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Mamata to inaugurate Uttarbanga Utsav on Jan 8

Darjeeling: Preparations are in full swing for the Uttarbanga Utsav (North Bengal festival) which will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on January 8. The festival will be held at the Darjeeling Chowrasta on January 12 and 13.
"We had a meeting today (Thursday) to review the preparations of the inaugural function. We have requested senior school students to be present," stated Gautam Deb, Tourism minister.
The key attractions are a sit-and-draw competition, Siliguri run, T20 matches, and a volley ball competition along with various cultural programmes, which are to be held at the Dina Bandhu Mancha in Siliguri.
"We are trying to create a world record with the number of participants for the sit-and-draw competition to take place on January 13 in Siliguri. In the past year, 16,000 children had taken part. This time we are trying to create a record," stated Deb.
Each of the 8 districts of North Bengal will host the 2-day festival. The inaugural ceremony will take place at 2 pm on January 8 at the Kanchenjunga stadium.
"We have held meetings with the MLAs of Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong. I have had a talk with Binay Tamang, Chairman, Board of Administrators, GTA. The festival will be held at the Chowrasta in Darjeeling on January 12 and 13," added Deb.
Though Banerjee will be present in Siliguri for the inauguration of the festival, she is unlikely to visit the Hills. "We do not have the CM's official itinerary yet," stated Deb.
Sources state that she will be holding an administrative meeting at Uttar Kanya on January 9, which are to be attended by GTA representatives and political party representatives from the Hills as well. She will be returning to Kolkata on January 10.
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