The Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FOCIN), North Bengal, served a memorandum to Siliguri Mayor Asok Bhattacharya, where it has suggested keeping in consideration the FOCIN issues as Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC) presents its budget for the financial year 2018-19.

The memorandum and suggestions include traffic problems, parking problems in market areas, procurement of trade license and its renewal and many more.

Briefing on the major issues to be kept into consideration for the budget, FOCIN General Secretary Biswajit Das said, “Parking and traffic is the biggest hurdle for the business community as well as the general people, particularly at Hill Cart Road, Bidhan Road and Sevoke Road. Arrangement of parking places such as Parkomat should be made. Presently, lease-holders of the parking area of Hill Cart Road, Sevoke Road and Bidhan Road are allowing reserve parking by providing broads, which results in shortage of parking area. We suggest this should stop.”

“Arrangements should be made in simplified procedures for getting new trade licenses and for their renewal. Moreover, members of the Siliguri Bidhan Market Bybasayee Samity are denied mutation by the Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority (SJDA), and they are facing problems in getting trade licenses from the SMC. We request the SMC to make arrangements for them to procure the trade licenses,” Mr Das added.

Maintaining that traffic is considerably a matter to be focused on, Mayor Bhattacharya said the SMC alone cannot work to eradicate the problems, as there are many departments interlinked.

“Traffic is a huge problem in Siliguri and the SMC alone cannot solve the problems. Many departments are linked and we held a meeting earlier with the police and we placed some proposals and we are discussing the same. Similarly, trade license problems have decreased now, as new laws have been implemented,” Mr Bhattacharya said.

“Regarding the denial of mutation, we will send a letter to the SJDA and discuss the issues,” he added. Meanwhile, the mayor has appealed to all the councilors in the SMC, irrespective of their party affiliation, to support the SMC budget when it will be tabled on 20 March.