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GTA plans colleges, Gorkha Bhawans

Darjeeling, Feb. 3: The GTA Sabha announced a slew of development projects, including setting up of colleges in the hills and Gorkha Bhavans in various places across the country.

The hill body has also decided to convene sessions similar to the ones held by the Assembly.

Bhupendra Pradhan, chairman of the GTA Sabha, said four degree colleges, a BEd college, a research centre, a fire station at Mirik, auditoriums in Kurseong, Kalimpong and Mirik and Gorkha Bhawans in Delhi, Vellore and Calcutta would be set up.

“The Sabha has decided to set up degree colleges at Sukhiapokhri, Pokhriabong, Mungpoo and Longview-Pankhabari. The GTA will also establish a BEd college at Samthar in Kalimpong subdivision,” Pradhan said after the GTA Sabha meeting at the Gorkha Ranga Mancha Bhawan here this afternoon.

The GTA Sabha has decided to give an annual constituency development grant of Rs 30 lakh to each of its 45 elected members.

“The grant will be given to the Sabha members in two installments of Rs 15 lakhs each,” Pradhan said.

He added that the GTA had decided to hold sessions like Assemblies and Parliament. “The GTA Sabha will have sessions like the winter session, monsoon session and budget session just like the state Assembly. The duration of each session will be two to three days. We will work out the dates later.”

R.B. Bhujel, GTA executive member in-charge of higher education department, has been asked to look for a plot in Sonada, Mungpoo and Munsong to set up a central university.

“The GTA has also taken a resolution that a higher secondary cell will be set up in the hills,” said Pradhan.

The agricultural department of the GTA has been asked to establish a medicinal plant and cash crop research centre in the hills.

“The information and cultural department will set up auditoriums at Kalimpong, Mirik and Kurseong, each of which will cost around Rs 3 crore,” Pradhan said.

The tourism department has been instructed to start the construction of a Gorkha Bhawan in Delhi.

“The GTA already has land in Delhi. We will soon apply for a no-objection certificate for the construction from the Delhi Development Authority. Once the certificate is obtained, we will call for tenders,” said Pradhan.

GTA sources said the hill body had sanctioned Rs 10 crore for the Delhi project.

“Gorkha Bhawans would also be set up at Vellore in Tamil Nadu and Calcutta, preferably near the SSKM Hospital. The buildings are being set up for patients who have to visit these cities for treatment,” Pradhan added.

Both Delhi and Calcutta have one Gorkha Bhawan each.

The construction of a handloom centre at Kutlery in Kurseong and a new hospital building in the bus stand area of Kurseong were approved by the GTA Sabha today.

“We have also passed a resolution asking the state government to set up a Terai-Dooars-GTA development authority on the lines of the Siliguri-Jalpaiguri Development Authority. Let us see how the government responds,” Pradhan said.