केही महिना अघिदेखि निर्माणाधीन रहेको दार्जीलिंग जिल्ला केन्द्रीय सहकारी बैंक अर्थात कोओपरेटिव ब्यांक मङपुमा एघारौँ शाखाको आज सिन्कोना अनि अन्य औषधीय पौधाका निर्देशक डा० सामुयल राईको बाहुलीबाट विधिवत उद्घाटन भएको छ | धेरै वर्षदेखि मङपुमा एउटा ब्यांक हुनै पर्ने अनिवार्यतालाई साकर रुप दिंदै यसपल्ट यस ब्यांकले आफ्नो शाखा खोल्न सक्षम भएको छ | मङपुको जन घनत्वलाई यहाँ स्थापित ग्रामिण ब्यांक र स्टेट ब्यांकको उपभोक्ता सेवा केन्द्रले मात्र थेग्न नसकिरहेको समय यस ब्यांकको शाखा खोलिनु धेरै राम्रो कार्य भएको जनसाधारणको भनाइ छ | यसको साथै यहाँ स्थापित स्टेट ब्यांक एटीएममा बारबार पैसा सकिनुको तिक्त अनुभूति खप्न परेको मङपुबासीलाई यस ब्यांकले एटीएमको सुविधा पनि प्रदान गर्ने छ | ब्यांक पक्षबाट प्राप्त जानकारी अनुसार यस ब्यांकले अन्य ब्यांकहरुले जस्तै विभिन्न सब्सिडी, सयदिने रोजगारका जबकार्ड धारी, सिन्कोना कर्मचारी आदिको मासिक तनखा लगायत अन्य लोनहरुको सुविधा पनि दिनसक्ने बताएको छ | साथसाथै पहिलेदेखि नै कोओपरेटिव ब्यांकका खाता धारीहरुले अब उसो यस ब्यांकबाट आफ्नो पैसा निकाल्न साथै राख्न सक्ने पनि जानकारी छ भने आफ्नै आँगनमा आएको ब्यांकको फाइदा उठाउन हरेक मङपुबासीलाई आफ्नो नयाँ खाता खोलाउने अपिल पनि ब्यांक पक्षले गरेको छ |
आजको उद्घाटनी कार्यक्रममा सिन्कोना निर्देशक डा० सामुयल राईको मुख्य आतिथ्य राहेको थियो भने व्यवस्थापक जेसव साधाको पनि बिशेष आतिथ्य राहेको थियो | यसरी नै मङपु क्षेत्रका विभिन्न विधालयका प्रधान अध्यापक – अध्यापिका साथै व्यवसायवर्गको पनि उपस्थिति उत्तिकै महत्वपूर्ण रहेको थियो | बिशेष उपस्थितिहरुमा सहकारी ब्यांकको पक्षबाट कोअपरेटिव सोसाइटी दार्जीलिंग रेन्जका डेपुटी रेजिस्टर डीएल भुटिया, ब्यांक चेयरम्यान बीके शर्मा, भाइसचेयरमेन बिनोद छेत्री, सीइओ ममता सुब्बा, डेपुटी म्यानेजर कुमार राई साथै अन्यान्यको बिशेष उपस्थिति रहेको थियो भने कार्यक्रमलाई ब्यांक चेयरम्यान बीके शर्माले संचालन गरेका थिए |
यसै ब्यांकले २२ फरवरीको दिन दार्जीलिंग कोअपरेटिव ब्यांकको माथिलो तल्लामा राष्ट्रीय कृषि बिकास योजना केन्द्र सरकार द्वारा प्राप्त कोषले एउटा ठुलो प्रशिक्षण भवनको पनि दार्जीलिंग जिल्लापाल अनुराग श्रीवास्तवको बाहुलीबाट उद्घाटन गरेको छ | जुन भवनमा एसएचजी, जीएलजी आदि समुहले प्रशिक्षण, उत्पादन आदि कार्य गर्न सक्ने जानकारी प्राप्त छ |
Alongstanding alliance between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Gorkha Janmukti Morch (GJM) is set to end ahead of panchayat and civic body elections to be held this year in West Bengal’s Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts.
The hills of north Bengal are dominated by the native Gorkhas. They have in the past few general elections backed BJP candidates in the Darjeeling constituency. The GJM is feeling let down as the BJP did little to push the demand for statehood for Darjeeling since coming to power at the centre in May 2014.
The BJP, on the other hand, is unimpressed by recurrent allegations of corruption against top GJM leaders. The party controls the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, but fritters away most of the grants the semi-autonomous body receives for the development of Darjeeling, said top BJP leaders in West Bengal.
This has caused major discontent among Darjeeling residents, so the BJP wants to distance itself from the GJM.
The BJP wants to expand its own organisation in the hills of West Bengal, said a key party leader, asking not to be named. The alliance with the GJM has yielded very little for the BJP in this region, except a Lok Sabha seat, according to this person. The BJP is now looking to recruit its own leaders and workers for this region, he added.
The BJP has decided to contest the upcoming elections in Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong and Mirik municipal bodies on its own, said Dilip Ghosh, state president for the party in West Bengal. The BJP is looking to strengthen its own organisation in the hills, he added, sidestepping questions on what led to this decision.
Roshan Giri, general secretary of the GJM, said the BJP has no strength in the hills of West Bengal, and that the alliance meant little to the Gorkhas. “Dilip Ghosh himself is against the alliance,” Giri said, adding that the GJM’s fortunes in the hills were in no manner dependent on the BJP’s support.
The GJM had previously backed the BJP, expecting it to support at the centre its demand for separation of Darjeeling from West Bengal. Though every now and then, the GJM renews its demand for a separate state, its movement in the hills is now in disarray, said top Gorkha leaders, asking not to be identified.
Meanwhile, the ruling Trinamool Congress is fast making inroads into the region amid widening fault lines within the GJM. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee is trying to woo other smaller tribes who live in hills of north Bengal by creating welfare boards for them.
Earlier this month, she turned Kalimpong into a separate district, giving local people more autonomy in administration and distancing them from the Darjeeling-centric GJM.
Innovation Hub, a facility to nurture new ideas and engage youths in
innovative and creative activities, will be inaugurated at the Kalimpong Science Centre on Saturday.
Set up by the National Council of Science Museums under Scheme for
Promoting Innovation, Creativity and Engagement in Science (SPICES) of
the Union ministry of culture, the hub is one of the many that have, and
will, come up across the country. The hill hub has been set up at the
cost of Rs 1.80 crore.
The facilities in the hub include discovery hall, design studio,
innovation research centre and hall of fame, idea lab and box, break and
remake corner and build from scraps corner.
"All these facilities are designed to promote innovation, creativity
and keep the youths engaged in science. School as well as college
students will be encouraged to adopt innovative ideas and they will be
nurtured by mentors," said B.B. Gurung, the curator of the science
Sources in the GTA, which runs the science centre, said, to begin
with, the existing staff of the centre would be trained to operate and
maintain the hub. "Once the hub takes off, we will approach the state
government and, hopefully, secure its sanction for the recruitment of
more staff. The hub, we believe, is an important intervention to promote
science and technology in our region," said a source.
According to the SPICES scheme, respective centres will be
responsible for operating and maintaining the innovation hubs, including
recruitment of staff.
However, for the initial three years, the scheme will bear the
recurring expenses of the hub. "These innovation hubs should be driven
by a local board constituted with representatives of industry
associations, academia, civil society and research organisations. The
hub should also develop a network of supporting institutions for
adequate knowledge sharing. This would ensure community participation
and ownership, which are essential for the growth and sustenance of
these innovation hubs," said Gurung, quoting from the details of the
The All Christian Minority Central Committee, whose patron is Bishop
Stephen Lepcha of the Darjeeling Diocese, today passed a resolution to
stick to the demand for a separate board for the Christian community in
The decision of the committee comes after chief minister Mamata
Banerjee formed the West Bengal Pahadia Minority Board on February 13,
taking representatives of the Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and other
minority communities in the hills, like Bengalis and Marwaris.
The notification states that the board will be under the control of
the state's minority affairs and madarsa education department.
Bishop Lepcha today said: "The committee held a meeting today to have
a discussion on the recently declared Pahadia minority development
board and the house arrived at a conclusion that while we have no
objection (to the board), we stick to our demand for a separate minority
development board for Christians."
Lepcha said the All Christian Minority Central Committee had made
various representations to the state government and still, it hadn't
been consulted before finalising the details of the board.
Father Solomon Subba of the United Christian Minority Organisation,
which is not part of the committee, has been made the chairman of the
board, while Arif Khan the vice-chairperson.
To a question, the bishop said: "More than the benefits, what we fear is that there might be quarrel (because of the board)."(TT)
The Asian Rural Tourism Festival organised to promote rural tourism
activities across the India-Nepal border will be held at Bahundangi in
Nepal from March 3to 9.
Arjun Karki, the president of the organising committee of the fest,
said: "We have been hosting the fest since 2012. The idea is to promote
an integrated tourism circuit comprising the bordering areas of Nepal
Bahundangi is a small hamlet in Nepal and is about 35km from Siliguri.
Rabi Nepal, the vice-president of the committee, said: "The local
people here have developed seven homestays and a resort. Our main
objective is to highlight the agricultural activities, orange orchards
and bee-keeping in the fest. Also, for tourists visiting the area, there
is always an option to learn these practices."
Raj Basu, the convener of the Association for Conservation and
Tourism, who is coordinating the fest, said: "Tourists are attracted to
rural places these days. They want to stay close to the nature. Such an
initiative will encourage tourism activities in the region."(TT)
अंग्रेजकालीन रोङचोङ झोलुंगे पुलको मर्मति कार्यको निम्ति उद्घाटन कार्यक्रम भएको छ | आज रोङचोङ शाखा गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चा सभापति अर्जुन तामांगको सभापतित्वमा सम्पन्न कार्यक्रममा रोङचोङ, रोलक तथा लंकु क्षेत्रका जनसाधारण संगै मोर्चा मङपु लाब्दा समष्टि सभापति उर्गेन शेर्पा, सचिव रतन लामा, सहायक अभियन्त कला तामांग आदिको बिशेष उपस्थिति रहेको थियो | कार्यक्रमलाई रोङचोङ शाखा सचिव प्रकाश लेप्चाले संचालन गरेका थिए भने रतन लामा, नीलकुमार गिरी, एसएइ पाल्सांग रुम्बा आदिले पनि सम्बोधन गरेका थिए | आफ्नो सम्बोधनमा समष्टि सचिवले सबैलाई शान्ति तथा एक भएर उक्त झोलुंगे पुलको मर्मति कार्य गर्ने सुझाव राखेका थिए | पुलको मर्मति कार्य खरसाङ अभियन्ता विभागबाट भइरहेको पनि जानकारी गराइयो | वर्षायाम नजिक आइरहेकोले स्थानीय जनता, रोलक साथै लंकु बस्तिका जनसाधारणको सुविधाको निम्ति सबैले शान्ति पुर्वक उक्त पुल मर्मति कार्यलाई सफल पार्नपर्ने आवश्यक देखिएको छ किनभने त्यस झोलुंगे पुल बाहेक अन्य विकल्प नभएकोले बर्खाको समयमा यी क्षेत्रका बसिन्धाहरुलाई ओहर दोहर गर्न धेरै नै असुविधा भएको सर्वविधित नै छ | त्यस झोलुंगे पुल धेरै नै पुरानो भएकोले यहाँ पनि जोगीघाटमा झैं स्टील ब्रीज निर्माण गर्न आवश्यक परेको हुँदा साथै यस भेकका कृषकहरुको उब्जनीको सही बजारीकरण हुनपर्ने अनिवार्यताले गर्दा क्षेत्रीय सभासद रतन कुमार थापाले यस विषयमा पहल गरिरहेको जानकारी प्राप्त छ भने पुलमर्मर्ति साथै पहलको निम्ति क्षेत्रबासी सभासद थापा प्रति कृतज्ञ रहेको जानकारी समष्टि प्रचार प्रसार सचिव बुद्ध कुमार थापाले जनाएको छ ||
Mamata Banerjee's decision to create development boards in the hills
is giving rise to a new political narrative in the hills as not only the
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha but also apolitical associations believe the
chief minister is adopting a divide-and-rule policy for the region.
Nagarik Surasksha Samity, which is not aligned to any political
parties in the hills but is a strong voice on social issues in the
hills, has decided to hold Rashtriya Gorkha Mahasamellan in Darjeeling
on April 29 to "once again unite" the Gorkhas from across the country.
K.K. Pradhan, the general secretary of the samity, today said:
"Keeping in the mind the need to once again unite the Gorkhas to uphold
the community's pride and identity, which is the need of the hour at a
time the Gorkha community has been divided along community lines, we
have decided to hold a Rashtriya Gorkha Mahasamellan in Darjeeling on
The samity has decided to felicitate Gorkha community members who
have excelled in social work, art, music and other fields at the event.
So far, the state government has created or announced 15 development
boards in the hills. While Mamata maintains that she is trying to
develop the hills through the boards as the Trinamul Congress is not in
control of regional and local administrative bodies, the Morcha has been
alleging that she is adopting "divide-and-rule" policy to dilute the
The boards have helped Trinamul increase its presence in the hills
given the crowds the party is attracting at its meetings of late. But
the decision taken by the samity, according to observers, is reflective
of the general mood of the hill people who don't totally buy Mamata's
claim that the boards are only for development.
Roshan Giri, the general secretary of the Morcha, said: "We welcome
the move. The samity's decision and views definitely reflect the general
mood that our community is being divided through development boards to
undermine the Gorkhaland demand."
From this year, Mamata has also increased the scope of activities of
the boards and has entrusted them with works like constructing community
halls and implementing drinking water schemes. Earlier, the boards were
mostly building houses for members of different communities.(TT)
North Dinajpur police today introduced a WhatsApp service for the
residents of the district as well as for visitors to seek help from or
provide information to law enforcers.
The move, the police said, is to increase the liaison between the law
enforcers and common people as well as to provide a platform through
which people can pass on important information and suggestions for
improvement of services and file complaints.
There are nine blocks in North Dinajpur district.
"In many blocks like Goalpokhor, Chopra and Chakulia, people live in
remote areas. In case they want to seek help from the police or provide
information, they need to travel for a long distance to reach the police
station. Now that the WhatsApp service was introduced from today, these
people can use the facility and they no longer need to visit the police
station," a police officer said.
According to them, the facility would also help the police increase vigil across the district.
"Those sharing important information with us need not to be bothered
as their identities would be kept as secret. Many people want to share
information with us but hesitate to visit a police station. As the
facility would be monitored from the office of the superintendent of
police and messages sent to the WhatsApp number would be checked
round-the-clock, the people will not face any inconvenience," the
The district police officers also provided the number (9593050541)
that is functional now. "Even separate staff have been engaged to run
the service," a police source said.
Amit Kumar Bharat Rathod, the superintendent of police of North
Dinajpur, said the police would campaign across the district to apprise
residents of the number. "In case of accidents and crimes, there are
many witnesses. But most of them do not turn up to provide information
to us. As their identities would be kept secret, we hope that they will
inform us now."
The move has been appreciated by the residents of Raiganj town. "We
often witness several immoral activities at different places but feel
insecure to go to the police station and inform the police. But now that
this service has been launched, it would help us provide information to
the police as our identities would be kept as secret," a retired bank
employee in Raiganj said.(TT)