The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad have lined up a series of demands to be placed before the chief minister when she arrives in north Bengal tomorrow. Mamata Banerjee, who will spend the first two days of her tour in the hills, will formally launch the post-quake restoration work and lay the foundation of a car park in Darjeeling before she inaugurates the cultural fest a day before it commences. In the plains, sources said, Mamata might lay the foundation of a school for tribal students in Kalchini, distribute post-Madhyamik scholarships and caste certificates while meeting Parishad leaders, who are wary of the Morcha and apprehensive about the Trinamul chief’s first visit to the Dooars as chief minister. The tribal leaders were always against the Morcha’s statehood agitation. Since the signing of the agreement to set up the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, a government-appointed committee has been examining the Morcha demand to bring the Gorkha-dominated areas of the Dooars and the Terai under the new hill authority. The Parishad is vehemently against the formation of the committee. “A delegation led by our party chief Bimal Gurung will meet the chief minister at 2pm tomorrow. In course of the meeting, we will hand over a detailed report of the damage caused to the Darjeeling hills by the earthquake,” said Binay Tamang, the assistant secretary of the Morcha. “On October 11, when she opens the cultural fest at Chowrastha, we will show her video clips of areas affected by the quake —places she had missed during her trip to the hills after the tremor.” Tamang said the Morcha would also discuss with Mamata projects which “need to be immediately implemented” in the hills. Party sources said the people of Darjeeling and its adjoining areas had been asked to join the opening ceremony of the cultural fest in their traditional attires. The tourist fest, to showcase the majestic world the Darjeeling Himalayas, will continue till October 30. The Morcha will impress upon Mamata to ask for financial assistance from the Centre for the rehabilitation of quake victims in the hills on the lines of the one provided to Sikkim, party insiders said. Sources in Darjeeling district administration said the chief minister would visit Jorepokhri, on the fringes of Darjeeling town, to formally launch the restoration work. “She would then lay the foundations of a multi-storied car parking facility on Lebong Cart Road and the beautification of Chowrastha. Then she will participate in the cultural fest at the same venue,” a senior officer said. The chief minister, who is expected in the plains by Wednesday, will meet a delegation of Parishad leaders in the Dooars that day. “We will surely meet the chief minister but the time and venue are yet to be finalized. The committee formed to look into the Morcha's territory demand will top our discussions. We have been opposing this panel tooth and nail,” said Tezkumar Toppo, the state general secretary of the Parishad. “We will try to convince her that the formation of such a panel is irrelevant as almost everybody in the Dooars and Terai is against any move that will make them part of the GTA. The jurisdiction of the GTA should be confined to the three hill sub-divisions.” The Parishad will also ask the chief minister to confer land rights to tea workers, set up a Hindi medium college, a training institute for Hindi medium school teachers and a bridge over the Teesta, parallel to the Coronation Bridge but further downstream. The proposed bridge near Sevoke Bazar is expected to help the people of the Dooars save considerable time and fuel when they go to Sikkim. The Jalpaiguri district administration said it was not yet aware of Mamata’s complete itinerary. “ So far, we can say that she will attend two government programs in Malbazar — and give away post-metric scholarships to tribal students and caste certificates to prospective beneficiaries. Further itineraries and venues are yet to be finalized,” said district magistrate Smaraki Mahapatra. Sources in the administration, however, said the chief minister might visit Kalchini to lay the foundation of Raghunath Murmu Memorial School for tribal children. “She is also scheduled to hold an administrative meeting before she leaves for Calcutta. These are, however, yet to be finalized,” Mahapatra said. Source: The Telegraph