Darjeeling: Even as locals grumbled about the harrowing traffic problems and ugly pandal ‘adorning’ the famous Chowrasta, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced she would hold a state cabinet meeting in Darjeeling! She was apparently mesmerized with the serenity of Raj Bhavan here.
The Chief Minister was in town ,attending the 202nd birth anniversary of Nepali poet Bhanu Bhakta at Chowrasta.
Ms Banerjee announced the formation of development boards for the Kami, Dami and Sarki, which are Nepali scheduled castes. “When I come to the hills, there are demands for development boards. People say they should also be given a chance to develop. We will form three development boards for Kamis, Damis and Sarkis,” said Mamata. The total number of development boards in the hills now stands at ten.
President Pranab Mukherjee visited Raj Bhavan in Darjeeling on Tuesday, where Mamata was overheard telling chief secretary Basudeb Banerjee and other officials: “This is such a beautiful place. We must hold a meeting of the cabinet here once.”
Darjeeling locals aren’t too happy with Mamata Banerjee’s new found ‘love’ of Darjeeling! Given the diversion of traffic during the visit of VIPs and lack of parking facilities in town, local people believe they would face a harrowing time, reports an English daily.
“Imagine all cabinet ministers and officials moving around at one time. It would be a logistical nightmare for the organisers as well as the residents. For the past two three days, the serenity of Chowrasta has been destroyed by this huge ugly pandal and police leave absolutely no room for people to walk around at the square,” said a Darjeeling resident, was quoted as saying.
The pandal had been erected at Chowrasta for Wednesday’s Bhanu Bhakta’s birth anniversary celebration and to host a reception for President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday.
Late in the evening, GTA chief executive Bimal Gurung appealed “given the chief minister’s love for the Nepali language, the state government should declare Bhanu Jayanti as a state holiday, include Nepali language as an optional language in state’s civil service examinations and print all government hoardings, forms, brochures, festoons in Nepali which has been recognised as an official language of the Darjeeling hills”.