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Mamata draws up Kalimpong roadmap

Following the declaration of Kalimpong as a district, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday held several administrative review meetings to ensure smooth functioning of the newdistrict. Fulfilling the demands of the Buddhist population, she also declared 'Buddha Purnima' as a State holiday.

The meeting which was held at the Kalimpong Town Hall had the Bengal police and administrative top brass including the Chief Secretary of West Bengal, District Magistrates, and Superintendents of Police of Darjeeling in attendance.

"The meeting was to chalk out the roadmaps for the development of the district. Certain projects have been envisioned for Kalimpong. Initially, we will develop the infrastructure to facilitate tourism. We will make the district a tourist destination," said Banerjee. To boost tourism, Lava, Loley, Cellery and Mongpong will undergo major developments starting with road repairs," she added.

While speaking about an age old correctional home in Kalimpong, she said, "We are trying to relocate the home. This space will be used to construct a promenade and a viewpoint on the lines of Darjeeling Mall".

The chief minister said the 15 development boards for different Hill communities constituted by the state government have been instructed to aid the developmental process. "The progress of the work has been smooth and good. The boards are also accountable as they are under the purview of an audit. Already, 11000 houses for people below the poverty line have been constructed. Now, they are in the process of constructing another 3000 houses. 4000 toilets in rural areas have been constructed along with plantation of more than 85000 saplings," she said.

The development boards have been instructed to start marketing centres for products and self-help groups. "We have asked them to start village tourism. With the joy of the creation of the new district, they have assured of full cooperation to take the district forward," she added.

Banerjee will be visiting Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri districts to hold administrative meetings after the end of board examinations. "We will hold annual review meetings with the administration and boards once in a year," she said. The Chief Minister will be returning to Kolkata on February 16.

All the 15 boards were asked to submit names of 10 youth clubs each. "The young generation is very good at sports, singing, and dancing. We will provide them with any assistance to encourage them" Banerjee said. Sources said that 150 clubs will receive an assistance of Rs. 2 lakh each.

During her stay in the newly formed district, Banerjee also inaugurated the District Magistrate's office. The existing Sub Divisional Officer's office was renovated to function as the DM's office. A new Block Development Office is said to be elected in Lava Loley.

Four new posts in the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) in the WBPS cadre have been created in the Kalimpong district. The posts include Sub Divisional Police Officer - Gorubathan; DSP- DIB; DSP- Headquarter, Kalimpong and DSP - DEB.

The day witnessed Banerjee and the Trinamool Congress consolidate their support base. Thousands joined the TMC in a ceremony at the Mela Ground on Wednesday. Without naming the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, Arup Biswas, TMC State General Secretary for Darjeeling, said, "What they could not do in 10 years, we shall do within two years. Give us the chance. There is development all over Bengal following Mamata Banerjee's path and all of you too should follow the same."

Adding to this Rajen Mukhia, Hill TMC President said, "She has kept her word and now it is our turn to ensure that TMC is victorious in the forthcoming Municipal, Panchayat and GTA elections in the Hills."
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