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Gurung lays foundation stone for Rs 5 cr Guest House at Pattabong

DARJEELING : Gorkhaland Territorial Administration chief executive Bimal Gurung on Saturday laid the foundation for a Rs5 crore guest house at Middle Pattabong, 5km away from Darjeeling town. This is in keeping with the GTA’s development initiative being executed since the past two years. GTA officials present said a detailed project report of the guest house has been approved by the chief executive and the project is expected to be completed within a year. “We had prepared the DPR a year ago on the direction of the GTA chief executive,” said GTA tourism department executive director Sonam Bhutia. The guest house will come up in a 2,905sqm area amid the lush green Middle Pattabong tea garden with the Singamari passenger ropeway overhead. It will also have a 273sqm parking space. “The guest house will have 22 rooms along with an in-house restaurant, kitchen, bar, garden area and office. There will be a parking space for vehicles and a statue of Lord Shiva in the front entrance. 

The project will cost Rs5.17 crore and plans are on to upgrade it in phases,” said Bhutia. Gurung said, “Pattabong is a favourite haunt for locals who enjoy picnic outings in the midst of the lush tea garden and natural settings. Keeping this in mind, we came up with the idea to develop the place into a tourist spot.” Another reason for selecting Pattabong is its proximity to both Darjeeling town and Sikkim. “Bara, Chota and Middle Pattabong are close to the town area making things convenient for tourists. It takes just a two-hour drive to reach Singla near the Sikkim border and Jorethang on the other side,” explained Gurung. He added plans are on to develop places such as Relling and Nokdara in Bijanbari and Beltar under Kurseong sub-division into tourist hotspots. “We have plans to develop other areas in the hills into tourist hubs because we need new ones to complement the existing ones. We are hopeful of attracting more visitors this way,” said Gurung. The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president appealed to the people to support the GTA in making the GTA’s endeavours successful. “When we develop an area, the locals benefit. 

Employment opportunities crop up to render the local economy sustainable. Hence, everyone must cooperate whenever such development projects are brought to their localities by the GTA,” he said. Notably, the GTA had started work on developing Jamuney, which is close to Pattabong, into a tourist spot. However, opposition by landowners and a subsequent court stay order last year have stalled work. According to GTA sources, the council had plans to build a Mughal style garden, two swimming pools, stay-over huts and a Buddha statue overlooking the Little Rangit river. In another development on Saturday, 80 TMC and GNLF households from the Nagari-Dhajey constituency joined the GJM. The new members were welcomed by Gurung at the Patleybas office where he used the occasion to appeal for unity for the statehood cause. 

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