A road is laid in a heritage site in Darjeeling

18 Aug 2018

Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) chairman Binoy Tamang on Saturday laid the foundation stone for a 1.5 km road in the Orange Valley tea garden below Dali in Darjeeling. The road staring from the Bloomfield Fredrick tea estate to Orange Valley garden once completed will connect Sidrapong Hydel and Pul-Bijanbari block on two sides.
Tamang while laying the foundation stone said it was a long pending demand of the people of the area to have proper road connectivity. “There is existing road. But the condition is really bad. There was demand for a proper road that could connect other areas like Sidrapong and Pul-Bijanbari,” he said.
Built at an estimated cost of Rs 1.37 crore the newly laid road on completion will help the people of the surrounding areas to commute easily. “At present to reach Sidrapong or Pul-Bijanbari one has to come up and travel longer through the town. Besides money, it is also time consuming. However, once the road is completed one can travel to these areas easily,”
Tamang said.
Sidrapong is home to the country’s first and Asia’s second hydel project. By laying a proper road the GTA intends to transform the area as a heritage tourism spot. “Sidrapong is a historical heritage site. At present only a few tourists do go there on treks. However we want that more tourists are able to visit the historical spot easily and this road will be of big help,” the GTA chairman said.
Three turbines from the British era are still running. One of them is in its original form while two others have been modified due to wear and tear. All of them continue to generate electricity powered by the Barbotay river.
The GTA chairman also said that agencies entrusted to construct roads had been directed to complete old and new works at the earliest. “We know there are some works that have not been completed for over five years. Of course we have considered last year’s agitation. But no exception will be made for those works that was started more than five years ago. We have asked the agencies to complete work or face termination,” Tamang said when asked about reports of previous works undertaken by the GTA. (EOIC)