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Monday, December 5, 2011

BDO Office open during bandh called by GJM- CPRM to stage demonstration at Delhi....Tribal rift over set-up sequence - Barla and Toppo differ on Gata....Rough ride protest today - Tourists, students exempted....बन्द भएन कालेबुङ खण्ड विकाश कार्यालय.....दिल्लीमा क्रामाकपाले धर्ना गर्ने...जीटीए सम्झौता खारेज हुनपर्छ - अरुण घतानी...Teams to rescue child labourers...Teachers’ protest spurs driver arrest...Clouds bring chill and rain to Siliguri

BDO Office remains open during bandh called by GJM- CPRM to stage demonstration at Delhi
KalimNews, Kalimpong, 5 December: Inspite of GJM's announcement of strike in BDO Office, its one of the office of Kalimpong-I remained open throughout the day.Gorkha Janmukti morcha had announced that BDO Officials have appointed staff of ASHA a wing of self help group without consulting GJM party workers as such their party workers are not selected for the posts.  Protesting against the appointment process GJM had declared that all BDO offices of the hills will remain shut from today. Block development offices of other places however remained closed.
Meanwhile CPRM will stage dharna at Jantar Mantar of Delhi during the winter session of Parliament. On 19th and 20th December its 60 member team will hold meetings and distribute pamphlets explaining that creation of a separate state Gorkhaland is the only solution of the century old demand of Gorkhas and GTA is not the solution.
Tribal rift over set-up sequence - Barla and Toppo differ on Gata
TT, Siliguri, Dec. 5: Difference of opinion has cropped up among the adivasi leaders over the formation of Gata, whose proposed jurisdiction covers both the hills and the Terai and Dooars.
A section of the tribals under John Barla want the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration or GTA meant for the hills to be formed first and its name changed later to Gata. They said the GTA jurisdiction could extend over the entire Dooars and the Terai and later amended to form the Gorkhaland Adivasi Territorial Administration (Gata).
But another faction of the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad led by state general secretary Tezkumar Toppo wants an Adivasi Territorial Administration (ATA) to be formed first for the Dooars and the Terai. Later it could be merged with the GTA to form Gata.
“The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha will surely want to bring the Terai and the Dooars under the GTA and we, too, are eager to join them so that we can get more autonomy for the people of the Dooars and the Terai. But we have to look after our interests as well. We think the ATA should be formed with the entire Dooars and Terai where tribals are in majority just as the GTA will be formed with the three hill subdivisions,” said Toppo today.
Once both the bodies are formed, the boards running these autonomous set-ups can bring resolutions to converge the GTA and ATA, leading to the creation of Gata, Toppo said. “This would protect the interests of both sides.”
Both Barla and Toppo along with three others had been showcaused by the state committee of the Parishad for joining hands with the Morcha.
The Morcha and the Parishad yesterday decided to form joint committees to campaign for Gata.
Barla today said Toppo’s proposal for forming Gata was “impractical”.
“We should work only in the logical direction and should not speak or demand something impractical. The GTA should be formed with the Terai and the Dooars as its territory along with the hills. The GTA board can be amended to form Gata, encompassing the hills and the Terai and Dooars,” Barla said.
The Parishad-Morcha campaign has already started in the gardens of the Terai and the Dooars, he added.
Minister Gautam Deb, who had earlier said the government would not consider any fresh proposals like Gata, today said he was banking on Mamata Banerjee to bring peace to the region.
“If the chief minister can restore peace in Jungle Mahal, we are confident that she can curb any tension or grievance brewing in the hills or in the Terai and the Dooars,” he said. “Any party or organisation can raise any demand. These have not reached us in a formal manner.”

Rough ride protest today - Tourists, students exempted

VIVEK CHHETRI, TT,Darjeeling, Dec. 5: More than 500 taxis plying between Darjeeling and Siliguri will stay off the roads tomorrow to demand immediate repair of the Rohini route that connects the hills and the plains. Taxis ferrying tourists and school students will not participate in the strike.
The 17-km Rohini road is dotted with craters and the black top has come off exposing the dirt beneath. Drivers said there had been four accidents on the route in the last two months.
During her visit to the hills in October, Mamata Banerjee had announced that the state government would provide Rs 20 crore for repairing the road from Rohini. “Life will go on only if the roads are good,” the chief minister had said.
The administration today said the Rs 20 crore was meant for all damaged roads in the hills. “A part of the funds has come. That is why we could float tenders for the Rohini road. The process is on. But we need more cash if we are to repair all roads,” said an official.
In Siliguri, the administration tried to cajole the drivers into withdrawing the strike but they refused. “The district magistrate will listen to their grievances on December 8,” said Amit P. Javalgi, the additional superintendent of police of Siliguri.
Four associations of truckers from the Darjeeling hills, plains and Sikkim, too, have threatened to go on an indefinite strike from Wednesday if their hiring charges are not increased.
The president of the Darjeeling-Siliguri Taxi Drivers’ Welfare Association, Kavindra Gurung, said: “We along with the members of the Siliguri-based Terai Chalak Sangathan have decided not to ply our taxis tomorrow to protest the poor condition of the Rohini road.”
The two associations have requested private car owners not to go in for hire if they ply their vehicles.
The associations, however, have decided to exempt vehicles carrying tourists. “We don’t want to inconvenience tourists and vehicles carrying them will be allowed to ply. We will also permit cars carrying students, defence personnel and local people who have valid air and railway tickets,” said Gurung, whose association enjoys the backing of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.
Asked how tourists would be identified, Gurung said: “We know, we can tell.”
At this time, nearly 500 people visit the hills daily. For the past one year, the hills have been seeing a steady tourist flow, with the Morcha suspending its statehood agitation and signing an agreement with the government to form a new set-up for the hills. The tourist count goes up during Puja and the peak season from April to June. As many as 2,000 visitors come to Darjeeling town alone then.
The associations have also decided to ask other transport syndicates not to ply their taxis tomorrow. More than a dozen syndicates with 500 more member cars operate in the hills on smaller routes. Gurung said these syndicates had agreed to extend support to the strike and would not ferry passengers on the Siliguri-Darjeeling route.
The Rohini road branches out from NH55 near Simulbari tea estate, 15km from Siliguri, and joins the highway a little before Kurseong.
With Hill Cart Road or NH55 closed for over one-and-a-half years because of landslide-induced damage at two points, vehicles bound for Darjeeling and Kurseong are travelling via Rohini.
The Rohini road was opened a little over nine years back and has been reduced to a dirt track more because heavy vehicles, which usually use NH55, have been plying on it. Taxi drivers prefer the road through Rohini, as it is the shortest route between Siliguri and Darjeeling taking three-and-a-half to four hours. The journey through Hill Cart Road takes four to four-and-a-half hours. During Mamata’s October visit to the hills, the administration was accused of trying to save its skin as she was made to take the circuitous Bagdogra Dudhia-Mirik-Sukhiapokri-Ghum-Darjeeling route instead of the shorter Rohini route.
The associations had also demanded that the district administration should consider hiking the present taxi fare of Rs 100 per person from Darjeeling to Siliguri.
The administrator of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, Anil Verma, said the repair on Rohini road would start from the third week of December. “We have already asked for bids from contractors and the entire process should be over soon. Work should start from the third week of December,” he said.
The DGHC had on November 30 issued an advertisement inviting tenders from those interested in the BOT (build, operate and transfer) model. The idea under this model is to hand over the repair, maintenance and operation of the road to a private party on a long-term basis.
During the term of the agreement, the private party will generate revenue by charging toll tax from every vehicle plying on the route. After the term ends, the road will be handed back to the council.
बन्द भएन कालेबुङ खण्ड विकाश कार्यालय
मनोज बोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, ५ दिसम्बर| गोजमुमोले आजदेखि आशामा मोर्चाका कार्यकर्ताहरूको नियुक्ति नभएकोमा अनिश्‍चितकालीन बन्द गर्ने घोषणा गरेता पनि कालेबुङ खण्ड विकास कार्यालय बन्द भएन| यता खण्ड विकाश अधिकारी भने कहिले मोर्चाको ज्ञापन आउँछ भनेर दिनभरि नै पर्खिएर बसिन्| कालेबुङ खण्ड-१ का खण्ड विकाश अधिकारी अनुदिता भौमिकले मध्यान्नमा पत्रकारहरूलाई भनिन्, बन्द गर्छ रे भनेको सुनेको थिएँ तर अहिलेसम्म बन्द गर्नको निम्ति कुनै पनि ज्ञापन मोर्चाले चढाएको छैन| कतै ज्ञापन आइहाल्छ कि भनेर पर्खिएर बसेकी छु|
आज कार्यालयमा सबै कर्मचारीहरू सधैझै उपस्थित थिए| तर भौमिकले भनिन्, काम भने केही हुन सकेको छैन| जहिले पनि बन्द गर्ने ज्ञापन आउन सक्छ भनेर कसैले पनि ध्यान लगाएर काम गर्न सकिरहेका छैनन्| बेलुकीसम्ममा पनि मोर्चाका कार्यकर्ताहरू खण्ड विकाश कार्यालय पुगेर बन्द गर्ने ज्ञापन भौमिकलाई चडाएको पत्रकारहरूले थाहा पाउन सकेनन्| अहिले चारैतिर सय दिने कार्य चलिरहेको छ| भर्खर मात्र नै राज्यका मुख्यमन्त्री ममता व्यानर्जीले अन्य कामहरूमा अवरोध उत्पन्न भए पनि सय दिने कार्यमा भने अवरोध हुन नहुने घोषणा गरिसकेकी छन्|
खण्ड विकाश कार्यालय बन्द हुँदा सय दिने कार्यलाई प्रभावित पार्ने प्रवल सम्भावना छ| आज गोरुबथानमा भने सय दिने कार्यको विभागलाई मात्र खुला गरेर अन्य जम्मै विभाग बन्द गरिएको थाहा लागेको छ| खण्ड विकाश कार्यालय बन्द गर्नुको कारण आशामा मोर्चाले भनेका व्यक्तिहरूको नियुक्ति नहुने आशंका मोर्चाले गरेको मोर्चा पक्षको वयानले नै स्पष्ट पारिसकेको छ तर एउटा नियुक्तिमा मोर्चाका मान्छेले काम नपाउँदा खण्ड विकाश कार्यालय बन्द गरिँदा भने यस कार्यालयबाट पाइने जम्मै सुविधाबाट नागरिकहरू बञ्चित हुने देखिएको छ| मोर्चाले खण्ड विकाश कार्यालय बन्द गर्ने घोषण गरेकोले आज कालेबुङ खण्ड-१ को खण्ड विकाश कार्यालयमा भने पुलिसबल तैनाथ गरिएको थियो| तैनाथ पुलिस कर्मचारीहरूलाई के को निम्ति तैनाथ गरिएको हो भन्ने प्रश्‍न गर्दा आफूहरूलाई केही थाहा नभएको बताए|

 दिल्लीमा क्रामाकपाले धर्ना गर्ने
मनोज बोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, ५ दिसम्बर| जीटीएले गोर्खाहरूको राष्ट्रिय चिन्हारी पूरा भयो भन्ने राज्य र केन्द्र सरकारको धारणालाई विफल तुल्याउन क्रामाकपाले गोर्खाल्याण्डकै निम्ति संसदको शीतकालीन समयअवधी दिल्लीको जन्तरमन्तरमा धर्ना दिने भएको छ| १९ अनि २० दिसम्बरमा दिल्लीमा हुने धर्ना क्रामाकपाका ६० जना कार्यकर्ताहरूले अंशग्रहण गर्ने भएको छ| त्यसबाहेक पनि क्रामाकपाले गोर्खाल्याण्डको अहिलेसम्मको आन्दोलनमा भएको त्रुटीहरू, जनताको दायित्व अनि जीटीए नै समस्या समाधान नरहेको बताउँदै जनसाधारणलाई पाम्फ्लेटहरू बॉंड्ने भएको छ| यसको निम्ति पथसभाहरूको आयोजना पनि गर्ने क्रामाकपा आञ्चलिक समितिका अध्यक्ष किशोर प्रधानले बताएका छन्|
तिनले भने, १८ सितम्बरमा जीटीएमा हस्ताक्षर भएपछि केन्द्र अनि राज्य सरकारले दार्जीलिङ पहाडको समस्या समाधान भयो भनिरहेको छ जसको हामी ठाडो विरोध जनाउँछौं| छुट्टै राज्यले मात्र गोर्खाहरूको समाधान हुने बताउँदै तिनले कुनै पनि व्यवस्था क्रामाकपाको निम्ति स्वीकारयोग्य नहुने बताए|
अर्कोतिर गक्रायुमो महासचिव अरूण घतानीले युवा मोर्चाले गर्नलागेको आदोलनलाई झुटो अनि जनतालाई दिगभ्रमित पार्ने कार्य मात्र बताए| तिनले भने, चौकीको निम्ति भारतको गृह मन्त्री अघि जीटीएमा सम्झौता गरेर सरकार प्रायोजित तथाकथित् राजनैतिक दलहरूले समग्र गोर्खाहरूको नाक कटाएको छ|
अहिले युवा मोर्चाले आन्दोलन गर्ने कुरा जनतालाई दिग्भ्रमित पार्ने कुरा मात्र हो| यदि उनीहरू सॉंच्चै इमान्दार छन् भने गोर्खाल्याण्डको निम्ति बाधा भइरहेको जीटीएलाई खारेज गर्न सक्नुपर्छ| यसैले अबको आन्दोलन एउटै पार्टीले मात्र नगरेर, सम्पूर्ण राजनैतिक-अराजनैतिक दल आदिको भेलामा राष्ट्रव्यापी रूपमा हुने भएकोले सचेत जनतालाई सामुहिक भेलामा सहभागी बनिदिने पनि तिनले आह्वान गरेका छन्| जनताले अब ढट्वारे नेताहरूको साथ छोड्नपर्ने बताउँदै तिनले गोर्खाल्याण्ड टाक्स फोर्सले अहिले निभ्न लागेको गोर्खाल्याण्डलाई फेरि बाल्ने काम गरेकोले यो अभियानलाई जनताले सहयोग पुर्‍याउनुपर्ने बताए| इमान्दार नेतृत्वहरूले गोर्खाल्याण्ड आन्दोललाई कुठाराघात गरेर जनताको भावनासँग खेलवाड गरेकोले घरिघरि जनता बेचिएको र ठगिएको परिस्थितिबीच जनतालाई उन्मुक्त बनाउन क्रामाकपा लागिपरेको पनि तिनले बताए|

जीटीए सम्झौता खारेज हुनपर्छ - अरुण घतानी
डी० के० वाइबा, कालिमन्युज, कालिम्पोंग, ५ दिसम्बर | गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चाले जीटीए सम्झौता गरेर छुट्टै राज्य गोर्खाल्याण्ड गठनको बाटोमा बाधा सृजना भएको छ | यसले गोर्खाल्याण्ड गठनको निम्ति मात्र बाधा नगरेर भारतभरि नै छुट्टै राज्य माग्ने दलहरुलाई बाधा बनेको छ | यसर्थ जीटीएको सम्झौता यथासिघ्र खारेज हुनपर्छ - उक्त कुरा गणतान्त्रिक क्रान्तिकारी युवा मोर्चा केन्द्रिय समिति सचिव अरुण घतानीले पार्टी कार्यलयमा आयोजित पत्रकार सम्मेलनमा भनेका हुन् | तिनले मोर्चाको आन्दोलनलाई सरकार प्रायोजित आन्दोलनको संज्ञा दिदै सरकार प्रायोजित दलहरुले पहिले जनताको बिश्वास जितेर पछि जनतालाई नै कुठाराघात गरेको आरोप पनि लगाए|
छुट्टै राज्य गोर्खाल्याण्डको आन्दोलन केवल दार्जीलिंगको मात्र समस्या नरहेर भारतभरि बस्ने गोर्खाहरुको समस्या रहेको बताउदै यसलाई भारत सरकारले गम्भिरतापुर्वक लिनु पर्ने पनि तिनले बताए | जीटीए थमाएर दार्जीलिंगको समस्या समाधान भयो भने सरकारले गोर्खाहरुको समस्यालाई नबुझे यो राष्ट्र कै एकता र अखण्डताको बिषयमा खतरा हुनेछ भन्ने कुरा पनि बुझ्नु पर्ने घतानीले जनाए | तिनले अबको आन्दोलन राष्ट्रव्यापी हुनपर्ने बताउदै छुट्टै राज्यको निम्ति सामुहिक रुपले अघि बढ्नुपर्ने आह्वान गरे | अहिले भागोपापको पहलमा गोर्खाल्याण्ड टास्क फोर्स गठन भएर नया आशाको किरण देखा परेको बताउदै जीटीएको सम्झौताले राज्य माग्नेहरुलाई घातक भएको पुन: दोहोराए|
यसै क्रममा क्रामाकपा कालेबुंग आंचलिक समितिका अध्यक्ष किशोर प्रधानले क्रामाकपाले गोर्खाल्याण्डको निम्ति १९ अनि २० दिसम्बरमा दिल्लीको जन्तर मन्तरमा धर्ना दिने जानकारी गराए | अहिले क्रामाकपाले गोर्खाल्याण्डको औचित्य बुझाउन विभिन्न स्थानहरुमा कार्यक्रम गर्दै आइरहेको बताउदै अब विभिन्न स्थानहरुमा पोस्टरिंग , लिफलेट वितरण अनि पथ सभाहरुको आयोजना गर्ने बताए | यहाँ बारम्बार गोर्खाल्याण्डको आन्दोलन दबाउन कतिपय शक्तिहरु सक्रिय रहेको बताउदै यो गोर्खाहरुको राष्ट्रिय र राष्ट्रिय सुरक्षाको प्रश्न अडेको बताए | अहिले बङ्गाल र केन्द्र सरकारले जीटीए दिएर पहाडको समस्या समाधान भन्ने कुरा गर्नु नितान्त झुटो रहेको दाबी गर्दै यस्ता व्यवस्थाहरु केवल टालटुले मात्र रहेको किशोर प्रधानले बताए | तिनले जीटीएको विरोध गर्दै क्रामाकपाले कुनै पनि वैकल्पिक व्यवस्थामा सम्झौता गरेर जनतालाई धोका दिने कार्य नगर्ने पनि दाबी गरे |
Teams to rescue child labourers
VIVEK CHHETRI, TT, Darjeeling, Dec. 5: The Darjeeling district administration and police have started forming joint teams to conduct raids and rescue and rehabilitate child labourers.
The mission has been launched at a time a survey has revealed that 3,942 children are engaged in illegal jobs across the Darjeeling district. The government will also open 25 schools to impart education and training in technical skills to the children saved from bonded labour.
“The rescue teams will include officials from the labour department and police personnel. We will conduct raids across the district from this month. Those found guilty of hiring children will have to pay a fine of Rs 20,000 and can also be imprisoned for six months,” said assistant labour commissioner Neil Chhetri.
“The fine will be deposited with the district child rehabilitation-cum-welfare fund. Jobs in restaurants, hotels and tea shops fall under the hazardous occupation category.”
Chhetri was talking to journalists on the sidelines of the inauguration of a child labour school here today. Twenty-four more schools will be opened in the district to give education to the rescued children.
“The schools are being started as part of the National Child Labour Project launched by the Centre to eradicate child labour from the country in five years,” said Darjeeling district magistrate Saumitra Mohan.
The labour officer said the basic objective of the schools was to bring the child labourers to the mainstream of the society.
Teachers’ protest spurs driver arrest
TT, Siliguri, Dec. 5: Around 50 teachers of Delhi Public School demonstrated in front of a police station for 12 hours today, demanding the arrest of the driver and the owner of the bus that had mowed down their colleague on Saturday. The driver was picked up in the afternoon.
The protesters in front of the Pradhanangar police station alleged that the cops had failed to pick up the errant driver even after two days of Amir Rai’s death.
“What is astonishing is that the driver was not arrested though the bus plied today,” said S.K. Dubey, a senior teacher of DPS, who had been demonstrating in front of the police station since 9am.
Rai, who taught math and music at DPS, was on his way to school at Dagapur on his motorbike when the bus hit him from the rear on Hill Cart Road. His helmet fell off and Rai succumbed to his injuries on way to the hospital.
After the police picked up the driver around 3.30pm, the protesters demanded the arrest of bus owner Om Prakash Agarwal. The teachers withdrew the protest around 9.30pm after the police promised “positive action” in the next two days.
Additional superintendent of police, Siliguri, Amit P. Javalgi said: “The teachers and some other officials of DPS met me, demanding that the owner should be arrested. We are investigating the case.”
Agarwal could not be reached as his cellphone was switched off.
Clouds bring chill and rain to Siliguri
MRINALINI SHARMA, TT, Siliguri, Dec. 5: Sunny days have given way to cloudy weather and rain in Siliguri and Jalpaiguri where people are scurrying about in their woollens as the temperature plummeted as low as 13 degrees Celsius after Friday.
Weather experts have attributed the sudden cloudiness to a western disturbance that is presently crossing Sikkim in the eastern direction. The disturbance increases chill and brings rainfall to the region during the winter.
“A western disturbance that is currently crossing Sikkim over to the northeastern India has brought down the daytime temperature (maximum temperature) in the sub-Himalayan Bengal and Sikkim. The effect of the western disturbance is likely to last another 24 hours,” said Indranil Sengupta, the assistant meteorological officer of Regional Met Office in Jalpaiguri.
The western disturbance is a phenomenon in which clouds bearing moisture form over the Mediterranean Sea and then move west and reach India.
The normal maximum and minimum temperatures had come down to 26 degrees Celsius and 13 degrees Celsius respectively since December 2.
Figures collected from Siliguri and Jalpaiguri since December 2 till today (see chart) show a steady dip in the day temperature (maximum) and an increase in the night temperature (minimum).
“The day temperature has been coming down steadily since Friday as the cloud cover formed by the incursion of moisture from the western disturbance has reduced insolation (incoming solar radiation) during the day. However, the insolation prevents the heat from escaping at night, contributing to the increase in the minimum temperature,” said the official.
Jalpaiguri experienced showers measuring 4.3mm today under the influence of the western disturbance. Siliguri had received a drizzle last evening.
The clouds have shrouded skies of hill towns like Kurseong and Darjeeling.
These places had been experiencing bright sunny days in the past one week offering beautiful views of the landscape. Kurseong got light rainfall today.
With the nip in the air, people are coming out in woollen jackets, mufflers and caps.
They, however, seemed to enjoy the chill.
“It looks that winter is here finally. This is the season I enjoy the most despite the bout of cold and chilblains. It is the time we get to wear woollens, drink hot beverages with snacks while huddled at home watching our favourite show on television,” said Sanghamitra Roy, a resident of Shivmandir.
Stalls in Bhutia Market here have lined up caps, mufflers and mittens in a variety of designs and colours for the people to beat cold.
“With the winter setting in, we have had a steady stream of customers looking for mittens, stockings and caps during the weekend,” said a trader at the market.

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