Editor's Vids

Darjeeling Toy train services to resume from december

Darjeeling Toy train services to resume from december
Come December and tourists will get to enjoy a ride in the world renowned toy train from Siliguri all the way up to Darjeeling. It has been three years since the Darjeeling Himalayan Railways suspended services depriving many a visitor of the once-in-a-lifetime experience.
North East Frontier Railway divisional railway manager AK Sharma informed work remains pending on a small stretch between the two destinations and is expected to be completed shortly.
 “We hope to complete the repair work between Mahanadi and Ghayabari by the end of the year,” said Sharma. Huge landslides in the Tindharay and Paglajhora areas had forced the DHR to suspend services in 2011.
The Darjeeling ‘toy train’ first began running in 1881 when Sir Ashley Eden was the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal. The DHR comes under the UNESCO’s world heritage sites and covers a route spanning 87km.
Darjeeling MP SS Ahluwalia had recently raised the issue before Union railway minister Sadananda Gowda and also intimated Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, said Sharma. He further said that along with the Railways, the National Highway Authority of India and the state PWD are involved in the repair work. The issue of repairing NH 55 was recently taken up Gorkhaland Territorial Administration chief executive Bimal Gurung with the Union Road Transport Ministry, added the official.

Source: EOIC

GJM Gorkhaland dharna at Jantar Mantar on Dec 18, 19

GJM president Bimal Gurung
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has firmed up to stage a two-day ‘dharna’ at the Jantar Mantar and hold a public meeting on the third day at the Talkotra Stadium in Delhi to pressurise the central government into considering the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland.
In this context, GJM president Bimal Gurung had on Sunday asked all the members of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration to contribute their salary of two months for the upcoming programme in the national capital.
Speaking today on the sidelines of a meeting with the party’s frontal organisations to finalise the programme in Delhi, GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said, “We have decided to hold a dharna at the Jantar Mantar on December 18 and 19, which will be followed by a public meeting on December 20 at the Talkotra Stadium. We expect more than 10,000 people from other states to participate.”
The three-day programme is in line with the GJM’s strategy of concentrating the statehood agitation in Delhi as that is the place where decisions are finalised. Gurung has already assured the Darjeeling hills would no longer have to witness bandhs and agitations following the renewed statehood agitation in August-September of 2013.
The GJM general secretary added the GTA sabhasads are to pool in their two months’ salary and also ensure they take along two persons each to Delhi and bear the expenses from their pockets. This apart, municipality commissioners have been instructed to take along one individual from their respective wards, while the party will fund 10 people from each constituency.
Giri further said the newly-appointed 269 high school and 630 primary school teachers have been instructed to attend the three-day event. “We have asked high school and primary school teachers to participate in the Delhi programme as members of our frontal organisations will also be attending,” he said.
It was also decided in today’s meeting that the GTA information and culture department will organise the ‘Phulpati Shobha Yatra’, an important cultural event leading up to the ‘Dasai’ festival that falls on October 3 this year.
“We don’t want to burden people with the expenses for conducting the Phulpati Sobha Yatra programme and this is why the party has decided to organise it. At the same time, we will not interfere in other activities that are part of the festival,” noted Giri.
Meanwhile, the GTA will host the month-long ‘Darjeeling Cultural and Tourism Festival’ in the three sub-divisions including the foothills of Mirik from October 8 to November 9. “The month-long event will focus on showcasing the rich culture and traditions of the hills to tourists from near and far. It is imperative we preserve and safeguard our culture as it is in the wane,” said Giri.
The GJM will also celebrate the party’s seventh foundation day on October 7 all across the hills with the main programme scheduled in Darjeeling sub-division.

Source: EOIC

GTA Darjeeling receives Traveller Best Rural Tourism Destination Award

Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) Darjeeling receives Today's Traveller Best Rural Tourism Destination Award from Hon'ble Minister for Tourism Shri Shripad Yesso Naik.

Sabhasad Dawa Lepcha and Prakash Gurung received the award on behalf of the
Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA).
GTA Darjeeling receives Traveller Best Rural Tourism Destination Award
 Source: Bimal Gurung Official

Janmukti Chalak Mahasangh Kurseong to celebrate Biswakarma Puja

Janmukti Chalak Mahasangh general secretary Subash Pradhan
The Janmukti Chalak Mahasangh, the drivers’ association of kurseong affiliated to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, has decided to observe this year’s Biswakarma Puja in a grand manner after a gap of several years.
JCM general secretary Subash Pradhan said they will organise the puja at the Kurseong Motar Stand on Wednesday. He added a ‘bhandara’ has been arranged near the puja pandal for distributing ‘prasad’ to devotees and the puja committee has also arranged  a musical band from Tindharay to entertain the public.
Further, Pradhan said the association has appealed to all members against consuming alcohol during the celebrations. If anyone is found in a drunken state, the JCM will take strong action against the perpetrator(s).

Source: EOIC

Kalimpong college wins NBU inter college volleyball tournament trophy

Kalimpong college wins NBU inter college volleyball tournament trophy
Kalimpong college wins the trophy of the inter college volleyball tournament organized by the sports board of North Bengal University in Siliguri College of Commerce. The Inter-college volleyball tournament is organized every year with an approximation of 20 different colleges. The enthusiastic participants of Kalimpong College put their effort to be the winner out of 15 colleges who took part in the match where Amanta Lama was addressed as the Man of the Tournament and Palden Tamang as the Man of the Match who also took care of the captainship. “The tournament was very competitive and our boys played very well, moreover we had a good set of team who were amazing and predictable during the practice session” said the Chief Coach of Kalimpong College Roshan Basnet. The college will further be seen in the University level’s match in Kolkata representing the North Bengal. Kalimpong College however has histories of participating in various tournaments (football. Volleyball etc,) organized in the National level as well as state level. Impressed with the recent performance in the Siliguri College of Commerce the Principal of Kalimpong Government College R.P Dhakal said “It was a great performance by our boys, I feel proud to announce that.”

Report by Mukesh Sharma

SSB Inter Frontier Football Championship kick start at Teesta Stadium Ranidanga

9th SSB Inter Frontier Football Championship kick start at Teesta Stadium Ranidanga
Shri S L Sarkar DIG (Retd.) of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) hoisted the SSB Flag, released pigeons and declared the 9th SSB Inter Frontier Football Championship open at Teesta Stadium at Ranidanga from 15th to 18th September 2014. Shri Sarkar also took the salute from the participating teams during colorful march past in the presence of Shri A K Mallik DIG SHQ Ranidanga, Shri K C Dobhal DIG Siliguri Frontier Hqrs., Shri Rup Singh DIG SHQ Gangtok, Shri S K Sarangi SO (Adm), Shri Sudhir Verma Commandant 41st BN and Commandants (Medical) Dr (Smt) R D Gari and Dr R D Gari of the 41st Bn, Shri Kiran Rizal SO (O&I) were present.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Sarkar recalled the glorious sports history of the SSB and urged all the Force personnel to work hard to maintain national security and reputation of the Force. He emphasized the need to maintain high level of discipline and sense of comradeship with the fellow footballer as it is more important than winning the tournament.

Footballers from five Frontier Hqrs of SSB i.e., Lucknow, Ranikhet, Guwahati, Patna and Siliguri Frontiers will be vying for the honors from 15th to 18th September 2014. The four days Championship will be on league match basis.

The first days match was played between the hosts Siliguri Frontier and Raniket Frontier. For the hosts Shri Belka Souren struck two goals at an interval of minute and the second goal too in style to take the goal tally 2-1. Shri Raejong Dorji smashed the lone goal for the in the second half but lost the match to Siliguri Frontier.

The second match was played between Lucknow Frontier and Guwahati Frontier. This exciting match had several twists and turns before Lucknow Frontier won the match against Guwahati Frontier with a score reading 2-1 goal.  For the winning team Shri Dilip Hale hit a goal in the first half and Shri Mangale Lal hit a goal in second half.

The third match was played between Ranikhet Frontier and Patna Frontier. This match too was won 2-1 by Ranikhet Frontier against Patna Frontier. For the winning team Shri Kamal Singh hit two goals in the second half.

GTA to construct 35-bed guest house in Kurseong

GTA executive member Anit Thapa
The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) is all set to construct a 35-bed guest house in Kurseong for tourists and local people alike.
According to GTA executive member Anit Thapa, the building that will also have an auditorium, a swimming pool, conference hall and badminton court, will be built near the Tourist Lodge above Montiviet ground at a cost of over Rs 20 crore.
Mr Thapa added that funds for the project have already been released by the GTA, and that the plan will kick start soon after the Pujas.
“The set-up will not only cater to the tourists, but local people too,” Mr Thapa said. According to him, the GTA also plans to turn the present Montiviet ground into a mini-stadium. People have been complaining of a lack of a good guest house in Kurseong, unlike in Darjeeling town and Kalimpong.
Mr Thapa said that several other development projects have also been planned by the GTA, especially targeting Kurseong
region. Though Kurseong has the potential of becoming a tourist hotspot, the area has so far been neglected, local people say.
It may be mentioned that a number of projects have been taken up by the GTA to boost tourism in the Kurseong area.
A good example of the projects is the cable-car (ropeway) service between Giddha Pahar and Rohini,m the construction of which is underway.(sns)

Calcutta High Court vacates stay on GTA road tenders, Gautam Deb welcomes

Calcutta High Court
Justice Nadira Patherya of Calcutta High Court today withdrew the stay on the floating of tender by the North Bengal Development Department (NBDD) on the building of three roads in the Gorkha Territorial Administration area. The stay was withdrawn after the GTA counsel could not produce the letter of objection which it had reportedly sent to NBDD.
The court after withdrawing the stay order had directed that a report be placed before it after the puja vacation. Earlier, the GTA had challenged the tender process and contended as the route of the roads pass through the area under its jurisdiction, the work should be done by it. 
In Siliguri, North Bengal development minister Gautam Deb expressed happiness over Calcutta High Court’s decision to vacate an injunction over three road projects in the Hills within the jurisdiction of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA).
Notably, GTA officer bearers had moved Calcutta High Court against what they called the state government’s ‘interference’ in the jurisdiction of the GTA.
Taking to reporters at Uttarkanya today, Mr Deb said: “Calcutta High Court today vacated the injunction over the three road projects in the Hills, which were conceived by the north Bengal development department, and has fixed the next date for a hearing on the matter.”
“Following the HC’s decision we will be able to continue with the process of the three road projects. The projects were taken up with financial help from the RIDF–XX (Rural Infrastructure Development Fund) for Kurseong, Kalimpong and Darjeeling sub division areas. A total of Rs 8 crore has been estimated for the roads,” Mr Deb said. Indirectly criticising GTA office-bearers, Mr Deb said: “The state government has been extending financial assistance for the development in the Hills but...”
“The government had allotted Rs 30 crore for the construction of the road at Rohini connecting Darjeeling. It has built a bridge over Little Rangeet river at Bijanbari after it collapsed, claiming nearly 32 lives, but ‘they’ went against the development projects launched in the interest of the people.”(sns)