Darjeeling Kalimpong marks World Environment Day

Darjeeling  Kalimpong marks World Environment Day
The tussle between the state government and Darjeeling town residents continues to drag on over the construction of a market infrastructure near Chowrastha to relocate roadside hawkers. On the occasion of World Environment Day today, a local club and an NGO in collaboration with Darjeeling Municipality and a few schools planted saplings at the market complex site to express their opposition to the plan.
The Aastha Hawkers’ Market was envisaged by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and she even laid its foundation stone on January 23 of this year. The situation turned dicey on May 22 when the Rohini Engineering Cooperative Society Limited, a firm that has been awarded the market complex project, wanted to fell a couple of trees allegedly obstructing construction work. But RECSL employees had to beat a hasty retreat when members of the Morning Health Club and the Federation of Societies for Environment Protection (FOSEP) strongly opposed the move to remove the trees. Several area residents also got involved and forced the RECSL to abandon its plan.
Students of Nepali Girls High School and St. Teresa’s Higher Secondary School today joined hands with the FOSEP and the MHC on the occasion of World Environment Day and planted saplings of various varieties of maple, pine and rhododendron around the Mall and Chowrastha areas.
“We planted more than 350 varieties of tree saplings including some at the proposed construction site of the hawkers’ market. This is a gesture symbolic as today is World Environment Day. We will ensure no construction work takes place in an around the Chowrastha area,” said MHC president Tshering Dorjee Bhutia.
He added, “There are a very few areas left in town that boast of some degree of greenery and Chowrastha is among the lot. Building high rise structures in and around the area will spoil its beauty and charm. We will not tolerate any disruption to the peace and tranquility of the place in the name of development.”
The hawkers’ market has been planned to relocate more than 100 roadside vendors evicted from Nehru Road, or the stretch from Keventer’s to Chowrastha, in August of last year as part of the town’s beautification plan. At present, the hawkers are running their business from temporary stalls set up below the Chowrastha area.
The municipality is also against the construction and has said no permission was sought by the company to build a market complex in the area, adding it would not pass the building plan.
“We have neither received nor passed any plan for a hawkers’ market at Chowrastha. We will not allow any new structure to come up there,” Darjeeling municipality chairman Amar Singh Rai has pledged.
He was among the many volunteers today planting saplings at Chowrastha.
The land and land reforms department has admitted RECSL hasn’t sought permission to fell trees at Chowrastha. Even so, district administration officials have maintained work for constructing a market complex at Chowrastha is to continue as planned.

 Kalimpong observers World Environment Day

KALIMPONG: 5 Jun 2014 Come June each year, the globe reverberates with slogans to save the environment. To mark World Environment Day today, various organistions and government departments stepped forward voluntarily to organise programmes in many areas of Kalimpong.

A rally was organised by the town’s civic body to spread awareness on keeping the town clean and hygienic. The participants appealed to one and all to remain conscious of the need for environment conservation.

Students from St Philomina, Saptarshree School, Girls School and Jubilee Municipality Primary School including social organisations such as HORAC, Jubilee and Who Care participated in the rally.          

The municipality has indicated it is striving to bring about an enduring solution to the long-standing issue of waste and garbage disposal of town. Kalimpong Municipality chairperson Gangamaya Gurung said the upcoming bio-gas plant project will put the tons of wastes generated every day by households and commercial establishments in town to good use. The municipality is also actively planning a makeover of the heritage town. Gurung also disclosed to this correspondent that old commercial hoardings across town will soon be removed to restore the quaint beauty and warmth Kalimpong was once renowned for.(EOIC)

Darjeeling Kalimpong marks World Environment Day, The tussle between the state government and Darjeeling town residents continues to drag on over the construction of a market infrastructure near Chowrastha

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