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GTA project list sent to Centre

- Rs 183cr for tourism, roads, education

Darjeeling, Sept. 3: The GTA has sent a list of projects to the Centre that would require an investment of Rs 183 crore, focusing on traffic management, education and tourism.

The funds from the Centre, which has agreed to give Rs 600 crore in the next three years as a special package for the GTA, would be pumped into these projects.The GTA has set three years as the deadline for the completion of the projects.

A GTA official said a circular road would be built in Darjeeling from 3rd Mile to 18 Lebong Cart Road. Another circular road has been mooted for Kalimpong (see chart).

Darjeeling has been witnessing massive traffic jams almost every day during the peak tourist season and the circular road is expected to ease congestion in the town. “There are also plans to set up two parking lots in Darjeeling, and one each in Kurseong and Kalimpong. The total cost of all the projects is likely to be Rs 183 crore,” the GTA official said.

The GTA has also finalised the details of a medical college in Kurseong.

“The GTA will approve the project in the next three-four days,” said Binay Tamang, a GTA executive member.

The Bimal Gurung-headed GTA administration has given attention to tourism also.

Two ropeways, one in Darjeeling and another in Kalimpong, and three water parks are among the projects to boost tourism.

“The amusement parks are being set up near rivers. Consultations have already started with experts in Mumbai and an architect for the water projects. They will soon come up with detailed project reports,” Tamang said.

The funds from the Centre will also be used to construct buildings for colleges in Mirik and Bijanbari. “The GTA has given its nod for more than 18 projects. We are planning to complete most of the projects in the next three years and have taken a policy decision to make labourers work in three shifts,” Tamang said.

The three-shift proposal was mooted to meet the deadline for completion of work. The work will be carried out round-the-clock with each shift having eight hours.

The state government is also executing various projects across the hills.

Bengal fire services minister Javed Ahmed Khan today visited Mirik where the government plans to set up a fire station.