Some hope for Darjeeling’s water woes

Press Trust of India
Sunday, May 25, 2008 (Siliguri)
Besides political turmoil, the Queen of the Hills, Darjeeling, has been crippled for decades by a water crisis, but this may end with the completion of a number of projects.A problem was that the West Bengal government could not take any initiative as water was a subject of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, an autonomous body that runs the administrations in the three hill subdivisions of Darjeeling, Kalmpong and Kurseong.Just a year ago, former hills strongman, Subhas Ghising, allowed the Public Health Engineering Department to take up a Rs 55 crore project aimed at lifting water from the river Balasan in Siliguri in three phases for supply to Darjeeling and Kurseong after treatment.If everything went according to plan, the hills were sure to get the water by the end of 2009, said Minister for Public Health Engineering, Goutam Deb.He also urged the Centre to increase its share of the project cost of Rupees 10 crore to twenty crore which would accelerate the project.


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