West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday launched a host of projects for north Bengal and slammed the main opposition Left Front for trying to ignite problems in the hills.
The projects include air service between Cooch Behar in northern West Bengal and Kolkata. She also laid the foundation stone for a new chief minister's secretariat between Siliguri and Matigara of Darjeeling district.
She announced an enhanced budgetary allocation of Rs 200 crore for the North Bengal development board.
"All development work for North Bengal will be monitored from the new secretariat," said Banerjee at a function in Kanchenjungha Stadium in Siliguri.
"I will also come every three months to sit with the North Bengal development board to monitor the progress of development work," Banerjee added.
Launching the Cooch Behar-Kolkata air service, the chief minister said trial flights will now be run on the route. From September, regular flights will be operated on six days of the week, except on Sunday, for facilitating better communication between north Bengal and Kolkata.
Banerjee also laid the foundation stone and inaugurated various railway projects, work for which had been launched during her stint as railway minister.
She laid the foundation stone for a table tennis academy in Siliguri, flagged off a rail-bus service from Siliguri junction to Bagdogra, launched a first broad gauge train service on Siliguri-Aluabari section after gauge conversion. She also dedicated to the nation the remodelled New Jalpaiguri station.
Banerjee slammed the state's main opposition Left Front for trying to ignite trouble in North Bengal.
"Many people understand that the solution to the hill problem means solution of many problems of North Bengal. It will open new corridors of development. That is why they (Left Front) are creating problems in the hills to stop the process of development," she Banerjee.
"But let me tell you (Left Front) that you won't be able to do anything as people here want development. You were given a time of 34 years. You couldn't do anything. Now allow us to work," she added.
A tripartite agreement on the trouble-torn Darjeeling hills in northern West Bengal was signed Monday between the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM), and the state and central governments, triggering euphoria in the hills, but also evoking protests in the plains.
"Nepali and Gorkhas are our brothers. I would tell the CPI-M (Communist Party of India- Marxist) not to back those organisations that are creating problem in the hills and plains. Let me solve the problem," Banerjee said.