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4 Jan 2017

GTA seeks report

Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, Jan. 3:  The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration today held a meeting with officials of the four hill municipalities and directed them to inform the hill body about the projects and schemes they were working on.
The development came soon after the state appointed subdivisional officers as administrators to head the hill municipalities following the end of their five-year terms.
The change of guard took place in the last week of December and there is no word regarding elections to the Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong and Mirik municipalities yet.
"A meeting conducted by GTA principal secretary Ravi Inder Singh was held at Lal Kothi. Officials of the four hill municipalities were present. Since the GTA has been given supervisory power over the municipalities, we have directed the officials to present to us a list of ongoing projects, and the schemes and the projects they wish to undertake. This must be submitted to the GTA in writing," Binay Tamang, an executive GTA Sabha member, said.
The GTA is within its rights to ask for such details from the civic bodies as most funds are routed through it.
"We want the outgoing chairperson and vice-chairpersons to be included in a committee to assist the administrators. We have also appointed four GTA Sabha members - P.T. Ola for Darjeeling, Anit Thapa for Kurseong, Sunil Pradhan for Kalimpong and Phoebe Rai for Mirik - to supervise the functioning of the municipalities," said Tamang.
The administrators did not attend the meeting, although secretaries, executive officers and engineers were present.
Sources said the development was a clear indication that the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha wanted some control over the civic bodies through the GTA. "The officials at the civic bodies will be sandwiched between two parallel administrations of the state and the GTA," a source said.
The GTA will request the state election commission to hold the hill civic polls at the earliest, sources said.

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