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23 May 2017

Bimal Gurung points at corruption in hill civic body

EOI, Darjeeling, 22 May 2017: GJM president Bimal Gurung today said the party would henceforth do away with politics of appeasement to bring order and system and to put a curb on the rampant corruption and nepotism in the hills civic bodies.
The GJM president in particular brought to the fore corruption in the water supply in Darjeeling town saying a large scam was taking place which was needed to be put into a system. “I know that there is mass scam in distribution and supply of drinking water. Water mafias have crept up. The new board must ensure that these water mafias are taken to task. All illegal water lines must be disconnected so that public gets regular potable water on a daily basis,” Gurung said addressing the newly elected councilors and D.K.Pradhan, the chairman in waiting of the Darjeeling civic body.
The GJM party today organized a victory rally from the railway station to the Gorkha Ranga Manch Bhawan to celebrate the civic polls win.
To ease out the water woes of the town, Gurung said the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) had already sanctioned Rs.3 crore to pump water from the Happy Valley source and Rungdung Khola that covers wards 27 to 32. “I have already sanctioned funds to pump water from the source below the Happy Valley tea garden for wards 27, 28 and 29.
Funds will also be sanctioned for similar project at Rungdung Khola that will supply water to wards 30, 31 and 32. This will ease out the existing water problems of the town area,” he said.
Darjeeling town requires nearly 15 lakhs gallons of water on an average daily. However, in contrast during peak season the town receives about 8-9 million gallons of water which drastically drops to 4-5 million gallons in lean periods.
The Rockville and St. Paul's storage over-head tanks distribute drinking water to the town which in turn is fed by the North and South and the Sindhap Lakes located at Senchel above Jorebungalow 15 km away. Twenty-six jhoras (streams) feed the three lakes.
Gurung also admitted corruption and scams were prevalent in the previous civic board headed by the GJM party and had failed to work for the people. But, warned that such practices would not be tolerated henceforth. “You (councilors) must work unbiased for the people and not indulge in nepotism and corruption. The chairman must remember that his or her reputation will be on the line. How will it feel when people will talk bad about you in your later years,” he said.
The GJM leader said threats of defection would not be considered when working for the betterment of Darjeeling. “I did not say anything before the election because of threats of leaving our party and joining the TMC and Jana Andolan Party. However now I will speak, this policy of political appeasement will not happen,” Gurung said.
The GJM chief asked the elected councilors and chairman in waiting to give emphasis in solving the garbage collection and disposal of the town, congestion of roads by hawkers and syndicates. “The GTA will provide two pick-up trucks to collect the town’s garbage along with the ones that are already with the civic body. You should chalk out a collection and disposal system to clean the town area. The town also requires street lights which was must be installed in every possible place for people’s convenience,” Gurung advised.
Gurung said the iconic but dilapidated super market at the Motor Stand and all buildings belonging to the Darjeeling municipality would be dismantled on safety grounds, to make way for swank complexes and with underground car parking facilities. 

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