Gurung asks Mamata for Rs.1,000 crore quake aidOctober 11th, 2011 - 12:39 am ICT by IANS
Darjeeling, Oct 10 (IANS) Describing West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as a mother to the people of the Darjeeling hills, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) president Bimal Gurung Monday requested her to get a rehabilitation package of Rs.1,000 crore sanctioned by the central government for the quake-hit region.
Briefing mediapersons after a meeting with Banerjee in this picturesque hills resort, Gurung said: “We have asked for a Rs.1,000 crore assistance. We have given her a proposal. We have requested her to pursue the matter with the central government.”
Gurung said the state government, which has been left “bankrupt” by the previous Left Front regime during its 34-year rule, was not in a position to give the money. “That is the reason we want her to take up the matter with the central government.”
The GJM handed over to Banerjee a memorandum containing a ten-point charter of demands, including fast completion of the Balasan water project, a state university for the hills, an additional Rs.195 crore grant for the hill development body Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council and improvement of Mirik Lake - a tourist destination.
Asked whether Banerjee has agreed to consider the demands, Gurung replied: “Madam has come here to inaugurate a tourism festival (Tuesday). She is like our mother. We are her children. We have only submitted our proposals in our memorandum.”
Earlier, GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said Darjeeling got negligible assistance despite being considerably damaged in the Sep 18 quake.
“The entire spotlight after the Sep 18 earthquake was on Sikkim which has got all-round assistance. The authorities were concerned with Sikkim as the casualty there was high. Though there was considerable damage in Darjeeling, particularly in the rural areas, we received negligible assistance as the casualty figure was low,” GJM general secretary Roshan Giri told IANS.
Giri said 7,500 houses in the three Darjeeling hill sub-divisions — Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong — were severely damaged while one lakh sustained partial damage in the 6.8-magnitude quake.
Darjeeling District Magistrate Soumitra Mohan said two lakh people in the district were hit by the earthquake that jolted large parts of northern and eastern India.
Another district official said that of the 107 relief camps opened after the calamity, several were still functioning.
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Tags: bimal, central government, chief minister, darjeeling hills, general secretary, giri, gjm, gorkha, madam, mamata banerjee, memorandum, mirik, picturesque hills, roshan, rs 1, rural areas, sikkim, tourist destination, water project, west bengal