State chief secy visits Kalimpong to oversee preparations for new district

6 Dec 2016

The Darjeeling district administration has said a new district of Kalimpong would be formed shortly by including the areas of the sub-division as they exist at present with provisions for extension and expansion in future, whenever required.

On Monday, state chief secretary Basudeb Banerjee held a meeting with senior district officials at the Delo guest house in Kalimpong sub-division. He refused to say anything, but Darjeeling district magistrate Anurag Srivastava spoke to the media later, saying, “The state chief secretary and the PWD secretary were present at the administrative meeting along with officials of the land and land reforms and health departments. Banerjee came here to assess ongoing preparations for the formation of Kalimpong as a district such as constructions needed for new offices. We are talking about preparations in terms of manpower deployment that will be needed in each department along with infrastructure creation and where they ought to come up.”

He further said, “There are two types of preparations going on. One is for the short term where offices will start functioning immeditately to facilitate the new district's work, while the long term preparation entails the permament locations of the office buildings. The chief secretary also visited the spots where the offices can come up and discussions on land availability also took place."

When asked about the demand by various hill political parties to include certain areas of Kurseong sub-division and Jalpaiguri district in the /new Kalimpong district, Srivastav said all suggestions and proposals would be taken into consideration. “A number of meetings have been held with political parties regarding this and their demands are logical as some areas should be included in Kalimpong and vice-versa. However, while creating a new district there is a technical difficulty in that we have to take the permission of the Election Commission in order to change Assembly constituencies,” he said, adding first the priority was in creating the new district and technical aspects could be taken up later.

“The process is complicated but the state chief secretary has assured to take the matter to its logical conclusion. At the same time, we have also been told that the new Kalimpong district would be created with the existing areas of the assembly constituency. Additions and subtractions of areas can be done once the district is formed,” said Srivastava.

As for the timeframe when the new district will be formally announced, he said, “We want to do it as soon as possible and not wait till April. We will be ready within a month and then it will be up to the state government to take a call on formally announcing the formation of Kalimpong district.” Srivastava also said the number of sub-divisions and blocks would remain the same with provisions for extension. (EOIC)