Chairman of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) Board of Administrators, Binoy Tamang, On Friday flagged off various development projects for the Gitdabling-Nimbong (constituency No 41) and Reli- Samthar constituency (No 42) in Kalimpong district.

The projects worth Rs 21 crore 16 lakh, include 11 plans like a 14-km road from Paala Bridge to Sinjhi on the outskirts of Kalimpong (Rs 6 crore 20 lakh), renovation of a 6-km road from Mandir Khola, 30 km away from the town, to Bargach Samthar (Rs 5 crore 4 lakh), and renovation of five higher secondary schools (Rs 58 lakh).

Mr Tamang held a meeting at Pala, near Reli, around 14 km away from the town, where he “laid the foundation stones” for the various development work. Other projects included the construction of a new 5-km road from Chuikhim Bazar (Below Nimbong) to Upper Serwani (Rs 6 crore 18 lakh and a drinking water project at Pemling near Nimbong (Rs 35 lakh).

“Work on the projects should begin immediately, unlike in the past when they were flagged-off but remained untouched when Bimal Gurung was at the helm,” Mr Tamang said. “We want quality in work carried out for the people, and for that, we will work effectively.

We will stop the trend of extracting percentage from public work,” he added. Mr Tamang also said that after Kalimpong was upgraded to a district, they have been planning to create three sub-divisions in the new district and that discussions with the state government on the same are going on. “The state government is also interested in doing so,” he claimed.

Athough Mr Tamang, in his one-hour-long speech, did not name absconding Morcha leader Bimal Gurung, he indirectly slammed him and said that a leader must be “literate enough” to lead thousands of people.

He also criticized Kalimpong MLA Sarita Rai for not developing the hills, and said she did not put an effort to develop Kalimpong. “She is in the Vidhan Sabha just to mark her attendance,” Mr Tamang said. “Politics cannot be done by crumbling others’ houses or manhandling anyone.

Whatever happened in the past was not right. Such activities led to our own loss and we failed to gain anything,” said Mr Tamang, referring to the Gorkhaland agitation. “I have come up with an ideology of Zero-enemy. I have nothing to say to the ones who criticize me. We should make a better future for the coming generation and for this we should be united,” he added.