TT, Siliguri, June 7: Members of the Terai Dooars Adivasi Development Task Force today met north Bengal development minister Rabindranath Ghosh and sought immediate execution of infrastructure projects worth over Rs 5 crore.
The body had been constituted by the Mamata Banerjee government in February this year for the socio-economic development of the tribal population in the plains of Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar districts.
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The first meeting of the tribal task force was held at Malbazar in Jalpaiguri district, 52km from here, on March 7.
Tezkumar Toppo, a member of the tribal body, met Ghosh at Uttarkanya here today and urged him to implement the projects for the community.
“As the state government allotted Rs 5 crore for the task force, a number of projects like community hall, homes for destitute children, drinking water reservoirs, night schools and Hindi medium schools were discussed at the first meeting. Funds were also allocated for each of the projects but the work couldn’t start because of the Assembly poll notification,” said Toppo.
“The elections are over now and the new government has started working. We met the minister and sought the help of his department, which is the implementing agency. All we want is speedy completion of the projects,” said Toppo, who is also the general secretary of the Parishad.
He said the task force had set aside Rs 80 lakh for the construction of four community halls in Alipurduar, Kalchini, Malbazar and Phansidewa, and Rs 1.67 lakh each for the establishment of 100 homes for destitute children in Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Darjeeling districts.
“We are also planning to introduce six ambulances in tea plantations and rural areas of the three districts. Funds will be spent on setting up four archery centres in the Dooars and the Terai and developing some tourism infrastructure,” Toppo said.
The majority of tea garden dwellers in the Dooars and the Terai are adivasis.