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SJDA launches projects worth Rs 10.19 cr

Most of the nine projects in the Siliguri Assembly constituency have been undertaken in TMC-run wards.

Statesman News Service | Siliguri |

In what many saw as a move to appease voters ahead of the Assembly elections in the state, the Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority (SJDA) today launched 16 projects worth Rs 10.19 crore.

The projects include construction of mastic roads, strengthening and widening of existing roads, drains, cover slabs, boundary walls with ornamental grill, pavements, culverts, and toilet blocks for Wards under the Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC).

The new projects unveiled by Tourism Minister Gautam Deb and SJDA Chairman Bijoy Chandra Barman are meant for both Siliguri and the Dabgram-Fulbari Assembly constituencies. Political analysts said that with the projects, the Trinamul Congress has tried to highlight the state government’s “pro-development face” before the elections.

“The ruling party will take up development issues, and it will try to project that the government is sincere and committed to addressing the basic needs of residents, especially at a time when the opposition parties are criticising them on the same,” said an analyst. Mr Deb, who is the MLA of the Dabgram-Fulbari Assembly segment, however, gave a diplomatic answer when he was asked about the project launching spree ahead of the elections.

“Those projects were taken up more than a year ago, but the pandemic left an impact there. We are involved in development work round the year, but when the examination approaches, we work overtime. All students do the same, they put in an extra effort in studies before the examinations. Now, we are working a little bit of overtime, though we have steady preparations for the whole year. We always keep the momentum, and only a month’s preparations for the elections is not enough,” Mr Deb said.

Among the proposed plans for the town, Mr Deb said a parallel bridge will be constructed along two old Mahananda bridges.

“It is a major project, and the SJDA has conducted a survey with RITES. We will work on a master plan for the development of Siliguri after the formation of the new government in the state, because only a few months are left for the elections,” he added.

Most of the nine projects in the Siliguri Assembly constituency have been undertaken in TMC-run wards. Mr Barman also said the SJDA was committed to the development of the town. SJDA Vice-chairman Nantu Paul said the development authority had recently undertaken projects of around Rs 24 crore in SMC wards.

Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy statue
The foundation stone was laid for a 20-feet statue of West Bengal’s second chief minister, Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy, at Bidhan Market here today. According to Mr Paul, Dr Roy had visited the decadesold market.

“A statute of the maker of modern Bengal, Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy, has been a long-pending demand. The 20-feet long statue will be erected at the market, where he had paid a visit. We are expecting that the statue will be inaugurated within oneand-a-half months,” the SJDA vice-chairman said.

The estimated cost for the project is Rs 5 lakh.

Hydraulic car parking system
The SJDA is also planning a hydraulic car parking system at Bidhan Market. Mr Paul said the existing space could provide parking space for 40 cars in the new system.

“However, our plan is to arrange for parking for around 150 cars in the hydraulic parking system. We will talk to traders of the market about the project,” he said.