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Deb threatens to launch stir against Centre

Darjeeling: The Trinamool Congress led by Goutam Deb has threatened to launch an agitation if the Centre fails to address the National Highway upgradation issue of Siliguri by August 15. The political outfit staged a sit in demonstration with this demand at the Darjeeling More in Siliguri on Friday. "The Centre has to take a positive step within August 15. If they fail to do so then we will hold a hunger strike. If it continues turning a deaf ear then we will add more muscle to the agitation," added Deb. He stated that the apathy by the Union Government has led to such a situation whereby the public are being harassed owing to the traffic snarls they have to face.

"The National Highway is under the jurisdiction of the Central Government. Nearly three years ago the Union Government had officially communicated that they wanted to upgrade the highway from the present two-lane to a four lane highway. They wanted the survey and design from us. We furnished them with the same. Then again they stated that owing to the border trade with Nathula in Sikkim and the importance of the highway it should be upgraded to a six-lane highway. They again asked the State Highway department to conduct a fresh survey and furnish a new plan. We did accordingly," stated Deb.

An American firm was entrusted with the survey and planning. "The new plan, drawings of the fly over, survey details were sent to them nearly one and a half years ago. Since then they have been sitting on it. They are not sincere with the issue as the recent union budget also did not mention the upgradation of this highway," alleged Deb.

The TMC leader demanded that the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways should immediately take up the matter with the state government at an official level.

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