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Mamata to visit Dow Hill to flag-off Presidency University unit

Darjeeling : Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to visit Kurseong on September 16 to oversee the preparations for establishing a unit of Presidency University, a decision she announced last month in Kolkata and reiterated during her last visit to Darjeeling. Briefing the press today during the start of the process of revision of electoral rolls, Darjeeling district magistrate Anurag Srivastav said, “During her last visit to the hills, the chief ministers had expressed her wish to visit Dow Hill in Kurseong sub-division where a unit of Presidency University is expected to come up. She is expected to be in Kurseong on September 16 but her final itinerary is not yet out.” Speaking during the convocation ceremony at Presidency University recently, the chief minister had announced her decision to set up the varsity’s Himalayan Centre at Dow Hill and she repeated it during the launch of the Clean and Green project in Darjeeling. 

The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, however, has requested Banerjee to reconsider her decision to establish a campus of Presidency in the hills arguing such a move would have an adverse effect on its ongoing demand for a central university. The district magistrate said Banerjee will also attend programmes in Kalimpong that will be organised by the Lepcha and Tamang communities on September 17 and 18, respectively. “She will head down to Siliguri on September 19 where she will attend a programme of the Bar Council,” Srivastav said. During her three-day visit to the hills from August 24 to 27, the chief minister visited Tiger Hill, the popular tourist destination near Jorebungalow, 15 km from Darjeeling town. Banerjee had then said the Pavilion in Tiger Hill from where visitors view the spectacular sunrise would also be renovated. “The building is not in a very good condition and the CM wants desire to renovate it for the benefit of tourists. 

The state government will work with the GTA tourism department towards repairing and renovating the building,” Srivastav said. The state government will also work jointly with the GTA to rehabilitate those affected by the July landslides in Mirik. “We will provide adequate funds to the affected in Tingling, Mirik under the Gitanjali scheme. The BDOs will give us the names of the victims and their families and they will be handed out funds on priority basis. Besides, the GTA will also be providing relief to the families of the victims in its independent capacity,” the DM said. Land in a tea garden neighbouring Tingling has been identified for construction of houses for the landslide affected. The DM maintained that the landowner of the concerned tea garden has given his consent to part with the land while the affected have agreed to shift to the new location once the project gets completed. 

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