GTA members to insist on transfer of departments

The Statesman

SILIGURI, 24 APRIL: The GTA representatives would demand immediate transfer of departments/establishments to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) during a meeting with the state Chief Secretary, Mr Sanjay Mitra, at Writers’ Buildings slated on 30 April.

A senior GJMM leader, Mr Jyoti Rai today said they would seek clarifications from the state government regarding the transfer of control of some establishments like schools, health centres and panchayat bodies located in 18 mouzas which had been transferred to the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) when the tripartite agreement involving Centre, state government and GNLF was signed in 1988.

“It is surprising that these establishments are yet to be transferred though the GTA elections held last year covered these mouzas. These must be transferred to the GTA immediately,” Mr Rai said, adding that these are still being controlled by the Siliguri administration and Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad.

He also said the GTA Chief Executive, Mr Bimal Gurung, would not

attend the meeting with the chief secretary. “We, a group of GTA representatives, would attend the meeting. Mr Gurung would visit Kolkata later,” he said.

Expressing satisfaction over Calcutta High Court activism in clearing long-pending matters like the appointment of the GTA principal secretary, he said this seems to be only way to make the dithering state government to act.

Asked whether his party would approach the court again regarding the long-pending transfer of departments from the state government to the GTA, Mr Rai said they would wait till the 30 April meeting is held.

“We still believe that the state government would take prompt initiatives. If things keep mired in uncertainty we would weigh the legal option. However, things have not yet come to that stage. We would wait,” he said.

Mr Rai said the state government has not yet transferred 29 out of 58 departments as mentioned in the GTA pact.

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