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GTA committee to monitor fund-mobilising companies in Darjeeling hills

Bimal Gurung
The GTA today set up a committee to monitor the activities of fund-mobilising companies and said the autonomous body should be notified if any such firms planned to operate in the Darjeeling hills.
Even though the GTA does not have powers to ban any companies which have requisite permission from regulatory bodies like Sebi, sources said Bimal Gurung was planning to use municipalities to keep track of deposit collection companies in the future.
All four municipalities in the hills are administered by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.
"Every business has to obtain a trade licence from municipalities and its needs to be renewed every year. Gurung wants to ensure that the activities of the fund collection companies are also monitored by the municipalities as most of their offices are invariably set up in urban areas. If there are complaints, the licences can be cancelled ," said a source.
Senior state government officials at Nabanna said fund mobilising companies were usually registered with Sebi and Registrar of Companies.
The state government has framed an Act - The West Bengal Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishments Bill, 2013 - soon after the collapse of Saradha where district magistrates are given authority to act against sham companies if complaints are lodged, said officials.
"The Act is yet to secure presidential assent. Once the Act gets the Presidential nod, district magistrates would have some authority but a body like the GTA apparently does not have any authority to control such companies," said a senior government official.
Gurung announced the committee after fund mobilising companies' agents and depositors met his at his Patlabas office in Darjeeling today.
The committee is headed by Binay Tamang, elected GTA Sabha member and also the assistant secretary of the Morcha. Other members include GTA elected members, Samuel Gurung, Mahendra Pradhan and Arun Ghisingh, chairman of Kurseong municipality Samar Deep Blone, GTA media executive Vikram Rai, Darjeeling municipality pleader Regan Lama and law officer, GTA, Bedan Gurung.
Gurung said in a press release that the Gorkha Janmukti Yuva Morcha, the youth wing of the party, would also "assist" in the monitoring of the fund companies. #The statement also said the "agents and depositors of various companies today requested Bimal Gurung to help them recover their deposits". "Gurung has assured all help that is possible from the GTA," said the release.
"Gurung has said the issue should not be made political... From now onwards the GTA will strictly monitor the activities of fund mobilising companies and will not allow illegal companies to function and for these purposes, a committee was formed today," the release states.
"In future, such companies must notify the GTA about its activities failing which the GTA will take legal recourse," the statement said.
A source, who was present at the meeting, said: " Gurung was told that various small companies, which are not known properly, also operate in the hills. Gurung wants the committee to find out if such companies are operating in the hills even now."
Anurag Srivastav, the district magistrate, Darjeeling, said: "I am not aware of the decision taken by the GTA. Technically, there are regulatory bodies like Sebi, RBI and therefore, I think they might not be able to prosecute anyone. Anybody can inform regulatory bodies if they find anything amiss."

 - The Telegraph

Rabindra Bhavan at Mungpoo to get 1 crore for restoration

Rabindra Bhavan at Mungpoo
North Bengal development minister Gautam Deb today said his department would spend Rs 1 crore on the restoration of Rabindra Bhavan at Mungpoo and improve the road communications to the hill hamlet where Rabindranath Tagore had gone four times between 1938 and 1940.
"We will immediately start the restoration of Rabindra Bhavan at Mungpoo. North Bengal development department will spend Rs 1 crore in this regard. Initially, it was decided that the funds would be spent jointly by my department and the state information and cultural affairs department," Deb told journalists here this afternoon.
Mungpoo is around 70km from Siliguri. Tagore had visited the bungalow four times between 1938 and 1940 because of his love for the place and a special bond with Maitreyi Devi, daughter of his friend. She was married to the then director of cinchona plantation, Manmohan Sen.
"It was during the celebrations of Tagore's birth anniversary this year that we came to know that there was no electricity at Rabindra Bhavan, as WBSEDCL has disconnected the power connection. We will restore the power and do repairs on a war footing in the next three months so that we can commemorate the bard's death anniversary at Mungpoo with grandeur this year," said the minister.
At Mungpoo, sources said, the north Bengal development department would host a cultural event where artistes from Siliguri and Dohar, a Bangla band, will perform during the bard's death anniversary.
"As per the instruction of the chief minister, Rs 4 crore has been sanctioned by the state to set up a research centre on Tagore at Mungpoo. Once we complete certain formalities involving the GTA, the work will start," said Deb.
The minister also said two new bus services would start operations to Mungpoo from Siliguri and Darjeeling from June. "We intend to develop Mungpoo as an ideal tourist destination. Bus services will be introduced from Siliguri and Darjeeling. Any visitor can take the bus, visit Mungpoo and return on the same day by the same bus," Deb said.
He also said Matir Sathi, a comprehensive textbook library, would be opened at Himanchal Bihar in Matigara, on the outskirts of Siliguri, soon.
"This is going to be the first referral text book library in north Bengal. The state library science department has developed this modern library at Himanchal Bihar. The chief minister has named it Matir Sathi. It is a four-storied building developed by the library science department at Rs 1.15 crore. My department will also spend another Rs 50 lakh. Initially, books in English, Bengali, Hindi and Nepali languages will be available there for the reference by students and researchers," Deb said.
"The library is almost complete. The chief minister will inaugurate it when she visits north Bengal the next time."
The minister also said the library science department had launched a separate project to restore the existing library building of Bangiya Sahitya Parishad, adjacent to Dinabandhu Mancha, in Siliguri. According to Deb, Rs 1.8 crore will be spent in this regard.
Deb said his department would start work for improved drainage system, boundary wall, parking area and beautification of the Siliguri district hospital.

Source: The Telegraph

Morcha president Bimal Gurung urged Dooars Muslims to join hands with gorkhas

Morcha president Bimal Gurung
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung today urged Muslims in the Dooars to join hands with the Gorkhas to redress common grievances.

Addressing a meeting attended by the members of the Dooars-headquartered Bharat Millat-e-Islamia Society at Bhanu Bhawan in Darjeeling, Gurung said both the communities had been at the receiving end of the state government's apathy, and it was imperative for them to join hands for a common cause.

"Let us both hold a big meeting in the Dooars and put out a show of strength. You bring about three lakh Muslims and we will bring equal number of Gorkhas and let us demonstrate our strength. Both the communities face a crisis of identity in our own country. We must work unitedly to address this," he said.

Imtiaz Khan, the secretary of the Islamia society, said the Muslim community was reaching out to Gurung to address their myriad problems of education, unemployment and development.

"The Morcha president has been very sympathetic to our problems, which primarily relate to education, unemployment, health and development. We are here at his invitation. We will reach out to the state government and the Centre to get our problems addressed. We have nothing to say on the Morcha demand for Gorkhaland," he said.

Asked if the Muslims wanted the Dooars to be included in the GTA, he replied in the negative.

Observers said the Morcha was trying to broad-base its appeal in the Dooars by wooing non-Gorkhas like the adivasis and the Muslims.

"Look, the Morcha has managed to woo a section of the adivasis by aligning with John Barla. It hopes to do the same by aligning with the Islamia society. The Muslims have a strong presence in the Dooars. However, we are not certain about the hold of the society in the Muslim community of the Dooars," said an observer.

The Telegraph

Importance and preservation of medicinal plants in the hills workshop prog held

Importance and preservation of medicinal plants in the hills
Darjeeling society of education research and development organized a workshop about the importance and preservation of medicinal plants in the hills in town hall today. Eminent personalities related to botanical science like Prashanta Kumar Sarkar-chairman of West Bengal state medicinal plant board, Dhaniraj Chettri-professor of Botany, Sikkim, Dr. H.B Chettri (MLA acquainted with Botany and ecology) were present.

Throwing light on the benefits which people can get from the government, Prashanta Kumar Sarkar talked about the financial assistance along with other incentives which is helpful for people; he also educated the mass about cultivation, utilization, conservation and marketing of the medicinal plants.

Speaking on the importance of medicinal plants, Professor Dhaniraj Chettri edified the people about the practice of Bio-Piracy which people are involved in, with the help of the plants found in the hills, he also gave weight on making a resource centre here, ‘Kalimpong has the potential of producing medicinal plants in a large scale and such places should be concentrated for making a central institution for medicines’ said Chettri.

The local known ‘jari-butti’ has a different significance in the hilly terrains where in the other hand, different tribes has its own different methods of using it, says the Professor proclaiming that we are rich in traditional medicines.

Interestingly, it was known where India stands in the global market of medicines, despite of growing ample of medicinal plants India contributes only 1% of the global market where America who grows lesser amount of medicinal plant’ controls 11% of the market, similarly China controls 24%.

Meanwhile the MLA H.B Chettri, referring to some old stories of curing stomach aches to sinus, highlighted the importance of centella-asiatica locally known as ‘botukay jhar.’ He later added ‘if a DPR for central university for medicinal plants is prepared, I will see what I can do’

Report by Mukesh Sharma

Mountain of mud headache for 125-yr old Kalimpong Girls High School

mountain of muds behind kalimpong girls high school
While the authority of Girls High School (GHS) Kalimpong vconcentrates on its 125th bicentenary year, the vacant land located behind the school known as Mission Ground gets encroached and a mountain of muds are dumped. Students and teachers of the school assembled in the site this morning in a form of protest.

The land officially belongs to Girls High School and the authority seeks cooperation from the public and appeals everyone not to dump anything there. Around 20-30 teachers present there unanimously said that they have plans of projects in the land which they will proceed in the future.

In the other hand the frequent dumping of mud has increased the land level and drastically decreased the height of the wall which leads to back side of the girl’s hostel, the students however complain that they feel unsafe and insecure with trespassers invading the girl’s dorm.

Speaking to this correspondent one Prerna Niraula a boarding student said that a man of mid twenties entered their room few months ago, ‘We are girls and a random man intruding amidst the security at 3 am in our room will definitely cause anxiety’ said Niraula ordering that the ones who dumped the hilly mud in their site will have to level the land or remove it soon.

Meanwhile, one of the teachers standing in mission ground said, ‘a school is a social organization and not a public property, we protest this act because everyone has to respect the organization which is meant for the female’s education.’

The GHS family also said that they saw the dumped muds this morning and don’t know who unloaded it and when, factually because the plot of land lies opposite and many yards away from the main school building. The principal avoiding controversies and refusing to speak later said that this act of infringement is not the first time.

She further added that the excavated mud from any construction done in Kalimpong was deposited there, speaking about the past she said, ‘I was alone to fight for this land in the past but today I see the teachers and students standing here to protest without my direction which made me realize that this is now ‘our’ fight.’

The students of class 9-10 who were there said that the land solely belongs to them and appeals the civilian bodies to respect the property of the school.

Report by Mukesh Sharma

मङपुबाट ९० प्रतिशत बिधार्थीहरु माध्यमिक उतीर्ण

West Bengal Madhyamik Pariksha Results
यस बर्षको माध्यमिक परीक्षामा मङपुबाट ९० प्रतिशत विधार्थीहरु उतीर्ण भएका छन | मङपु सरस्वती उच्चतर माध्यमिक विधालयबाट ७४ जना परीक्षार्थीहरु  मध्ये ७ जनाले प्रथम, १९ जना दोश्रो अनि ४८ जना तेस्रो बन्न सक्षम बनेका छन भने ७२.२ प्रतिसत लिएर लीडीया डुक्पा स्कुल टपर बनेका छन | यसरी स्थानीय शारदा उच्च माध्यमिक विधालयबाट ४६ जना परीक्षार्थीहरु मध्ये २ जना प्रथम, १४ जना दोश्रो अनि २४ जना तेस्रो साथै  ६ जना सफल भएका छन भने यस बिधालयबाट पनि सय प्रतिसत विधार्थीहरु उतीर्ण भएका छन | अर्कोतिर रङबी ज्ञानपीठ उच्चतर माध्यमिक बिधालयबाट पनि सय प्रतिसत विधार्थीहरु उतीर्ण बनेका छन | यस बिधालयबाट २९ जना बिधार्थीहरु मध्ये सबै जना नै अब्बल दर्जामा उतीर्ण भएका छन भने बिधालय टपर बनेका दिब्य शेर्पाले जीवबिज्ञानमा ९७ अंक प्राप्त गरेका छन | यस्तै गरि लाब्दा माध्यमिक शिक्षा केन्द्रबाट १३ जना प्रीक्षाथीहरु मध्ये ९ जना सफल बनेका छन | स्थानीय अगमसिह गिरी बिधालयबाट पनि १४ जना  परीक्षाथीहरु मध्ये सय प्रतिसत उतीर्ण बनेका छन भने यस बिधालयबाट लगातार रुपमा पाचौ पल्ट पनि सयप्रतिसत बिधार्थीहरु उतीर्ण बनेको बिधालयका प्रधान अध्यापक रुपास बम्जनले  जानकारी दिएका छन |

5 members of Mahendra P Lama election trust quit DDUDF

5 members of Mahendra P Lama election trust quit DDUDF
All five trustees of the Darjeeling Dooars United Development Foundation (DDUDF), which was formed to push the candidature of Mahendra P. Lama in the Darjeeling Lok Sabha constituency in the last general elections, have resigned from the board saying the entity has been dormant ever since its inception.

The five trustees of the foundation, B.K. Pradhan, Bharat Prakash Rai, Rev. C Baruah, Hem Baraily and Udhyan Rai, said in a signed statement: "It has been unanimously resolved that the following trustees of DDUDF have agreed to renounce from the trusteeship of DDUDF owing to the fact that the board of trustee has remained dormant and non functional since its inception."

The decision was taken by the board of trustees at a meeting held in Darjeeling on May 19 under the chairmanship of Pradhan.

Lama, the former vice-chancellor of the Sikkim University, had contested the last Lok Sabha election as an Independent and got 55,767 votes. On March 9 early this year, Lama had said he would form a political party soon as it was the "people's wish".

Pradhan today said: "The very fact that a meeting of the board of trustees hasn't been held even once since its inception propelled us to renounce the trusteeship."

Asked if Lama's decision to form the political party had forced the resignation, Pradhan said: "Well, I was the one who had asked Mahendra bhai to contest the (Lok Sabha) election... there is talk of a political party and we might unnecessarily get dragged into this without our involvement."

Told about the trustees' resignation, Lama, who was in Delhi today, said: "It is their voluntary decision and I have nothing much to say. We will soon constitute a new board."

Asked if his plan to float a political party would be affected, Lama said: "We will definitely float a party as it is the people's wish. We are still working on the date to float the party."

News by The Telegraph
Photo: TDC

साहित्यकार धनवीर पुरी अनि सानुभाइ शर्मा निधनमा शोक सम्वेदना प्रकट

Dhanbir Puri
Dhanbir Puri
भारतीय नेपाली साहित्य जगतका बरिष्ट प्रगतिशील लेखक कथाकार धनवीर  पुरी तथा बरिष्ट व्यंग्य लेखक सिक्किम निवासी सानुभाई शर्माको असामायिक निधनमा मङपु साहित्यक संस्थानले गहिरो शोक सम्वेदना प्रकट गरेको छ | आफ्नो साहित्यक यात्रामा कथाकार धनवीर पुरीले चारवटा कथा संग्रह नेपाली साहित्यलाई दिए तथा आफु स्वास्थ्य रहुन्जेल मिरिकको साहित्यक उर्बर भूमिमा बसेर बिभिन्न उपक्रमले नेपाली साहित्यको सेवा गरिरहे | विगतको भानु जयन्ती समारोहमा उनलाई मुख्य अतिथिको रुपमा मङपुमा निम्ताएर मङपु साहित्यक संस्थाले हार्दिक सम्मान जनाएको थियो | उर्जाशील बरिष्ट साहित्यकार धनवीर पुरीको निधनले नेपाली प्रगतिशील कथा साहित्यमा एक अपुरणीय क्षति भएको मङपु साहित्यक संस्थानले अनुभव गरेको छ | उसरीनै नेपाली साहित्यका बरिष्ट व्यंग्य लेखक सानुभाई शर्माले नेपाली व्यंग्य साहित्यमा पाच भन्दा धेरै कृतिहरु दिएर गएका छन | विभिन्न साहित्यक पुरुस्कारहरुले सम्मानित लेखक सानुभाइ शर्माको निधनले नेपाली व्यंग्य साहित्य लेखनमा अपुरणीय क्षति भएको अनुभव मङपु साहित्यक संस्थाले गरेको छ | यी दुवै बरिष्ट साहित्यकारहरुको असमायिक निधनप्रति मङपु साहित्यक संस्थानले गहिरो शोक सम्वेदना प्रकट गरेको कुरा संस्थाको पक्षमा उदय थुलुङ अनि सचिव दीप थापाले बिज्ञप्ती मार्फत दिएका छन |

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