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Left wants package for plains

Siliguri, Oct. 29: Darjeeling district Left Front will demand a special package for Siliguri and the Dooars and the strengthening of the administrative set-up in Siliguri after an interim authority is put in place for the hills.

District LF convener and Bengal municipal affairs minister Asok Bhattacharya said the demands would be made before the chief minister ahead of the next round of tripartite dialogue.

“The date for the next round of tripartite talks has not been finalised. But we will urge the chief minister to demand a special package for the development of the Dooars and Siliguri as we feel there are so many areas in the plains which need development,” said Bhattacharya.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has claimed that the next tripartite meeting will be held after Diwali. There are rumours that a deal will be signed at the next meeting at the political level to set up the interim authority for the hills.

“A new bridge at Sevoke for better communication between Siliguri and the Dooars is necessary and the Centre has to sanction it. Education, health, water supply and roads are the other areas which are to be developed in the plains,” said the minister.

Bhattacharya said many government offices would have to be opened in Siliguri subdivision once the hills were brought under the interim authority.

“For better administration and to avoid any inconvenience for the people in the plains, we will demand that offices of the land and land reforms department, regional transport authority and the chief medical officer be opened here,” said the Siliguri MLA.

These offices are in Darjeeling at present.

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