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
“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.
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
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
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,”
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.
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).
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.”
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.
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
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)
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
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
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
“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)