CORPORATE Houses Propose To Invest In Darjeeling

BENGAL Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee calls for peace and stability for socio-economic development of picturesque Darjeeling, one of the favoured tourist destinations in India. After inaugurating the first-ever “Hill Business Summit”, co-sponsored by CII, in Darjeeling hills, she says “Please see that Darjeeling is clean and green. Please ensure that there isn’t any violence. If there is violence, some political leaders might gain, but the people of Darjeeling won’t gain from it. The young generation would become more and more impatient,” she said. Announcing 100 crore INR for promotional development of job-oriented industries in the region, she said her government is committed to help the people living in the region. Special focus would be in agriculture, horticulture related industries, food processing zones, nurturing of orchids and developing IT infrastructure in the region.She requested the industrialists present at the meeting as well as the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to prepare an action plan especially for Darjeeling where one of the main problems is shortage of water.”I think the youth of Darjeeling are skilled. They have a lot of potential. They can be used in different industrial sectors. Two IT parks would be set up in Kalimpong and Darjeeling. It can be done in Kurseong and Mirik, too. IT has a lot of scope here.” There is enough scope for promotion of tourism and transport industry which can go a long way in creating job opportunities and improving the quality of life, she said.”Let’s compete on the basis of development. I want the people of Darjeeling to be well,” she added. Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader and Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) chief Binay Tamang pledged to make the Darjeeling hills a “strike-free zone” and said there would not be any political disturbances in the region.”I, along with the people of Darjeeling, would like to give our commitment that Darjeeling and Kalimpong would be a strike-free zone and there would not be any political disturbances in the hills anymore, as we have suffered a lot,” Tamang, who was appointed by Banerjee in the GTA Board of Administrators, said in a release. Tamang handpicked by the Bengal CM as GTA chief, said the hills have a great potential in the field of IT, as there are a large number of young and educated spopulation who are still unemployed. Chandrajeet Banerjee, director general, Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), co-organiser of the business summit, said it was like a homecoming for him .He recalled that his grandfather had started his business in Darjeeling. Later, his father had relocated the business and migrated to Kolkata. West Bengal is fast emerging as a global destination. We will invest in Darjeeling in next two years, ssaid Mayank Jalan, chairman and MD, Keventer Agro Ltd. “We have secured two properties in the Hills and will be initiating hospitality projects,” said Harshavardhan Neotia, chairman, Ambuja Neotia Group. The company  proposed to  invest INR  150 crore each in the two properties. The first phase of Makaibari is scheduled to be completed by 2019, with the first phase of Ghoom by 2020. It is proposing investment in the education sector as in the past, said Neotia. The Luxmi Group could be investing in the health and education sectors. “Darjeeling came into existence as a health sanatorium. It later developed into an education hub. Time for economic opportunity for the Hills has come,” stated Rudra Chatterjee, director, Luxmi Group. “A clear picture will emerge at the end of the two-day, according to CII sources. (courtesy: Milleniumpost)

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