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GTA claim on Jamuni land price

Darjeeling, June 21: A GTA Sabha member today claimed that the hill body had given a compensation of Rs 8 lakh per acre and promised houses to two families which had parted with land for developing a tourism spot at Jamuni.

Kaziman Lohagun, the GTA Sabha member from Bijanbari-Goke, under which Jamuni falls, said the amounts had been paid to Roshan Rai and Lal Bahadur Rasaily on June 9.

The claim about the compensation was made three days after a case of criminal trespass and conspiracy had been started against GTA chief executive Bimal Gurung.

Manilal Tamang, whose family owns eight acres at Jamuni and refused to sell the land to the GTA, had alleged on June 17 that six persons had tried to take over the plot forcibly at the instruction of Gurung. The six were arrested and charged with criminal trespass and conspiracy.

Jamuni is about 20km from Darjeeling.

Besides Manilal, eight other residents are also unwilling to give the land for the tourism project.

“Bimal Gurung is trying to develop the area for the benefit of the entire hill people but the nine land owners have become tools in the hands of political parties. People with vested interests don’t want the GTA to function properly,” said Lohagun, without naming any political party but clearly hinting at the Trinamul Congress.

The GTA member also said the hill body would build houses under a scheme for the economically weaker section for the two land losers and give jobs to one member each from their families.