Bimal Gurung announced Rs300 crore projects – super-specialty hospitals and TB Sanitarium in Darjeeling and kalimpong

In an apparently last minute effort before the election code of conduct sets in, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung late Tuesday night announced a slew of projects to be undertaken in the hills for which more than Rs300 crore has been approved.

Bimal Gurung
Bimal Gurung announced Rs300 crore projects

Speaking at Bhanu Bhawan, the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration secretariat, the GTA chief executive and GJM president announced two super-specialty hospitals in Darjeeling in Darjeeling and Kalimpong sub-divisions at a cost of Rs90 crore each.

The two hospitals will be constructed after dismantling the existing TB Sanitarium near Dali in Darjeeling and the Leprosy Centre in Kalimpong.

“The code of conduct will come in to force as soon as the election dates are announced and this has forced me to make the announcement right away,” said Gurung.

Other upcoming developments include a multi-purpose auditorium with indoor game facilities, a gymnasium and a seminar hall in Kurseong, Kalimpong and Mirik at an estimated cost of Rs3.68 crore that will be delivered in two phases. The GTA will also pump funds into a Rs4-crore drinking water project at Sindeybong and take up an electrification project in the Simana area under Sukhay-Maneybhanjyang constituency.

Further, a college will be set up in Sukhaypokhari for an undisclosed amount. The GTA will also repair the Teesta Valley and Pul-Bijanbari roads at a cost of Rs12 crore and Rs8 crore, respectively, while the Takdah-Glenburn road will be revamped at a cost of Rs5.5 crore and a bridge built at Jangapani.

Gurung said an R&D institute for the Nepali language will be set up for Rs22 crores “The academy will also cater to other languages and house a museum and a canteen. The GTA agreement has mention of such an academy,” he said.

Community halls each costing Rs47 lakh will also come up in the three sub-divisions of the hills. Darjeeling will have 62 community halls, while Kalimpong will get 34 and Mirik 15.

The GJM chief also took exception to the state government’s purported attempt to politicise its proposal of granting Scheduled Tribe status to 10 communities here, and asserted the GTA will strongly pursue the matter with the central government.

“The state government is trying to play vote politics before the LS polls. As there are a lot of formalities that need to be completed in order to achieve tribal status, patience is needed. However, I will pursue the matter with the central government,” said Gurung.

The 10 communities recommended for ST status by the state government are Kirat, Khambu Rai, Yakha Dewan, Bhujel, Newar, Gurung, Mangar, Khas, Thami, Sunwar and Mukhia. Representatives from all the 10 communities were present at the meeting with Gurung.

“The GJM president has assured to take up the matter with the central government and we have full faith in him. We also pledge to remain united and remain as a Gorkha community on the whole,” said a member of one of the communities not wishing to be named.

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