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2 Jul 2018

Govt agency seeks plans for Siliguri TMC wards

(From left) Sourav Chakraborty and Gautam Deb at the meeting with the Trinamul councillors in Siliguri on Sunday. Picture by Passang Yolmo
BIRESWAR BANERJEE, TT, Jul 02, 2018 , Siliguri: The Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority chairman, Sourav Chakraborty, asked Trinamul councillors of the Siliguri Municipal Corporation to submit plans for their respective wards so that the agency could take up projects in their wards.

The councillors met Chakraborty and state tourism minister Gautam Deb at the PWD inspection bungalow here on Sunday.

"Siliguri is an important city for the entire north eastern region. But unfortunately, the civic body has not drawn up any proper plan for its development. The city faces traffic problems and has no garbage disposal plan. The drainage system in all wards is poor and there is hardly any place for parking. I had a meeting with Trinamul councillors in the presence of tourism minister and asked them to submit their plans by July 3 so that we could chalk out proper plans and execute some development projects," Chakraborty said.

Out of total 47 wards at the SMC, 18 are with Trinamul. The Left Front runs the board with 22 councillors and gets support from the four of the Congress.

The BJP has two councillors and ward 15 has been vacant after its councillor died two years back.

Observers said the SJDA asking the Trinamul councillors to submit the development plans showed the party's intention to go all out against the CPM-run civic board.

"The development board and the minister have taken the decision to carry out development works in Trinamul councillors' wards to create pressure on mayor Asok Bhattacharya, who often criticises the state government for not allotting funds for Siliguri. If the SJDA starts developing the areas with its own funds, it will be difficult for Bhattacharya to raise objections. Trinamul, on the other hand, will send a clear message to the residents that failure of the civic board prompted the government to use its agency to carry out development works across the city," an observer said.

The mayor though said: "Development agencies like the SJDA can only assist a civic board for development projects. The civic board is a constitutional body and formed through people's mandate."

Minister Deb, who is also the president of Tinamul's Darjeeling district committee (plains), said: "Our main objective is to develop the city through proper planning. The development agency will work in the areas that come under its jurisdiction and I don't think there is a scope for somebody to create any controversy."

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