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Guest house plan for poor

Siliguri, Feb.10: Minister Gautam Deb today laid the foundation stone of a guest house called Panchanan Bhavan here to accommodate relatives of patients from low income families, who are admitted to the North Medical College and Hospital, and students who come here to appear for competitive exams.

The guest house is named after Rajbangshi leader and reformer Thakur Panchanan Burma from Cooch Behar.

The building will be set up at Thiknikata near the NBMCH. The lodge will be set up by Thakur Panchanan Smarak Samiti, an apolitical organisation, on three cottahs.

It is expected to be ready in about two years.

“We procured the land with Rs 17 lakh that was collected from donations made by the members of our organisation and public contributions. We require Rs 60 lakh more to set up the building. We will appeal to the state government and also to MLAs and MPs of the region to grant us funds for the purpose,” said Chittaranjan Burman, secretary of the Samiti.

North Bengal development minister Deb said: “This initiative is appreciable as the Bhavan will provide a place to stay for relatives of poor patients from remote villages and numerous students who come to Siliguri to appear in different competitive exams. Even the state government is gearing up to organise a yearlong celebration on the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of Thakur Panchanan Burma,” he said.

According to the members of the samiti, the multi-utility centre will be a four-storied building with parking facilities, two dormitories, a hall and 10 rooms. The lodge would be able to accommodate around 60 people.

“The centre will offer lodging to relatives of poor patients. Apart from that, the staff of the centre will also help with regard to getting doctor’s appointments, diagnostic tests and also blood requirements,” said Burman. “We will be taking minimum charges to meet the expenses of maintaining the building.”