Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri barb at Mamata funds claim

Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today said that the state government had given Rs 238 crore to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration in the past four years and not over Rs 1,000 crore as claimed by Mamata Banerjee during her election campaign in Kurseong.

Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri today said the GTA had not been able to function to its full capacity largely because of the state government's non-cooperation.
"The state government had provided Rs 238.10 crore through its state plan. The claim of over Rs 1,000 crore for development is false," Giri said. "Despite lack of co-operation from the state, we have ushered in development largely through the Centre's fund," he added.
Yesterday, Mamata had said in Kurseong that the state government had provided all help to the GTA but the hill body had failed to usher in development. "We have provided more than Rs 1,000 crore to the GTA. More than 96 per cent of the departments have been transferred. However, there has been no development in the hills. Development is now taking place through development boards," she had said.
Trinamul's election manifesto also states that the government provided Rs 1,018 crore to the GTA.
Speaking about transfer of departments, Giri said: "The state seems to have claimed that over 96 per cent of the departments have been transferred (to the GTA). But departments like land and land reforms have not been transferred yet... Departments like fire services, information and cultural affairs, PWD, excise and lotteries have not been transferred."
According to the GTA Act, 59 subjects were to be clubbed under 40 departments and transferred to the GTA.
"But of the 40 departments, only 34 have been transferred. The major issue, however, is that even the 34 departments have not been transferred fully and hence, they are not totally under GTA's control," Giri said. "The state has never cooperated with the GTA. Issues like setting up School Service Commission, College Service Commission and Sub-ordinate Selection Board, which had been agreed to in the GTA Act have not been set up. Our students are losing on employment opportunities."
Giri said after the recent earthquakes and landslides in the hills, the GTA had submitted a report claiming Rs 975 crore for relief and rehabilitation. "The state has not released a single penny," he said.
Replying to Mamata's claim that development was taking place through the boards, Giri said: "Development boards are only dividing the hills."
According to the GTA memorandum of agreement, from 2012, the Centre was to give Rs 200 crore per annum to the GTA for three years. "So far, we have received Rs 390 crore from the Centre," said Giri.
Asked about Left's decision to support the Morcha in three hill Assembly seats, Giri said: "We had not asked for support. They themselves have supported us."(TT)

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