Ensure peace in Darjeeling for development: Mamata

first_imgUrging the people to ensure peace in the Darjeeling hills, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday inaugurated a two-day Hill Business Meet in Darjeeling. “You give us peace [in Darjeeling], we will give you prosperity,” the Chief Minister told the gathering which comprised a number of industrialists from Kolkata. Announcing a special incentive of ₹100 crore for the development of industry in the hills, she said: “The bandh in the hills had caused a ₹300-crore loss to the tea industry and about a ₹1000-crore loss to the entire economy of the hills.” Ms. Banerjee was referring to the 104-day-shutdown from July to September 2017, when the hills were on the boil over a violent agitation for creation of a separate State of Gorkhaland. During her inaugural address, Ms Banerjee kept referring to the need for peace and stability in the hills. “Please ensure that there is no violence, some individual leader can gain out of it but not the youths of the hills,” she said. The Chief Minister said other than tourism and tea there is lot of scope for horticulture and IT and software industry.Full cooperation “Let’s first make a start. Our government is fully ready to help you. I can also assure you on behalf of the industrialists that they will give you full cooperation,” she said.The idea of business summit in the hills was mooted by Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) chief Benoy Tamang. Mr. Tamang was appointed chief of GTA by Ms .Banerjee when GJM president Bimal Gurung resigned from the post.PTI adds: “Darjeeling is a part of West Bengal and will continue to remain so without being separated from it. I give more importance to Darjeeling than my own constituency and will continue to do this if I am ensured that peace would be maintained here,” Ms. Banerjee said.Apart from focusing on eco-tourism and adventure tourism, the GTA is identifying heritage sites which can be converted into effective tourism products, she said.The Chief Minister also said Kurseong will be developed as an education hub, while two IT hubs would come up in Kurseong and Mirik.last_img

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