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Binay promises to resolve issues ailing Hills if voted to power

Binay promises to resolve issues ailing Hills if voted to power

Darjeeling: Binay Tamang, former GTA chairman and the Independent candidate backed by the TMC and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) for the Darjeeling Assembly by-polls, has committed that he will resolve the 31 issues plaguing the Hills in 23 months if elected.

"It is not a poll promise. I am from Darjeeling and you will be meeting me regularly. I am not from Delhi or Manipur. I assure you that I will resolve these 31 issues," Tamang said.

He was addressing an election campaign rally in Darjeeling town on Thursday. Distribution of land documents (parja patta) topped the list. "Already two committees have been constituted — expert committee and review committee. The expert committee has started collection of data. The report will be sent to the review committee that will finalise the process," Tamang said.

Incidentally Tamang is also a member of the review committee. He assured that tea garden workers would be brought under the purview of the Minimum Wages Act. This has been a long-standing demand in the Hills.

"Along with this tea garden workers will be getting relief fund for the 105 days of bandh in 2017 in which they did not receive any wage. The amount will be anywhere between Rs 6,000 to Rs 12,000. Just before the Durga Pujas the amount will be disbursed. This is a humanitarian service that I'm rendering and in no way politically motivated as all tea garden workers will receive the relief fund irrespective of political affiliation," Tamang said.

Closed tea gardens, including Kalijvalley, Peshok and Dhotoreah, in the GTA area will be reopened.

"There is a Sri Lanka tea company that has shown interest. After elections they will be visiting the closed gardens. If they fail to take over the gardens, the government will run them through cooperatives," Tamang said.

Amitava Banerjee

Amitava Banerjee

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