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24 Feb 2017

Call for Kalimpong district expansion

RAJEEV RAVIDAS, TT, Kalimpong, Feb. 23: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today iterated its demand for the creation of more subdivisions and blocks and inclusion of more areas in the newly formed Kalimpong district.
In a memorandum submitted to Kalimpong district magistrate Dr Viswanath, Morcha leader and Kalimpong MLA Sarita Rai said the district should be divided into four subdivisions and seven blocks.
Kalimpong was upgraded from a subdivision to a district on February 14, but no new subdivision or block was created. The state government has, however, plans to increase the number of blocks from three to four by creating Lava-Lolaygaon block. The other three blocks are Kalimpong I, Algarah and Gorubathan.
Rai said the creation of more blocks and subdivisions would take the administration closer to the people. "For precisely the same reason, we have demanded the inclusion of villages along NH10 from Teesta to Sevoke that are presently in Darjeeling district and those on the left side of NH31 from Bagracote to Khunia More that are in Japaiguri district in the new district of Kalimpong," she said.
The Morcha wish-list also includes adequate supply of water by augmenting the supply, better management of traffic and widening of roads.
Kalimpong Citizens' Rights Forum, an NGO, which also submitted a memorandum to chief minister Mamata Banerjee through the district magistrate today, offered a long list of suggestions to make Kalimpong district sustainable. It included all-round development of tourism, setting up of IT industry and institutions of higher education, promotion of agriculture and floriculture, among others.
Prabhakar Dewan, the president of the forum, said Kalimpong had the potential to be the model district of not just the state but the entire country if a proper blueprint was prepared on ways to develop the place. "As a non-political organisation, we have given our suggestions to the government in the hope that they will be seriously considered while preparing the development blueprint of the new district," he said.

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