Just one proposal for Darjeeling growth, receives more from rural areas

Darjeeling Old super market
Social media is constantly abuzz with what is wrong with the infrastructure of Darjeeling but when it comes to providing constructive feedback to a proper forum, fingers of net savvy urban residents seem to have been stuck.
The committee formed by the Bengal government to draw up short, mid and long term development plans for the hills has received 100-odd proposals so far but surprisingly include just one from Darjeeling town.
The committee had asked for feedback from the residents till December 31 either in hardcopies or through email.
“Most of the suggestions are from rural areas. Villagers have mostly submitted proposals in hardcopies. However, from the Darjeeling town, the committee has received only one suggestion,” said a source.
Some rural proposals deal with improvement in education system and sustainable tourism.
The Darjeeling town-centric proposal is from a merchant body and specific to Nehru Road and Chowrastha. It stressed the need to remove overhead wires, put in place proper drainage system and install water vending machines in the area among others.
“It seems it is easy to make criticisms in the social media but difficult even to send a proposal on how one envisions his/her own town,” the source said.
The 100-odd proposals cover 12 sectors.
The proposals from the rural areas are mostly short-term. “They mostly talk about the need to build a bridge here or a road there,” the source said.
This is not to say the committee has no proposals to work on. “Most administrative bodies, like municipalities, are ready with their suggestions. However, our focus was to listen to and seek suggestions from residents,” said the source.
The committee, headed by Darjeeling MLA Amar Singh Rai, has decided to extend the deadline for online submissions by 10 more days. “A meeting with citizen forums and NGOs has also been fixed at Park Community Hall in Kurseong on January 5,” said the source.
Other members of the committee are Kalimpong and Kurseong MLAs, chairpersons of 16 development boards, and district magistrates and superintendents of police of Darjeeling and Kalimpong.
GTA chief Binay Tamang, his deputy Anit Thapa and principal secretary (backward classes welfare department) S.K.Thade have been given advisory roles.
Sources said the committee would compile short-term plan in two-three weeks. “The thrust will, however, be on long term proposals,” said the source.
The committee has been asked to submit the proposal to the government by March-end.

www.telegraphindia.com
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Social media is constantly abuzz with what is wrong with the infrastructure of Darjeeling but when it comes to providing constructive feedback to a proper forum, fingers of net savvy urban residents seem to have been stuck.

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