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Monday, July 18, 2011

WEST BENGAL: Historic Gorkhaland pact signed!

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NDTV Correspondent, Updated: July 18, 2011 15:55 IST.

Sukhna:  The historic pact for autonomy in Darjeeling districts has been signed today between the Centre, state and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM).

The tripartite agreement between the government of India, the government of West Bengal and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) will create an elected autonomous body for the administration of the three hill sub-divisions of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong.

The accord was signed by West Bengal Home Secretary G D Gautama, GJM's Roshan Giri and Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, K K Pathak.

Home Minister P Chidambaram, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the Morcha chief Bimal Gurung were also present at the ceremony.

The body will be called the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) with 45 elected and five nominated members. Also, it will be armed with more powers compared to the older Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, formed in 1988.

The GTA will have full control over Tourism, Agriculture and Public Health. It can also appoint Group B, C, D employees.

It will also have full control over the school and college teachers' commissions which deal with appointments. The GTA will get a special financial package of Rs. 600 crore from the Centre over three years for development of hill regions.


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