्यको श्रीवृद्धिका लागि विशिष्ट योगदान गरेवापत मोक्तान र ठकुरीलाई 'त्रिमूर्ति पुरस्कार' प्रदान गरिएको जनाए। तिनले नेपाल र दार्जीलिङका साहित्यकारहरुबीच समन्वय स्थापित गर्न अनि उनीहरूले गरेको साहित्य कर्मयो योगदान पुर्‍याउन नै पुरस्कार स्थापना गरिएको पनि जनाए। यसै कार्यक्रमबीच त्रिमूर्ति निकेतनको अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय सम्पर्क समितिका संयोजक डा.सत्यमोहन जोशीलाई काठमाडौं विश्वविद्यालयबाट महाविद्यावारिधिको उपाधि प्रदान गरिएकोमा प्रमुख अतिथि बैरागी काइँलाद्वारा दोसल्ला ओढाएर सम्मान पनि गरिएको थियो। 
यसैबीच बैरागी काइँलाले सिन्धुराज्यलक्ष्मी राणाको सौजन्यमा प्रकाशित तथा माधव वियोगीद्वारा रचित बालकृष्ण समको गाथामा आधारित महाकाव्य 'नाट्यसम्राट्'को लोकार्पण पनि गरे। यसैसमारोहबीच दार्जीलिङका चर्चित नाटककार तथा अहिले नेपालका वासिन्दा रहेका मनबहादुर मुखियालाई पनि बालकृष्ण सम पुरस्कार प्रदान गरिएको थियो भने नेपालका साहित्यकार डा.शैलेन्दुप्रकाश नेपाललाई लेखनाथ पौड्याल पुरस्कार अनि तोया गुरुङलाई देवकोटा काव्य पुरस्कारबाट पुरस्कृत गरियो। 
उनीहरूलाई पुरस्कारकोरूपमा स्मृति चिन्ह्, कदरपत्र अनि नगद दस हजार रुपियॉं प्रदान गरिएको थियो। त्रिमूर्ति निकेतनका अध्यक्ष इन्दिरा प्रसाईको सभापतित्वमा सञ्चालित उक्त समारोहमा नेपाल प्रज्ञाप्रतिष्ठानका कुलपति वैरागी काइँला, उपकुलपति गङ्गाप्रसाद उप्रेती, लेखनाथ पौड्याल काव्यसभाका संयोजक खनूपरुदे रामबाबू, बालकृष्ण सम फाउन्डेशनका संयोजक प्रा.डा.गार्गी शर्मा, अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय सर्म्पर्क समितिका संयोजक डा.सत्यमोहन जोशी, त्रिनारी रत्न स्मारकका संयोजक डा.मोदनाथ प्रश्रित र सदस्यसचिव नरेन्द्रराज प्रसाईले कार्यक्रमलाई सम्बोधन गरेका थिए।  

कालेबुङमा हुने व्याड्मिन्टेन खेल 
मनोज बोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 2 सितम्बर: आगामी 9 अगस्तदेखि एसयूएमआई एलुम्नाइ एसोसिएसनले कालेबुङमा सिक्किम दार्जीलिङ सिनियर लेवल र इन्टर स्कूल व्याड्मिन्टेन प्रतियोगिता आयोजना गर्ने भएको छ। एसोसिएसनका सचिव अमन चिस्तीले जनाए अनुसार उक्त प्रतियोगिता आगामी 9 देखि 11 अगस्तसम्म चल्ने छ। स्थानीय एसएएस डाइमण्ड जुब्ली हलमा हुने व्याड्मिन्टेन प्रतियोगितामा दार्जीलिङ लगायत सिक्किमका विद्यार्थीहरू लगायत अन्य सिनियर खेलाड़ीहरूले अंशग्रहण गर्नेछन्‌। खेलअवधी मुख्य अम्पाइरको रूपमा  आके ली रहेनेछन्‌। 
इन्टर स्कूल खेलमा 12, 14 अनि 19 वर्षका मुनिका विद्यार्थीहरू माझ तीन तहमा एकल अनि युगल खेल हुनेछ। खुल्ला प्रतियोगितामा पुरूष महिलाबीच पनि एकल अनि युगल खेल नै हुनेछ भने भ्याट्रेन्सहरूमा 40 वर्षदेखि माथिकाहरूको निम्ति एकल अनि युगल र 50 वर्षदेखि माथिकाहरूको निम्ति उमेरलाई मध्यनजर गर्दै केवल युगल खेल खेलाइने सचिव चिस्तीले जनाए। उक्त व्याड्मिन्टेन प्रतियोगिता व्याड्मिन्टेन फेडरेसन अफ इण्डियाको नियमअनुसार हुने अनि खेलअवधी बिजुली अनिवार्य हुने भएकोले सम्बन्धित विभागलाई एसोसिएसनले अधिबाटै जनाइसकेको अनि खेलको अधिकारिक निर्णय अनि अम्पाइरहरू सम्बन्धी कालेबुङ व्याट्‌स क्लबले देखरेख गर्ने चिस्तीले थप जनाए। एलुम्नाई एसोसिएसनको आजको पत्रकार सम्मेलनमा सभापति के.के. दिक्षित अनि संयुक्त सचिव अरूण कुमाइको पनि उपस्थिति रहेको थियो। 

विद्यार्थी आत्महत्यामाथि सङ्गोष्ठी गरिने 
मनोज बोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 2 सितम्बर। विद्यार्थीहरूको आत्महत्यालाई केन्द्र गर्दै यसको रोकथामको निम्ति क्षेत्रभरिका विद्यालयका शिक्षकहरूलाई लिएर आज विद्यार्थी मोर्चाको एक सभा सम्पन्न भयो। विद्यार्थी मोर्चा महकुमा समिति सभापति दिपेन थापाको अध्यक्षतामा सम्पन्न भएको सभामा विद्यार्थी मोर्चाको पक्षबाट केन्द्रिय समितिका उपाध्यक्ष अमृत योञ्जन, कोषाध्यक्ष भाष्कर राई, केन्द्रिय सहसचिव दीप थापा, महकुमा समिति सचिव समिर सुन्दास आदि उपस्थित रहेका थिए भने क्षेत्रभरिका कुल 20 वटा स्कूलका शिक्षक शिक्षिकागणको सभामा उपस्थिति थियो। 
केही दिनअधि विद्यार्थी मोर्चाले दार्जीलिङमा विद्यार्थीहरूको आत्महत्या जिम्मेवारी कसको भन्ने विषयमा सङ्गोष्ठीको आयोजना गरेको थियो। कालेबुङमा पनि सङ्गोष्ठी हुन आवश्यक रहेको सभामा छलफल गरियो। यद्यपि सङ्गोष्ठीको मिति भने सभामा तय भएन। दिनोदिन बढ़िरहेको विद्यार्थीहरूले आत्महत्यामाथि सभामा व्यापकरूपमा चर्चा परिचर्चा भयो। केही दिनअधि एक हप्ताभित्रमा तीनजना विद्यार्थीले आत्महत्या गरिएको घटनालाई विद्यार्थी मोर्चाले संवेदनशील ठान्दै यसको रोकथामको निम्ति यो पहल गरेको बताइएको छ।  

अब सिन्कोना मजदूरहरूको दैनिक हाजिरा 160- सिन्कोनाबासीको निम्ति यो ठूलो उपलब्धी हो-रुचाल

मनोज बोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 2 सितम्बर: अब चॉंड़ै नै सिन्कोना बगानका मजदुरहरूको दैनिक हाजिरा 160 रूपिँया हुने भएको आज दार्जीलिङ तराई-डुवर्स प्लान्टेशन लेबर युनियन सिन्कोना जोनका केन्द्रिय अध्यक्ष गोपाल रूचालले बताए। तिनले जानकारी गराएनुसार गत 23 अगस्तको दिन लेबर युनियनका प्रतिनिधिहरूले श्रम मन्त्री पुरनेन्दु बोस अनि हर्टिकल्चर विभागमा मन्त्री अबु हेनासँग कलत्तामा भेट गरेका थिए। मन्त्रीहरूसँगको भेटघाटमा सिन्कोनावासीहरूको निम्ति धेरै उपलब्धीहरू हासिल हुनसकेको आज गोपाल रूचालले बताए। तिनले भने, सिन्कोना बगानका श्रमिकहरूको दैनिक हाजिरा 121 रूपिँयादेखि बढ़ेर 160 रूपियॉं हुने तय भएको छ। 
पहिले श्रमिकहरू बेसिक पे 21 रूपिँया रहेको थियो भने हाल युनियनको पहलमा 127 दिने निर्णय भएको छ अनि यसमा 30 प्रतिशत डीए पनि जोड़िनेछ। यो सिन्कोनावासीहरूको निम्ति ठूलो उपलब्धी हो। रूचालले जनाएनुसार श्रमिकहरूको रोजवृद्धि पूर्ण रूपले तय  भइसकेकोले श्रमिकहरूले अब धेरै प्रतीक्षा गर्न नपर्ने बताउने दशैं अघिनै रोजवृद्धि लागु हुनसक्ने जनाए। रूचालले अझ जानकारी गराएनुसार हर्टीकल्चर मन्त्रीले यसपल्ट श्रमिहरूको बोनसमा पनि थप वृद्धि गरिने आश्वाशन यूनिनलाई दिएको जनाए। सिन्कोना बगानमा श्रमिकहरूदेखि लिएर कर्मचारीहरूसमेतले  केवल एक हजार रूपिँया बोनस पाउने गर्दथे। तर लेबर एक्ट अनुसार 8.33 प्रतिशतको दरमा श्रमिकहरूले बोनस पाउनपर्ने भएपनि सो आजसम्म सिन्कोनाबासीहरूले एक हजार रूपिँया मात्र पाइरहेका थिए तर यसपल्ट 8.33 प्रतिशतकै आधारमा नपाएपनि बोनस दर पचास प्रतिशतभन्दा अधिक हुनसक्ने रूचालले बताए। 
यसबाहेक पनि युनियनको पहलमा सिन्कोनावासीको हितमा थुप्रै कार्यहरू हुनलागेको बताउँदै तिनले बगानमा काम गर्दा गर्दै मर्नेहरूको निम्ति यूनियनले पहल गरिरहेको औं उनीहरूले पनि बगानमा चॉंड़ै बद्ली काम पाउने बताए। सिन्कोना बगानमा जीएनएलएफको समयमा बन्द भएको बद्ली काम मोर्चाको लेबर युनियन आएदेखि खुलिएको अनि अहिलेसम्म एक हजार मजदुरहरूलाई युनिनले स्थायी गरिसकेको बताउँदै रूचालले दुइ सय जना मजदुरहरूको स्थायीकरणको अनुमोदन भइसकेको र अन्यहरूलाई पनि पालैपिलो स्थायी गरिने रूचालले बताए। 2009 देखि बन्द भएको धुरा अनि सिन्कोना बगानमा रहेको तीनवटा फ्याक्ट्रीहरूलाई पनि चॉंड़ै स्थायी गरिने हर्टिकल्चर एवं श्रम विभागका मन्त्रीहरूले आश्वासन पाएको तिनले जनाए।
सिक्किम काठ छिराउँदा छिराउँदै तस्करहरू बन विभागको पञ्जामा
मनोज बोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 2 सितम्बर। सिक्किम भित्र्याउँदै गरेको पिकअप एस. के. 03,4714 मा लादिएको अवैद्य काठसहित आज रम्फू चेकपोस्टबाट बन विभागले दुइजनालाई पक्राउ गरेको छ। पक्रा पर्ने आरोपी रणबहादुर गरुङ अनि चालक रोशन छेत्री सिक्किम पाक्योङ निवासी रहेको बन विभागले बताएको छ। बन विभागका अधिकारी एस. गजमेरले बताएनुसार आरोपी रणबहादुर गुरूङको पाक्योङमा काठको दोकान रहेको छ। 
आरोपी गुरूङले गत 29 अगस्तमा साल लगायत अन्य किसिमका काठ सिलगड़ीबाट सिक्किम लैजान सिक्किम यूटिलाइजेसन परमिट निकालेका थिए तर सिलगड़ीबाट सालबाहेक अन्य काठहरू मात्र ल्याएर आरोपीले पिकअप तारखोलामा रोकी मञ्चु फरेस्ट निवासी सुक्रे राईको घरबाट अवैद्य सालको काठ लोड गर्‍यो।अवैद्य सालको काठ पिकअप भेनमा सिलगड़ीबाट ल्याएको काठको थाकको बीचमा नचिन्ने किसिमले हालिएको थियो। 
बन विभागलाई अवैद्य काठ लोड गरेको अनि सिक्किम लैजॉंदै गरेको पूर्वसूचना थियो। अधिकारी गजमेरले जनाएनुसार यतिसम्म कि काठ लादिएको पिकअप कहॉं रोक्यो, कहॉं लोड भयो, कहॉं खाना खायो जम्मै विषयमा विभागले निगरानी राखिरहेको थियो। विभागले आरोपीहरूलाई रङ्गे हात पक्रन चाहन्थ्यो। फलस्वरूप दुइ आरोपीहरूलाई विभागले पक्राउ गरेपनि मञ्चु फरेष्ट भिलेज निवासी सुक्रे राई जसकोबाट आरोपीले सालको काठ लोड गरेका थिए तिनी भाग्न सफल बने। पक्रा परेका आरोपीहरू दुवैलाई आज कालेबुङ वन विभाग कार्यलय ल्याइयो।विभागीय अधिकारीले बताएनुसार फरेष्ट गार्ड टार्जेन राई, बिट अफिसर लक्ष्मण राई अनि रेञ्ज अफिसर नयन च्याटर्जीको सक्रियतामा आरोपीहरूलाई पक्रन विभाग सक्षम बनेको हो। 
काठ तस्करी कार्यमा रोक  लगाउन वन विभाग केही हदसम्म सक्षम बनेपनि काठ तस्करहरूले नयॉं नयॉं उपायहरू निकालीरहेको अधिकारीले जनाए। अवैद्य काठसहित लादिएको मालिक रोशन लामाको पिकअपलाई विभागले सीज गरेको छ भने पक्रा परेका आरोपीहरूविरूद्ध आइएफसी 1926 अन्तर्गत मुद्दा दर्ता गरिने भएको छ। राष्ट्रिय राजमार्ग क्षेत्रको तारखोला काठ तस्करहरूको निम्ति दिनोदिन संवेदनशील क्षेत्र बनिरहेकोले बन विभागले तारखोलामा पनि रम्फूमा जस्तै पुलिस चौकी हुन बन विभागले अघिबाटै पुलिस प्रशासनलाई माग गरोको छ।

Amusement park still not open
KalimNews,GANGTOK, September 2: A stray dog is lazily stretched outside under the shade of the ticket counter while a couple of security guards from a private firm hang out in easygoing manner. Their remaining dozen colleagues are inside the sprawling campus just as idle and lone gardener is removing weeds in the sun. 
Welcome to ‘Khangchendzonga Tourist Villa’, a Rs. 55.6 crores amusement park built from public’s money at Ranka, 35 kms away from Gangtok and lying unutilized ever since it was dedicated to the people by President Partibha Patil on April 15 last year. “Tourists do come here enquiring about the amusement park and they return back when we tell them that it has not been opened for public as yet. They must have heard about this park and wants to spend some time here”, says the security guards outside the locked park. 
Fourteen private security personnel man the amusement park during day time and another fourteen are in night duty. “Everything seems to be complete inside and all machines are fine. Sometimes, officials from the government and the construction company come for maintenance and to check the machines. Rest of the time, it is all quiet here”, said the guards. 
The project funded by the Centre, spread over 17.5 acres, is a unique tourism attraction fusing cultural ethos of Sikkim with modern amusement amenities with the objective of providing wholesome entertainment to tourists with a blend of depiction of rich cultural heritage and modern amusement amenities. The park also has twelve shopping arcades meant for selling handicrafts and other souvenirs of Sikkim. 
There are also amusement facilities like musical fountain with laser shows, multilevel plaza, open air theater, ride stimulators, swimming pool, bar and bowling alleys. It had been touted as a major tourist attraction and a much needed recreational centre for people in and around Gangtok. But so far, barring the inauguration day, sixteen months ago, no tourist or local have managed to enjoy these facilities with the jinxed amusement park bogged down with controversies and government inertia to find and finalize a private firm to operate it on lease basis, despite four tenders being floated since April last year. 
Last year, the rural development department, the nodal agency for construction of the amusement park, had floated two tenders, both of which triggered further controversies including the expose of master conman Rajesh Jhunjunwala and were aborted at the last moment. 
The park was entrusted to tourism department, later in 2010 and it has already floated two tenders inviting private companies to operate the park on lease basis. In the first tender, there were no takers, it is informed. A private company has been selected recently from the second tender process and the proposal has been put up with the State government for approval, said senior tourism officials here who have been remaining tightlipped on the whole issue. 
They remained non-committal on how soon the amusement park would be declared open for the public. Locals from Ranka are waiting keenly for the operational of the park. “It would great help the locals and local economy here if the park is opened up for the public as soon as possible. Local youths can get employment in the park and also do business like operating taxis and food stalls outside the park”, said local youths Asish Rai and TB Chettri.
“The park is lying idle and we feel quite frustrated to see this. The whole Ranka area would have come to life if the park was operational”, they said. Local restaurant owners were also disappointed on the much-delayed operational of the amusement park. “Tourists do come along this way to visit the monastery here but we feel that the numbers would have been much more if the park was open. The food stalls here will greatly benefit”, they said. 
The park would have also been a much needed recreational centre for people in and around Gangtok. Presently, the people here have limited options to spend their idle time with their family and children in Gangtok. Most of the attractions are tourism centric and far away from the capital. Lack of open spaces in the capital is another frustration point for the people. 

Tea baron held for bar attack - Brew auction stopped, market closed after arrest 
TT, Siliguri, Sept. 2: The chairman of the Siliguri Tea Auction Centre and a businessman were arrested today for allegedly leading a group of people who had attacked a bar with crooners at Sevoke Road yesterday.
The STAC chairman, Gangadhar Agarwal, and the owner of a chain of sweet shops, Pradip Bansal, have been charged with theft, assault and mischief and remanded in 14 days’ jail custody. Traders shut down the auction centre and the wholesale grocery market in Khalpara, where Agarwal and Bansal reside, to protest the arrest. Around 40 people carrying Congress flags barged into Rave Up, a bar where singers perform live, and went on the rampage.
In his complaint filed with Bhaktinagar police, the owner of the bar, Vijay Sharma, alleged that the attackers had heckled his staff and taken away cash from the counter. “All of them suddenly entered the bar and smashed the furniture. I have no clue why they attacked my bar as only live singing is allowed and there is no question of dance performance to which they were objecting.
Two of my employees have suffered injuries as they tried to dissuade the attackers,” said Sharma. Recently, a forum known as Singing Bar Pratibad Mancha had emerged in town with the backing of the Congress. “Our key demand is to stop the practice of singing and dancing in bars. We have been organising a movement in a democratic manner for the past three months and have no connection with yesterday’s incident,” said Jayanta Saha, the joint convener of the Mancha.
The office-bearers of the Mancha and bar owners held a meeting on Wednesday and it was decided that there would be no dance performance in any outlet selling liquor in Siliguri. “Regarding live singing, a seven-member committee comprising the representatives of the Mancha and bar owners’ association was formed to look into the issue and decide on timings, dress code of the singers and other issues,” said Saha. He said both Agarwal and Bansal were members of the Mancha and were wrongly implicated in the case.
The duo were arrested from their homes. As the news spread, the tea auction came to a halt. “We did not participate in the auctions today to protest against the arrest of the STAC chairman,” said Bajrang Sethia, a senior member of the Siliguri Tea Traders’ Association. Around 100 million kilogram of tea is traded at the centre annually. The auction will resume at 9am tomorrow.
The furniture smashed by the attackers in the bar. Picture by Kundan Yolmo Shops downed shutters in Khalpara as both Agarwal and Bansal were from there. < “Both are our members and we protest the way they have been falsely named in the case,” said Kailash Agarwal, the secretary of the Siliguri Merchants’ Association. The arrested men were produced in the chief judicial magistrate’s court in Jalpaiguri. The judge, Debabarata Mukherjee, rejected the duo’s bail petitions and ordered 14 days’ jail custody for them. They would be produced in court again on September 16. >The North Bengal Musical Bar Owners’ Association has denied the allegation that dance performances are held in their outlets. They said all musical bars would be closed for an indefinite period from today. “We condemn the way a bar here was ransacked without any provocation yesterday,” said Rohon Sarkar, the association’s secretary. “Unless the issue is resolved, we will not open our establishments.”
Sources said Darjeeling district Congress president and Matigara-Naxalbari MLA Shankar Malakar would hold a meeting with the bar owners tomorrow. He is known to have backed the Mancha and protested against such bars.
The Darjeeling district magistrate, M.K, Gandhi, said the district administration gave permission for only singing in bars. “We don’t allow live dance in bars. Permission is given for live singing with certain conditions.”

Patient on saline past expiry date
TT, Siliguri, Sept. 2: A patient in the Siliguri District Hospital was today administered saline that had crossed its expiry date, exposing the laid-back attitude of keepers of a system that is supposed to check regularly the medicines in the hospital store. The hospital has showcaused the nurse in-charge of the male surgical ward, asking her to explain why the IV fluid that had crossed its expiry date in February was administered by a nurse under her. At the same time, the hospital authorities also said an IV like saline if administered after its expiry date did not cause any harm, a claim that has been rejected by doctors in town.
“Side-effects like skin allergies or infection of blood could arise if the fluid that has crossed its expiry date has got contaminated or infected by fungus,” said a doctor, who refused to be named.
Rajiv Bhowmik, who was admitted to the hospital with a head injury last night raised the alarm when he noticed that the drip that started this morning had crossed its expiry date in February.
Bhowmik was admitted to the hospital last night after an iron rod fell on him at his home in Uttar Bharatnagar here. “Around 8am today, a new packet packed of IV fluid was administered on me. While lying on my bed I could see that the packet was old and dusty so I checked it and realised that the expiry date on the packet was February 2011. I asked the relative of a patient on the bed beside me to check the date in case I was wrong. But he too confirmed that its expired date had crossed,” Bhowmik, a resident of Uttar Bharatnagar here, said.
By the time Bhowmik had raised a hue and cry, half of the fluid in the packet had already been administered. “When the nurse who had fixed up the saline refused to remove it, all of us in the room protested. Realising that the matter has turned into a major issue, she tried to take away the packet. We stopped her,” he added.
Bhowmik’s relatives and some Trinamul Congress leaders then forced hospital superintendent S.K. Sarkar to visit the ward and check the packet himself.
Later, in the afternoon the superintendent issued a show cause notice to Gita Devi Pradhan, the nursing in-charge of the ward, asking her to furnish him with details of the nurse who had given the fluid and the whole incident.
“The report will be forwarded to the district chief medical officer of health who will decide on the steps to be taken against the nurse. But a saline which has crossed its expiry date does not cause any harm,” Sarkar said.
Bhowmik was discharged around 11am since he was considered fit. “We kept him under observation for two hours after the fluid was administered. Since he was ok, he was released,” a doctor at the hospital.
Sarkar denied the charge that stock in the storeroom was not checked. “Today’s incident is a rare case. It happened because of a mistake by the staff. But it’s not true that we do not check the stock in the storeroom at regular intervals. We check the stock every three month and all drugs and medicines that have crossed their expiry dates are disposed of. Apart from that, the store keeper checks all the medicines and drugs before they are supplied to the different wards,” the superintendent said.
GTA Bill passed with 54 amendments 
TNN, Sep 3, 2011, Kolkata: Paving the way for the formation of a new autonomous council in Darjeeling, the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Bill 2011 was passed in the assembly on Friday, but with 54 amendments. Of these, 53 were moved by the government, accepting the demands of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha. The government also accepted an amendment moved by opposition leader Surjya Kanta Mishra, relating to provision for reservation of seats in the GTASabha for SCs and STs and women. The government, however, didn't accept the amendment for reservation of women.
The state buckled under pressures from the GJM that wanted it to transfer financial and administrative powers along with executive powers to the GTA. It was incorporated in the amended version of the Bill that GTA would strive to establish ethnic identity of the Gorkhas as well as expediting their socio-economic, educational, cultural and linguistic development. The unnecessary mentions of the word 'Sabha' (the elected body of GTA) was dropped from the draft.
The mention of a zilla parishad was incorporated in the Bill.
Speaking on the Bill, chief minister Mamata Banerjee explained that the Centre would carry out the necessary constitutional amendment to make provision for a zilla parishad in Darjeeling. GJM member Harka Bahadur Chhetri explained that earlier the zilla parishad in Darjeeling had been abolished because the outgoing DGHC was functioning as zilla parishad.
Accepting GJM's demand, the amended Bill dropped the provision of the governor nominating two members to the Executive Sabha. All the 14 members of the Executive Sabha would now be nominated by the chief executive of GTA. The presence of one-third of members of the GTA Sabha would form the quorum for holding its meetings.
The principal secretary of GTA would not be transferred for a period of two years after assumption of office without consent of GTA. While the government in the draft Bill had agreed to delegate to GTA the power to make appointments only in Group-D posts, in course of the debate the CM agreed to GJM's demand and
the amended version delegated to GTA also power to make appointments in Groups-B and C posts.
In a significant step, the government accepted an amendment moved by the leader of the opposition providing for reservation of seats in GTA Sabha for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and OBCs. "The reservations will be as per constitutional norms and the provisions of the agreement with GJM," minister Partha Chatterjee told TOI later. It appeared that GJM agreed to the amendment with reluctance. "We are prepared to accept whatever is the constitutional provision," GJM leaders Roshan Giri and Harka Bahadur Chhetri told TOI.
The CM also said that the governor who could nominate five members to the GTA sabha could also give nomination to representatives from these categories. Observers said this would pave the way for reservation of seats in the GTA Sabha for smaller communities like Lepchas and Bhutias as well as for adivasis who live in Dooars and Terai, where GJM has demanded areas for inclusion in GTA.
The chief minister announced that a development board would be set up for the Lepchas of Darjeeling under the state government. Lepcha groups are agitating in the streets of Kolkata for the past one month with this demand.
She said the government was taking steps to ensure that there was no discord between Gorkhas and adivasis in the process of identification of additional areas in Dooars and Terai for inclusion in GTA. She said Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikash Parishad which had held agitations against such inclusion
had been misguided by vested political interests. She accused the previous Left Front government of not being serious in addressing the problem of Darjeeling.
GJM member Harka Bahadur Chhetri later explained that the process of GTA formation and the expert committee on identification of areas in Dooars and Terai submitting its report would proceed in a parallel process. "The holding of the election will not depend on the submission of report by the committee, which has six months' time," he said.

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