Rs 654 crore GTA budget approved

Tourism gets maximum share with plans for ropeways at Rohini, Dello and Tukvar in Darjeeling

The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) Sabha has passed an estimated budget plan of Rs 356 crore and Rs 298.10 crore under Plan and Non-plan expenditure heads respectively for the 2012-13 fiscal, GTA sources said on Wednesday.

The GTA had also sought Rs 362.98 crore as an interim fund over a period of eight months while passing the budget plan on Tuesday. Tourism has got a lot of importance in the budget proposals. The GTA plans to set up ropeways at Rohini, Dello and Tukvar in Darjeeling. Water kingdoms at Jamuney, Relli and Belta are also in the offing.

"We have proposed various project schemes to the government. We'll need Rs 182.5 crore to implement the projects. For the water kingdom, we'll need Rs 13 crore," said Roshan Giri, GTA executive member and in-charge of the education department.

The Sabha also passed a resolution for a labour board, tourism development corporation and a regulated market in all the three sub-divisions of the hills.

The GTA Sabha also put emphasis on education sector. It has proposed to set up ITI hubs at Kalimpong, Mungpo and Darjeeling and polytechnic schools in Darjeeling and Mungpo.

Besides, three new colleges at Gorubathan, Pedong and Mirik and an engineering college at Tukdah have been approved by the GTA Sabha.

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