West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said that her government would lay stress on the development of tea gardens and food processing industry in the Darjeeling hills. On the third day of her visit to north Bengal, the chief minister said that efforts were being made to develop IT industry in the hills. She held an administrative review meeting at Pintail village where she said that soon the hills people would see various employment opportunities open up. Later, she told a press conference that people in the Darjeeling hills wanted peace and development and her government would make every effort to bring them in.
The chief minister is scheduled to declare Mirik a sub-division of Darjeeling district at an official programme tomorrow. Mirik was earlier a block under the Darjeling district. Mirik is an important tourist destination and several lakh tourists visit the hill town every year for its beautiful lake.
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The Siliguri-Jalpaiguri Development Authority executive president, Ashwini Kumar Roy, is tipped to become the first sub-divisional officer of Mirik sub-division. During the review meeting, Banerjee promised to solve the perennial problem of low voltage in the hills by erecting several sub-stations.
In the meeting, she took the Darjeeling superintendent of police to task for the rising crime rate in the hills and accused him of not taking any decisive step in this regard. She also asked ministers and bureaucrats not to travel with beacons on in Siliguri because of heavy traffic on the roads.