The chairman of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) Board of Administrators, Binoy Tamang, has said that the Hill body has put forth several demands with the state government, and that the latter has given ‘good response’ to the same.

In a press briefing he held after a programme at Lal Kothi here on Wednesday, Mr Tamang said he has just returned after a six-day visit to Kolkata.

“During the visit, I took up several demands with the chief minister (Mamata Banerjee) and the state government. A good outcome can be expected in many of the demands. The principal secretaries of various departments will be visiting the Hills from next week for verifications and other things,” he said after the programme where he handed over gift vouchers to the finalists of the Rising Star dancing and singing contest being organised by the Darjeeling Police.

According to Mr Tamang, the demands included implementation of the Forest Village Act, proposal for 17 new health subcentres, three new primary health centres, Rambhi trauma centre, sub-division formation in Kalimpong district, agriculture college in Kalimpong, 200 schemes under the RIDF, handing over the Gorkha Ranga Manch to the GTA, primary Hindi school at Kumai Tea Esate and honours subject to be introduced in different degree colleges like Bijanabri, Sonada, Pedong, Mirik and Gorubathan.

Mr Tamang said that they also demanded panchayat elections, which has not been held in the Hills since 2005. According to him, the Constitution amendment process for the same will start soon.

“However, before that, we also demanded that the bifurcation and delimitation of blocks be done,” he said. Mr Tamang also maintained that the government has agreed to their demand for recognizing 14 junior high schools.

Meanwhile, Mr Tamang handed over gift vouchers worth Rs 4,000 each to the finalists of the Rising Star completion in the presence of Darjeeling Superintendent of Police Akhilesh Chaturvedi.

He said that the GTA will build the stage for the twoday finals of the contest and also put up LED screens in some parts of the town for people to enjoy the programme.

“This programme is a good initiative taken by the police as it provides a platform to the Hill people to showcase their talents that abound here,” said Mr Tamang, who also handed over Rs 60,000 to the Darjeeling SP to be used to provide refreshment for the finalists.

“This programme was conducted after the chief minister asked us to organise a cultural event. We had expected only about 1,000 participants, but around 5,000 turned up, making this programme a huge success,” Mr Chaturvedi, meanwhile, said.