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9 Jul 2018

Gazoldoba traders agree to shift: Deb

Deb at Gazoldoba on Sunday. Picture by Passang Yolmo
BIRESWAR BANERJEE, TT, Jul 09, 2018, Gazoldoba (Jalpaiguri): Bengal tourism minister Gautam Deb managed to get assent of most of the 47 owners of the roadside eateries in Gazoldoba, the site of the mega tourist hub, on Sunday to shift to a nearby building that would be provided to them by the government.

Named as "Bhorer Alo" (Light of the Dawn), the site is located 25km from here.

The shopowners had a meeting with the minister in Gazoldoba, where he mentioned that the government would provide them with space, electricity and water so that they could shops without any hassle.

"They are running the shops on the land of state irrigation department that is under the project area. We are developing this new tourist destination in an integrated manner with a number of state departments like PWD, irrigation, north Bengal development department and the WBSEDCL. I have spoken to the shopowners about the project and requested them to shift their shops to an adjacent area of the site that we will be developed for them," said Deb.

"Electricity, water and necessary landscaping would be done under the community development project so that they continue their business and simultaneously work on the project can continue. They have agreed to the proposal."

The minister also made it clear that unless the alternative site was ready, the shopowners could run their shops at their present location.

The area on which the shops are now located, will be used for other purposes, he said.

The assent of shopowners has come as a major relief for Deb and his department, more so because the chief minister will arrive in north Bengal on Monday. During her visit in May, Mamata Banerjee had expressed displeasure over the progress of the project at Gazoldoba and asked Deb to expedite the work.

"Most of these traders run the eateries in roadside shanties. These shanties cause congestion at the main road of the site and also affect natural beauty of the place. The plan was to relocate them and on Sunday, the minister could get their assent. It is a major development as it has been seen in case of some other projects that reluctance of a section of encroachers to vacate government land, have led to delay in projects," said a source in the administration.

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