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24 Apr 2018

Plan for education investment in hills

Vivek Chhetri,  Apr 24, 2018, Darjeeling: A major private education group from Calcutta has decided to set up a number of educational institutions in Darjeeling - the first major investment in the sector in recent times and that comes after the business summit.

Binay Tamang, the chairman of the board of administrators of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, said: "I recently met Satyam Roy Choudhury, managing director, Techno India Group in Calcutta. The group has 80 colleges and five varsities."

According to Tamang, the group now wants to set up a nursing college, hotel management college, IT college and multi disciplinary college in the hills.

"Techno India Group is now ready to set up a nursing college in Darjeeling, hotel management institute at Sailabas (Darjeeling), IT college in Takdah and multi disciplinary college in Mungpoo," said Tamang.

Sources said the group was planning to set up a nursing college in Singamari, where a structure of Darjeeling municipality currently stands. "Renovation at Sailabas is currently going on, and structures are also coming up at Takdah and Mungpoo," said a source.

The GTA had pulled down Sailabash, the over-a-century old summer retreat of the Rajah of Digapatia, to come with a modern building. Digapatia is now in Rajshahi, Bangladesh.

Observers said the hills had not such keen interest from investors in the education sector in recent times.

"The investors are finally showing some confidence to come up to Darjeeling. This is the fallout of the recent Hill Business Summit," said a GTA official.

After the two-day hill business meet that was held in Darjeeling on March 13 and 14, the state government had announced a Rs 100 crore package for the hills for promotion of industries.

At the end of the meeting, chief minister Mamata Banerjee had announced that industrialists had firmed up a Rs 1,500 crore investment for the hills. "I am happy that my industrialist friends discussed and agreed to invest around Rs 1500. This is a beginning and we now have an opportunity," Mamata had said.

During the meeting, another industrialist Harsh Neotia, who is coming up with two hospitality units pegged at Rs 150 crore each at Makaibari tea garden and Ghoom had also expressed his interest in exploring in education sector of the hills during the Darjeeling business meet.

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