Trinamul supporters celebrate in Alipurduar on Friday with colours after the chief minister announced that the town would become the headquarters of the new district on June 25. Picture by Anirban Choudhury
June 20: Alipurduar will become the 20th district in Bengal on June 25 with the high court giving clearance for the bifurcation of the existing Jalpaiguri district, chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced in the Assembly this afternoon.
The Trinamul Congress government had kicked off the process of bifurcating North 24-Parganas, South 24-Parganas, West Midnapore, Burdwan and Jalpaiguri three years back.
The Telegraph had reported on July 30, 2011, the chief minister’s plans to split the five populous districts to make their administration more manageable.
Making the announcement in the House, Mamata said the move was to fulfil the long-standing aspirations of the people of Alipurduar.
“The Alipurduar subdivision will form a separate district, known as the Alipurduar district, while the subdivisions of Jalpaiguri Sadar and Mal will stay in the existing Jalpaiguri district,” said Mamata.
“The district headquarters being situated far away, people in the Alipurduar subdivision had to face a lot of hardships in availing themselves of public services, having to spend a long time travelling 101km to reach the district headquarters,” she added, amidst applause from MLAs of the ruling party and the Congress.
The Left Front members were not present in the House, having walked out in protest against an adjournment motion being disallowed by the Speaker earlier.
Jalpaiguri district has a population of 38.46 lakh, according to the 2011 census.
Mamata said areas like Kalchini, Madarihat and Birpara are more than 100km away from Jalpaiguri, while Kumargram block is 143km away.
“We wanted to do this for a long time. It took time because a clearance from the High Court was necessary. That we have got…. The creation of Jhargram (through the bifurcation of West Midnapore) and some other districts will take place soon, we hope,” said the chief minister.
Mamata told the Assembly that she would be in Alipurduar on June 25 to attend an event to be organised for the formation of the new district. She invited all MLAs from north Bengal cutting across political affiliations to attend the event.
Following the division, eight of the 17 police stations in Jalpaiguri district would be in Alipurduar district.
Administrative sources in Jalpaiguri said the Alipurduar district was likely to have six of the 13 blocks in the Jalpaiguri district and the Alipurduar municipality. “Six blocks — Alipurduar I and II, Kalchini, Birpara-Madarihat, Falakata and Kumargram — are likely to be included in the new district,” said a source.
The remaining seven — Rajganj, Sadar, Malbazar, Mainaguri, Dhupguri, Metelli and Nagrakata — will remain in Jalpaiguri.
Administrative officials and the Registrar General of Calcutta High Court and the state law secretary had recently visited Alipurduar to check out the administrative and judicial infrastructure and land available for the formation of the new district.
“There are plots available adjacent to the SDO’s office close to the Parade Ground where the district collectorate can come up. The existing office of the additional superintendent of police can be upgraded to the office of the superintendent of police,” said a Nabanna source.