Darjeeling employees of the land and land reforms department under GTA

Land staff to be placed under GTA

Writes Vivek Chhetri

Darjeeling, Aug. 18: The state government has issued an order directing the Darjeeling district magistrate to place employees of the land and land reforms department under the GTA.

Darjeeling employees of the land and land reforms department under GTA
Bimal Gurung  with Mamata Banerjee – a file photo

Although the state had issued a notice on December 28, 2012, transferring the land and land reforms department to the GTA, its employees were not reporting to the hill body. They draw salaries from the district magistrate’s office

Yesterday, K. Mochhary, secretary to the state government, issued an order to Darjeeling district magistrate Anurag Srivastava, asking him to “place the services of officers and other employees of BL&LRO and SL &LRO within the areas of the GTA (excluding the district land and land reforms officer’ office) at the disposal of the GTA as early as possible”.

Srivastava has also been directed to send a compliance report on the order.

According to the new order, funds for the employees are to be transferred to the GTA.

The notice states that a committee on subordinate legislation had raised objections. “The committee on subordinate legislation, West Bengal legislative assembly, had met on 05.08.2015 and shown concern on implementation of G.O. No 6709-LP dt. 28.12.2012,” the order signed by Mochhary states.

Since 2012, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung has on several occasions demanded complete transfer of all departments to the GTA.

On November 19, 2014, GTA secretary Don Bosco Lepcha had issued showcause notices to the subdivisional land and land reforms officers of Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong and the block land and land reforms officers of Takdah, Bijanbari, Sukhiapokhri, Mirik, Kurseong, Gorubathan, Kalimpong I, II and Algarah for failure to turn up for a meeting called by the hill body.

While some officers had told The Telegraph that they had received the letter for the meeting late, an officer echoed the sentiment of most employees and said: “We are ready to work according to the government’s direction. However, we are being unnecessarily caught up in a bigger battle.”

Today, Kurseong MLA Rohit Sharma, who is in the 21-member committee on subordinate legislation, said: “Since the state was not implementing its own order, I impressed upon the committee to take up the issue.” He added that the state will soon completely hand over PHE and food and supplies departments to the GTA. “The state has asked for a month’s time,” Sharma said.

According to the GTA Act, 40 departments are to be transferred to the hill body. “In principle, the state has transferred almost all departments but complete transfer is yet to take place in most. For example, total handover of PWD and transport, social welfare and fire services departments has not taken place,” said Binay Tamang, executive GTA Sabha member, in charge, personal and administrative department.

Today, Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri, who attended an all-party meeting in Calcutta said: “The chief minister has said she will visit Darjeeling on August 24 ….”

When asked about the transfer of the land and land reforms department by the state to the GTA,Gurung said that he welcomes the decision, but he himself has not seen any notification yet and that a thorough study of the notification is yet to be conducted. It may be mentioned that a notice was sent to the Darjeeling district magistrate and GTA principal secretary regarding the transfer of the land department.

“If the transfer of the services of the land and land reforms department is not done properly, we might have to take up the issue to court. We respect the GTA accord.”

Source Telegraph

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