After the formation of separate development boards for the Lepcha, Sherpa and Tamang communities, chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday announced the formation of a separate development board for the Bhutia community as well.
She further announced during the Clean and Green Darjeeling programme held at Chowrastha today that Rs.5 crore will be provided for the Bhutia Development Board.
"Initially I had formed development boards for the Lepcha, Sherpa and Tamang communities, now I have formed a development board for the Bhutia community as well," Banerjee said, adding, "They have been living here since a long time. With regard to the other communities, we have incorporated them in the Tamang board. Everyone will work united. After all everyone lives in the hills."
It may be mentioned that during her last visit to Darjeeling, the Mangar community of the hills had also submitted a memorandum demanding the creation of a separate development board for the Mangar community. All India Bhutia Association (AIBA) had been demanding the formation of a separate development board for the Bhutia community for the past three years. "Denzongpa, Drukpa, Singsapa, Toto, Khampa, Yolmo and Tibetan ethnic groups fall under the Bhutia community. We are very happy and we welcome the decision of the chief minister," said Palden Bhutia, president of AIBA.
However, when asked GTA executive member and Gorkha Jana Mukti Morcha (GJMM) general secretary Roshan Giri regarding the formation of the new development board, he preferred not to answer.
Meanwhile, Banerjee announced that the state government will sanction a sum of Rs.500 crore for the ‘Clean and Green Darjeeling’ project. She added that every development board will have to construct 5000 toilets.
The chief minister said that Nadia district has been number one in implementing the Nirmal Bangla Abhiyan. "I have chosen Darjeeling, and I want Darjeeling to be number one. My dream is sky high for the people of Darjeeling."
GTA and GJMM chief Bimal Gurung also attended the programme.