The Trinamul Congress has come up with an array of promises ranging from land rights to drinking water for the residents of Darjeeling town ahead of the civic polls.
The party, which has fielded 10 candidates in the Darjeeling municipal elections and is into a tacit understanding with the Bimal Gurung-led Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, has tried to touch upon a number of longstanding demands of the hill residents.
“The hills have always been on the priority list of the chief minister and the state government has executed a series of developmental projects there. Our party now wants to work for the civic body and take up the task of developing Darjeeling as an ideal hill town. We will address some of the key issues which have been flagged by the residents time and again,” said Alok Chakraborty, the chairman of Darjeeling (plains) district Trinamul who has been assigned to oversee the party’s activities ahead of the civic polls.
Among the promises of Trinamul are granting land rights to all those who don’t have the same, a systematic drinking water supply across the town and a comprehensive solid waste management project.
“As far as we know, Darjeeling municipality is the second oldest municipality in Bengal after Calcutta. We will take an initiative to upgrade it into a municipal corporation. Also, we would plan to develop satellite townships in adjoining locations like Ghoom, Jorebunglow and Kalimpong to ease the load of the hill town,” Chakraborty said.
In Darjeeling, the absence of land rights and paucity of drinking water are some of the issues which have been talked about for decades now. A number of political parties have raised the demands time and again but those are yet to be resolved.
“It is obvious that Trinamul has also mentioned these issues. The elections are going to be interesting in Darjeeling this time, courtesy the political fragmentation that has been witnessed over the past few months. While some new parties are in the fray, new political equations have developed,” said a veteran in hill politics.
The Trinamul leadership has mentioned a number of other issues, which include the upgrade of the district hospital, construction of foot over-bridges at a number of important junctions, improvement of two municipal high schools and construction of parking lots.