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Mamata meets GJM leaders over functioning of GTA

“The meeting was positive. The chief minister was receptive. She said pending issues needed to be addressed,” senior GJM leader Harkabahadur Chetri told PTI.

“She(Banerjee) told us to take up the pending issues that concerned the Centre at the tripartite meeting to be held in Delhi on January 29. She asked us to take up the pending issues that concerned the state government at subsequent bipartite meeting,” he said.

Chetri, GTA Sabha member and GJM MLA from Kalimpong, said non-utilisation of different provisions of GTA and the issue of transfer of different departments which the state government was yet to hand over to it would be discussed at the tripartite meeting. GJM general secretary Roshan Giri, who led the eight-member GTA delegation that met the chief minister, told reporters that departments like food and supply, PWD, co-operation were yet to be handed to GTA by the state government. He also accused the state government of non-implementation of different provisions of the GTA Act.

GJM MLAs Rohit Sharma and Tilak Diwan were also part of the delegation which submitted a mememorandum to the chief minister stating the co-operation, excise and PWD departments are yet to be brought fully under control of GTA. Because of it salaries of employees of those departments are being drawn directly from the district treasury and not through GTA.

“Overlapping of jurisdiction of the district level officers of the transferred departments with the GTA and Siliguri Mahukuma Parishad are needed to be addressed with appropriate order by the department concerned.

“Due to dual jurisdiction of the district officers, GTA particularly was having no control of supervision
and monitoring of the works of these officers,” the memorandum said.

GTA is a semi-autonomous administrative body for the Darjeeling hills and GJM, an ally of BJP, has been demanding creation of a separate state of Gorkhaland.

Banerjee, who is on a four-day visit to Darjeeling and will attend a programme in connection with birth anniversary celebrations of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose here on Friday, said “I work for all communities and religions living in Darjeeling”. “We are extending all help possible for the development of Darjeeling. We will create new tourist spots in the hills, so that more employment is generated,” Banerjee, who was addressing a programme of Tamang community said.

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