The hills is gradually limping back to normal with two government buses carrying passengers today heading for uphill Darjeeling town from Siliguri, almost after three months of suspension of services, a day after yesterday's second round bipartite talk between West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the political parties operating in the hills, which stressed on restoration of normalcy.
While two NBSTC ( North Bengal State Transport Corporation ) buses left this commercial town of Siliguri to traverse around 70 km uphill roads via Kursegong and are expected to return by evening with commuters, reports reaching here said the NBSTC buses were also plying at Mirik and Kalimpong. Sources said efforts were on with proper security arrangement to reopen some educational institutions at Mirik, which is comparatively returning to normal for the past few days. Immediately after the 90-minute all-party meet at Uttarkanya on Tuesday afternoon, Banerjee announced that the government was keen on restoration of the public distribution system and urged all stake holders help the administration to bring peace and sanity in the hills, crippled for the past over three months following indefinite shutdown by the GJM (Gorkha Janmukti Morcha) demanding statehood for Gorkhas.
Banerjee told the meeting clearly that Darjeeling hills are part and parcel of West Bengal and it will remain so , but her government was for a permanent solution for Gorkhas and sought their suggestions. Meanwhile, GJM president Bimal Gurung, evading arrest, said from an undisclosed location that " not a single word was spoken regarding Gorkhaland in the all-party meeting " and threatened to launch " Janta Curfew ' to protest police atrocities against rallies in support of Gorkhaland demand. " Bandh not called by me, it was called by Binay Tamang, he has to clarify regarding this to people. I will call off the bandh only after tri-partite meeting for Gorkhaland starts," Gurung said. " We want tri-partite talks at political level. We have our MP, MLAs. I am not in favour of calling off bandh, ' he stated. JAP president Dr Harka Bahadur Chhetri said, " We have requested Banerjee to clarify her stand on Gorkhaland issue and we have also clarified from our side. "