Hill wheel strike off - Ghisingh 'assurance' satisfies transporters

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT in Darjeeling
  • Published 28.01.07
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Darjeeling, Jan. 28: The Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Transport Joint Action Committee today called off its three-day transport strike in the hills, claiming to have received “verbal assurance” from DGHC administrator Subash Ghisingh.

“We have received assurance that repair work will be carried out by next month and hence we have decided to call off the strike that was scheduled to begin on February 1,” said Nim Tshering Bhutia, the president of the transporters’ body. Ghisingh has apparently promised to look into the committee’s demands.

The transporters had earlier demanded that roads from here to Tiger Hill, Rock Garden, Bijanbari and the Teesta Valley region, be repaired immediately. They had also approached Darjeeling district magistrate Rajesh Pandey and submitted a memorandum on the issue.

A senior officer of the DGHC, however, told The Telegraph that the committee members had not yet made any representation before the council on the issue. The council had not given any written assurance either, he added.

“As part of our plans to repair the roads under the DGHC’s purview we will be doing so. I (on behalf of the council) have however not given any written assurance nor has any member made a representation or submitted anything in writing so far,” said the official. Incidentally, it is the DGHC and not the district magistrate’s office that is responsible for the maintenance of these roads.

The three-day strike, that had threatened to stall traffic movement in the hill subdivision, had caused a furore among travel agents and hoteliers who are still enjoying a steady flow of tourists.

In fact, it is learnt that many within the transporters’ body, which comprises 148 syndicates and a host of other transport associations, were not very happy with the sudden strike called by the central committee. Apparently many of these bodies had not been consulted on the issue and no official meeting of the members had been called to ratify the strike call.

Bhutia, however, brushed aside queries on the failure of the office-bearers to reach a consensus. He said the important thing was that Ghisingh is aware of their problems and he would do the needful.