TNN | Mar 30, 2017, SILIGURI: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said people in the Hills wanted peace and development, and her government would make every effort towards it. In an administrative review meeting held at Pintali village on the outskirts of Siliguri, she also showered bounties on the two Himalayan districts - Darjeeling and Kalimpong - with an eye on the forthcoming polls.
The CM talked about reviving the 'Silk Route' that connects China (Tibet) with Kalimpong through the Rachela Pass to restore business with China through this route. To help industries flourish, she announced plans of coming up with at least three power sub-stations in the Hills - one at Sonada (Darjeeling) and two at Algara and Lolegaon (Kalimpong). "The government has also decided to set a food processing unit at Kalimpong. That will help farmers get proper price for their produce round the year," she said.
She also said the Hills' residents would soon have many employment opportunities. Banerjee also said the government will repair Hill Cart Road (NH-55) at Tindharia that has been shut for over seven years.
The CM announced an IT zone for Darjeeling and several tourism projects for the two districts. "Now that there is no trouble in the Hills, I will emphasize on tightening security measures in the remote areas. Politics will not bar the development process that has begun," she said.
Banerjee is set to declare Mirik a sub-division of Darjeeling today. Mirik was earlier a block under the Darjeeling district. The Siliguri-Jalpaiguri development authority executive president, Ashwini Kumar Roy, is tipped to become its first sub-divisional officer.
At the meeting, she pulled up the Darjeeling SP for the rising crime graph and accused him of not taking any decisive step in this regard. She also asked ministers and bureaucrats not to travel with beacons in Siliguri as they disturb heavy traffic on narrow roads.