The Bengal Post
Siliguri-Allegations of a scam involving `200 crore have rocked the Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority (SJDA). Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) supporters demonstrated on the SJDA premises on Monday over the issue. They also burnt an effigy of state urban development minister Firhad Hakim.
Recently, the urban development department had replaced the SJDA chairman and Siliguri MLA Rudranath Bhattacharyya with North Bengal development minister Gautam Deb on the pretext that Bhattacharyya had failed to improve the condition of Siliguri and Jalpaiguri.
In the recent past, a scam was reported in the SJDA where bribes were allegedly taken by some SJDA workers under the supervision of the chairman. Later though, Bhattacharyya himself disclosed the whole matter to the media and even constituted a fact-finding committee to look into it. Yet, no report has been submitted regarding this till Monday.
Allegations have also cropped up regarding trident lights. DYFI Darjeeling district secretary Sankar Ghosh said: “In the past 20 months, there have been several cases of illegal work. A huge amount of money has been used illegally in the name of development. For instance, it has been spent on installing trident lights and CCTV cameras and on land for a film city project.”
Ghosh also alleged that Bhattacharyya, the former chairman, has been removed from the post because he knew everything. “We hope the new chairman will look into the matter and we demand a high-level inquiry into this issue. Or else, we will organise a huge protest,” he warned.
“I have not taken over the duties of the SJDA till now. I will not comment on this. Next week, I will go to the SJDA office and have a meeting with the officials,” said Deb.