State govt, GTA set to renovate Darjeeling bus stand
Darjeeling: The state government and the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration have decided to undertake both long and short term measures to renovate the existing bus stand of Darjeeling, along with the old supermarket and the barrack market, to provide parking space.
Incidentally, the bus stand in Darjeeling, a very old structure in a dilapidated state, has around 22 shops and families residing beneath it. Earlier, the Darjeeling Municipality had declared it a "Danger Zone" and moved the bus stand to the area in front of the old supermarket.
However, owing to acute space constraint, lighter vehicles plying to Singamari and Lebong are being parked in the old bus stand at present, making it highly vulnerable.
A meeting was held between the Transport department of Bengal government, the district administration and the GTA in Darjeeling on Friday, following which an inspection was conducted at the old dilapidated structure.
Binay Tamang, Chairman, GTA, Biswajit Dutta, Commissioner, Transport department and Anup Chatterjee, Chief Engineer, Transport department, surveyed the old bus stand. Later, speaking to media persons, Binay Tamang stated: "A Detailed Project Report will be prepared immediately, which will highlight the short term and long term steps to be adopted. The pillars have to be reinforced immediately as short term measures. As a long term measure, we can have a flyover type roof, connecting the old supermarket and the Barrack Market, with a provision to park around 150 vehicles. This will definitely ease the parking problems faced by the town, especially during peak tourist seasons."
The meeting also resolved to revise the taxi fares for Darjeeling Hills and Kalimpong. There has been no revision of the same since 2011.
"The District Magistrates of Darjeeling and Kalimpong will sit in a meeting with concerned officials and the stakeholders and arrive at a consensus on the revision. The revised rates arrived at will then be sent to the state government for endorsement," added Tamang.
Along with this, the state government will be forming a monitoring committee with representatives of the Transport department, district administration and the GTA, to address any issues relating to transport, whereby the issues can be brought to the notice of the state government at the earliest, informed Tamang.
The recent Secretary level talks between the Transport departments of Bengal and Sikkim had agreed on free movement of taxis between the two states. "The agreement has been renewed. It will be implemented very soon - maybe within a week, whereby Bengal taxis with valid Sikkim permits can ply at all tourist spots and destinations in Sikkim and vice versa," added Tamang.
"The meeting was very fruitful. Many issues resulting from procedural misinterpretations were cleared," added Biswajit Dutta, commissioner, Transport department, Bengal government.