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GTA constitutes block-level development committees in 8 blocks

Darjeeling: The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) constituted the block-level development committees in eight blocks respectively under the GTA, with 11 members each, including the Chairman and Vice-Chairman.
"We released an order on Friday regarding the constitution of the committees. Schemes are not being implemented properly in the block levels. Hence the formation of the committees that will act as supervisory bodies was absolutely necessary," stated Binay Tamang, Chairman, GTA Board of Administrators (BOA). Two locals will be incorporated in the board to be nominated by the GTA BOA.
BDOs will be the conveners of the respective committees. Other members will include the block medical officer of health, block disaster management officer, block youth officer, SI Primary and Secondary, CDPO, block livestock officer and block assistant director of agriculture.
"The committee will formulate annual action plan; identify beneficiaries; monitor and supervise
and provide utilisation certificates as well. The committee will meet fortnightly and will prepare reports to be submitted to the GTA," added Tamang.
Incidentally, with the nomination of the GTA BOA, the GTA has started working in close coordination with the state government shunning the policy of locking horns with the state at every opportunity.
A meeting was convened on Friday by the GTA at the GTA Secretariat in Darjeeling attended by the DMs, SDOs and BDOs of the Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts.
Incidentally, though the BDOs report to the DM representing the state government, with the formation of the block level development committees, the BDOs will be reporting to the GTA through the committees.
The GTA in Friday's meeting has also requested that the mid-day meal scheme should be implemented through the Principal Secretary, GTA. Until now, the DM used to issue lifting orders for food grains under the mid-day meal scheme for schools in GTA areas also.
"As Education and Food Supplies departments have been transferred to the GTA by the state, we want the GTA to implement the mid-day meal scheme," added Tamang.
The GTA also held a meeting with Manoj Agarwal, Principal Secretary, Food Supplies Department; government of West Bengal.
"We discussed on different issues including increasing the number of MR shops, raising the PDS and kerosene oil quota, review and increase of the number of Below Poverty Level beneficiaries, digitisation of PDS cards, appointment of food inspectors and a separate district food controller office in Kalimpong (as it is a separate district now)," stated Tamang.
There are 8.71 lakh card holders in the Hills out of which only 4,000 people have been incorporated in the BPL category. Around 9,000 tonnes of foodgrains is distributed each month in the Hills.

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