Darjeeling crisis: BOA takes charge of GTA
Darjeeling: The Board of Administrators (BOA) took charge of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration in Darjeeling on Monday.
"Our priority will be a corruption-free GTA along with good governance," stated Binay Tamang, Chairman, BOA, GTA. The focus of the board will be on health, education, tourism, water and infrastructural development.
"However, we will not take up any projects to build new roads initially. First, the incomplete projects will be addressed and the roads that are in poor condition will be repaired. Then only we will take up new projects. However, communication and connectivity
will have to be developed," added Tamang.
There were two back-to-back meetings held. First, the BOA met which was followed by the meeting of the BOA with the GTA departmental heads and executive directors.
The departmental heads have been asked to prepare a list of all assets under the GTA. They have also been asked to prepare a detailed report of damages (total and partial) to all GTA properties during the past 103 days of agitation and bandh. There have been widespread incidents of arson and vandalising during the agitation in which properties owned by the state as well as the GTA have been damaged.
The Board will also stress on improving work culture in the GTA offices. "All employees of the GTA whether officers or Group D staff have to work from 10 am to 4 pm. There will be no exception. We will be installing biometric scanners and keeping a tab," stated Tamang.
Lalkothi in Darjeeling will function as a full-fledged Secretariat of the GTA. "Security features in the Lalkothi will also be beefed up," added Tamang.
He has also asked the district administration to remove the Security Forces presently stationed at the Gorkha Rangamancha Bhawan.
Incidentally, following clashes between the GJM supporters and police forces, the district administration had taken control of the Rangamancha and sealed it.
"Many of the GTA departments have offices in the Rangamancha, hence we have requested the district administration to return the premises to the GTA," stated Tamang.
Incidentally, on June 23, 2017, GTA chief Bimal Gurung along with 42 GJM elected
and nominated members tendered their resignations from the GTA.
On September 20, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had announced the formation of the BOA comprising Binay Tamang as the Chairman, Anit Thapa as the Vice Chairman.
The members include Darjeeling MLA Amar Singh Rai; Mirik Municipal Chairman L B Rai; GTA Principal Secretary; GNLF president Mann Ghising; Sanchabir Subba, Joytun Khatun and Anu Chettri.