Mamata’s tryst with nature

July 19th, 2011 - 8:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee Sukna (West Bengal), July 19 (IANS) After inking the Darjeeling accord to pave the way for peace in the turbulent hills of north Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee spent some quiet moments in the arms of nature as she trekked through a wildlife park here.

Banerjee on Monday walked deep into the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary in the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas in this charming locale of Darjeeling district accompanied by two forest officers. She instructed her guards to stay behind.

As she trekked deeper into the jungle, the nature lover in her came to the fore. She enquired about the various bird species and trees and plants.

Admiring the various species of plants, she asked the forest officer: “Can’t some research be done on these plants? Only if we can set up a research centre…”

She also discussed with the forest officers ways to prevent the death of elephants hit by trains. Several elephants have been killed in the jungle, being run over by speeding mail and express trains.

Sporting her trademark slippers (hawai chappals), she trekked along to reach the Mahananda river. Splashing water on her face, Banerjee sat on a rock to take a break. She had by then walked four km.

Banerjee seemed totally overcome by the tranquility of the forest, the chirping of birds, and the flowing Mahananda. Only the occasional call of animals broke the serenity. She stood on the bank for a long while, casting stones into the river at times.

She also chatted with other Trinamool Congress leaders and Forest Minister Hiten Burman who by now had reached there looking for her.

She suggested to the forest minister that a tourist spot be created there, and instructed him to send her the papers after making the requisite studies.

Her words, “This is the place where peace dwells”, perhaps are a testimony to the fact that she enjoyed every moment of her solitude with nature.

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