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GJM reacts TMC allegation of fund embezzlement in Darjeeling municipality

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Reacting to the Trinamool allegation of fund embezzlement in Darjeeling municipality, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri said work for various projects were in progress as per government regulations.
Today, campaigning for party candidates in Darjeeling, All India Trinamool Youth Congress president Abishek Banerjee claimed the state government had given Rs 12 crore for a drinking water project, Rs 4 crore for street lights, Rs 15 crore for waste management and Rs 100 crore for constructing the Rohini road in Kurseong.
“We have given funds for developing the municipality areas but the GJM has misused the money. There are no proper street lights, the road condition is bad and drinking water is scarce in town. What has the GJM done for the people?" Banerjee wondered at a public meeting today.
The GJM general secretary denounced the TMC claim saying that not Rs 12 crore, but Rs 205 crore has been sanctioned for a drinking water project under a central scheme. “Of the Rs 205 crore, we have already received Rs 195 crore and that money is presently lying with the treasury office. This money has come from AMRUT, which is a central government scheme,’ said Giri.
The GJM leader said since no bidders had taken interest in the tender process, work had not started. “We had floated tenders on five occasions but failed to get any bidders. The SDO, who is presently in charge of the municipality, also floated tenders but has not got any response. So where is our fault here?" Giri said.
On the issue of funds for street lights in municipality areas, Giri said the Darjeeling municipality - run by a GJM board – had proposed for Rs6 crore but had got only Rs 4 crore, which the SDO was aware of.
The terms of the four municipalities of Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong and Mirik ended in December last year. The state government has appointed respective SDOs to officiate the four civic bodies.
Giri also said work was in progress for a solid waste management project and that only Rs12 crore had been sanctioned. As for the Rohini road, he said the Gorkhaland Territorial
Administration has constructed the alternative route to the hills.  “We received Rs12 crore and not Rs15 crore as being claimed by the AITYC president, for the waste management project. It is the GTA that constructed the Rohini road in Kurseong at a cost of Rs24 crore,” the GJM general secretary said.
Giri said that on May 11, the GJM would organise a public meeting at the Motor Stand, at the very venue the TMC held its outdoor meeting today in a show of strength. “We will organise a public meeting at the Motor Stand where our supporters from all the 32 wards of Darjeeling municipality will attend. Today, the TMC’s gathering was from the panchayat and plains areas and also from the various development boards,” he claimed. (EOIC)

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