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Inclusion of Darjeeling in North Eastern Region - A report

New Delhi, 6th February, 2013: The parliamentary standing committee on transport, tourism and culture today recommended that Darjeeling Hills of West Bengal be “included” in the North –Eastern Region for benefit from the 10 percent Union Budget funds allocated for the region’s development through the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DONER).

The CPI-M leader, Mr. Sitaram Yechury, who in the chairman of the standing committee, told reporters that in the report presented to the Rajya Sabha Chairman, the committee maintained that Darjeeling region faced the same problems like the North-Eastern states and there was a sense of “deprivation and discrimination” among its people.

Mr. Yechury said the people of Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar too resented the neglect in the area of development. In Darjeeling, which enjoyed traditional glory, there were no special projects either from the Union or State Governments, he said.

Asked if it was not true that his party-led Left Front government had once opposed “clubbing” Darjeeling with the North-Eastern areas for various schemes, Mr. Yechury said his party stood for funds routed through the state government and there was no change in the stand.

Mr. Yechury said the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was in abject neglect and the committee had recommended restoration and renovation of all stations from Siliguri to Darjeeling.

The standing committee submitted two more reports on the National Waterways and the Commission of Railway safety to the Rajya Sabha Chairman. Referring to the waterways report, Mr. Yechury said India had at one time navigable waterways from Agra to Hooghly.

The waterways which were ideal for transporting large cargo and items like oil, were in utter neglect and starved of funds by the Planning Commission, he said ……………. (Statesman News Service)

Posted on: 07 Feb, 2013

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