Football to join tea, tourism as pillar of development for Darjeeling & Kalimpong

GTA Football to join tea, tourism as pillar of development for Darjeeling & Kalimpong
Darjeeling: "Football" is all set to ring in development in Darjeeling and Kalimpong, hand-in-hand with tea and tourism. Binay Tamang, chairman, Board of Administrators, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), is all set to embark on a trip to Spain and Germany in December, to explore this avenue and woo investors. "Industrial houses and sports clubs of Germany and Spain have shown keen interest in developing sports and games infrastructure in the Darjeeling and Kalimpong Hills. They are willing to invest. Exploring these possibilities, we will be visiting Germany and Spain in December to woo investors," stated Tamang.

He attended a meeting and interactive session organised by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) in Siliguri on Tuesday. "After taking charge of GTA, we have ensured that peace is not disrupted in the Hills. There has been no bandh since we assumed charge. We have declared the Hills a strike-free zone. Tea and tourism have been the mainstay of Hill economy. We will be exploring football as an add-on to this," stated Tamang.

The chairman added that GTA, along with the Bengal government, has been working towards revival of football in the Hills. "In line with the famous Brigade of Gurkhas Gold Cup tournament which had been discontinued 35 years ago, from this year we are starting the GTA Chairman's Gold Cup Tournament from this year," stated Tamang. Football teams from all over the country, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh will be taking part in the tournament from December 12 to 26. Matches will be held throughout the Hills in Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong and Mirik. Prominent clubs of Spain and Germany have shown interest in training footballers of the Hills. "They are willing to help local football clubs, along with developing sports infrastructure. It's a common thing to see abroad that cities have grown up revolving around games and tournaments. Such tournaments boost tourism as well. Darjeeling and Kalimpong have the perfect components like weather and scenic beauty to follow this model," stated Tamang. Stadiums of international standards are to come up in the Hills. "We don't have to spend money for building these stadiums. We have to provide suitable land only. The investments will be made by the foreign investors and clubs," stated Tamang. A GTA delegation led by Tamang will embark on a week long visit to Germany and Spain on December 10. "We are already in touch with certain clubs in Germany and Spain. They are also scheduled to visit the Hills. We hope to sign MOUs with these clubs during our trip, along with wooing investors," added Tamang. CII has plans to promote tea and tourism in a planned and sustainable manner in the Hills. They will be organising Destination East 2019, whereby international tour operators and travel writers will be invited to the Hills from January 16. "CII, as a part of the Hill Business Coordination Committee, has been working closely for the development of Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts," stated Kamal Kishore Tewari, chairman, CII, North Bengal.

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"Football" is all set to ring in development in Darjeeling and Kalimpong, hand-in-hand with tea and tourism. Binay Tamang, chairman, Board of Administrators, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), is all set to embark on a trip to Spain and Germany in December, to explore this avenue and woo investors.

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