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21 Jan 2017

Asok letter to Mamata

TT, Siliguri, Jan. 20: Siliguri MLA Asok Bhattacharya has written to chief minister Mamata Banerjee seeking her intervention to solve problems ranging from tea workers' woes to non-functional facilities for which funds have been spent by the state.
The letter sent on January 17, four days ahead of Mamata's visit to Darjeeling, also asks about the statutory status of hill development boards.
Mamata will arrive at Bagdogra airport tomorrow.
"When the chief minister visits the hills, people of different communities ask for development boards. But we have no inkling of the statutory status of these bodies. In my letter, I have said that people of north Bengal are curious about the status of the boards and the state's policy to create them," Bhattacharya said.
"We haven't seen any major industrialisation in north Bengal during the rule of this government. Many tea estates are shut and the state has not yet finalised minimum wages for tea workers. Facilities that can boost regional economy, like the tea park and dry port (New Jalpaiguri), the pineapple development centre (Bidhannagar), an IT park (Matigara) and a private IT hub (on the outskirts of Siliguri) are non-operational," the mayor said.
Bhattacharya said a number of ITI buildings, agricultural hubs or Kishan Mandis, super-specialty hospitals and cold storages were also lying unused. He said he had written about deterioration of law and order and clashes among students' outfits in the region.
"I have referred to the recent attack on civic employees and ransacking of a ward office by Trinamul-backed miscreants when we tried to remove illegal cattle sheds from the bank of the Mahananda," he said.
The mayor has reiterated the financial constraints of Siliguri Municipal Corporation and Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad in his letter. "The chief minister is coming and we hope she will intervene," he said.
Asked about the letter, a senior Trinamul leader said: "Anybody can send a letter to the chief minister. But what the mayor is doing here is politics."

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