Follow Us:

Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee forms 9-member board to run GTA

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee formed a nine-member ‘Board of Administrators’ (BoA), headed by expelled Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) leader Binay Tamang to run the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) in the hill areas.

The state government will soon issue a notification in this regard and the newly-formed board of administrators will undertake development works in the hills.

“The power that was enjoyed by the chief executive of the elected body, we are transferring the same power to a board of administrators and they are all from the hills,” Bengal CM said on Wednesday at the meeting.

Earlier, it was found that GTA was not doing their responsibility when power was vested in a single government official, she said.

Rebel GJM leader Binay Tamang has been made the chairman of the board of administrators while another rebel GJM leader Anik Thapa was made the vice-chairman. Gorkha National Liberation Front leader Maan Ghising, legislator Amar Singh Rai, Anu Chhetri, Jaitun Khatun, L B Rai, Sanchari Subba and the principal Secretary of GTA Barun Ray are other members of the board.

They will run the GTA, elected representatives from Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong and Mirik, who are members of the board can shoulder more responsibility, the chief minister added.

Members of the board will assume charge with immediate effect and can work till the elections are held, she said, adding “since there is no possibility of elections now, we are forming the board.”

Following the unrest in Darjeeling hills, all 45 elected members of the GTA, including its chief executive Bimal Gurung, had resigned from the administrative body.

Following the resignation of GTA members from the administrative body, Bengal Chief Minister appointed IAS Barun Roy the administrator of GTA as per Gorkha Territorial Administration Act.

“If they had not resigned from GTA, they could have remained in the body till an election was held. As they had resigned from GTA, we had to appoint an administrator to run the administrative body from now onwards,” Banerjee said.

The board of administrators will enjoy the same power as of the administrator of GTA. The board of administrators was formed as per section 65 (b) of the GTA Act, the chief minister said. Both Tamang and Thapa had met CM Banerjee at Trinamool state secretariat (Nabanna) a few days ago.

The board of administrators will continue to function till an election is held to form an elected body in GTA.

“We do not want to stall the development in the hills. The new board will undertake development works in the hills from now onwards. They will work till a fresh election is held. Right now there is no atmosphere to conduct an election in GTA,” Banerjee said.