Mamata woos ‘heart of Bengal’

In Darjeeling since Tuesday on a three-day visit,Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said that the Hills were an inseparable part of West Bengal.

Written by EXPRESS FEATURES SERVICE | Kolkata | Published: May 16, 2013 2:07:18 am

In Darjeeling since Tuesday on a three-day visit,Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said that the Hills were an “inseparable” part of West Bengal.

Although Mamata softened and tried to keep the GJM leaders with her by saying that the “misunderstanding between the state government and GJM has to be overcome”,she maintained that her government at no cost would let go of Darjeeling.

She held a meeting earlier in the day with GTA officials and attended a government function to announce development schemes for the region.

Mamata sent the message to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM),which is agitating for a separate state out of Darjeeling,in the presence of GJM chief Bimal Gurung.

“Darjeeling is the heart of Mother Bengal. I want Darjeeling to remain in peace,failing which tourism,a major revenue earner for the Hills,will suffer. Let there be development in Darjeeling,which is part of Bengal,” she said announcing a slew of development projects including infrastructure development.

“The people of the Hills had to bear with the misrule of the Left Front government for 34 years. We now want development projects to be started in the area. And this is our main focus now. Apart from the GTA projects for development of the Hills,the government has also chalked out an action plan on the area development in Darjeeling,” she said. She also urged the people living in Darjeeling to remain alert against those trying to disrupt peace.

“Conspiracies to strain our relation will not work. I want to build a bridge a between the Hills and the plains and for that we will work together,” she said,asserting that she had a cordial relationship with the people of Darjeeling and the GJM. Mamata also said the government is planning to set up a development authority for Kalimpong and that the government has taken up a Rs 155 crore water purification project for Darjeeling town. She announced that a 300MW hydel power plant project is in the pipeline.

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