Gurung warns of blackout

Siliguri, April 29: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung today threatened to blackout Siliguri by disrupting work at the hydro-electric plants in the hills that feed the trade hub’s power lines.
“We have decided not to pay any tax or bills due to the government from May 1 and they include electricity bills. If power supply to households in the hills is disconnected for non-payment of dues, we will stop work at all the power generating plants that feed Siliguri,” Gurung told reporters at Pintail village on the outskirts of Siliguri this evening.
“Rammam, Jaldhaka and a number of other hydel projects are located in the hills, along with transmission networks through which power flows into Siliguri. In the hills, we may have to light candles after dark, but the people of Siliguri will have to do the same,” Gurung added.
In Darjeeling, Morcha supporters today picketed the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd to prevent people from paying their power bills. The Morcha-affiliated All-Transport Joint Action Committee, too, has said its members would not pay road taxes until the condition of the roads improve.
The Morcha chief added that his supporters would definitely sit in an indefinite hunger strike in front of the Siliguri subdivisional office from May 1. The Morcha called the fast in protest after the Bengal government refused to give it permission to hold political programmes in Siliguri.
“Let us hold one meeting in Siliguri and we are sure that the political equation of the town will change overnight,” Gurung said.
The Morcha will also start changing the number plates of vehicles across Darjeeling district from “WB” to “GL (for Gorkhaland)” from July 7, said Gurung. “We have assigned serials A, B, C and D for the three hill subdivisions and Siliguri,” he said.
“We have also sorted out our differences with the Kamtapur Progressive Party (KPP Atul Roy-faction) and Greater Cooch Behar Democratic Party about the boundaries of the separate states that we are demanding. We will not disclose the boundaries right now but Siliguri will be in Gorkhaland,” Gurung added.
In Darjeeling, Morcha secretary Roshan Giri said the party had postponed its march to Calcutta with 10,001 supporters. It will be held after May 25, when the matches of the Indian Premier League get over. (The Telegraph)

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