Siliguri, Nov. 20: North Bengal development minister Gautam Deb today criticised the Congress-led board of the Siliguri Municipal Corporation for its alleged “lackadaisical” attitude that was hindering the development of the town.
The minister also criticised the board and mayor Gangotri Datta for their “dismal performance” and “lack of proactive attitude” in taking up projects.
“The board and its mayor lack a proactive attitude. Till now no major proposal has been submitted by them to the state government for the development of Siliguri. We had taken up some important work like the renovation of Bidhan Market and set aside a sum of Rs 50 crore (for that purpose). But the SMC authorities lack the sincerity to join hands with us and execute projects,” Deb said.
He added that several letters were sent to the board asking it to execute projects.
“We have sent letters, held talks and mooted proposals but it could not make the civic body and the mayor change their lackadaisical attitude and become proactive to strive for Siliguri’s development. Feeling disappointed, we (Trinamul workers) have started laying roads, building drains, culverts and bridges in different wards as we have a commitment towards the people,” said the minister.
Yesterday Deb had alleged that the SMC authorities had taken bribes to let illegal constructions come up in town.
“Because of the dismal performance of the mayor, we are preoccupied with issues like illegal buildings and corruption. We have to intervene time and again. We detest such interventions but find no alternative as the mayor, the member mayor-in-council (building) and others seem oblivious to their duties,” Deb said.
He added that his call to SMC commissioner P.D. Pradhan had prompted the official to initiate action against the illegal construction of a restaurant on Sevoke Road.
The mayor could not be contacted.
Darjeeling district secretary of the Congress Jeeban Majumdar said: “All charges are politically motivated and baseless. We have faith in the mayor and the member mayor in councils.”