West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said the state government would try setting up IT hubs in Darjeeling and Kalimpong, and that an industrial meet would be held in the Hills in March.
On her third day in Darjeeling, Mamata presided over a review meeting of Gorkha Territorial Administration. Besides representatives of the Binay Tamang-led faction of the GJM, the meeting was attended by members of GNLF and hill development boards.
“There is great potential for the Information Technology sector in the hills. There is a large, young, educated population here. We also have to focus on traditional strengths of the Hills, such as horticulture, tourism and the rapidly-expanding ‘home stay’ sector. We will contact industry doyens so that new industries are established in Darjeeling and Kalimpong. The industrial meet in March would be the first step,” she said.
The Trinamool Congress supremo also asked political parties in the Hills to set aside their differences and “forget the bygones”.
“There may be ideological differences between political parties, but we have to keep them aside and work together for development of the region. Let us all forget the bygones and work together for the future,” she said.
The chief minister had on Wednesday promised to establish a new university in Darjeeling, and also attempted to address the issue of unemployment in the Hills by promising to recruit men and women as civic volunteers in the West Bengal Police.
GTA chairman Binay Tamang said an inter-departmental meeting of GTA and the heads of various state government departments will be held in Darjeeling and Kolkata in the coming days. He also said Darjeeling District Magistrate Joyoshi Das Gupta has been instructed to identify land for setting up the proposed state university in the Hills.
Tamang also said the state government has agreed to send a fresh letter to the central government for the inclusion of 11 Gorkha communities in the ST List, namely Bhujel, Gurung, Mangar, Newar, Jogi, Khas, Rai, Sunwar, Thami, Yakhha (Dewan) and Dhimal.