Gorkhaland Territorial Administration gets new principal secretary

In a major bureaucratic reshuffle, the West Bengal government has appointed Choten Dhendup Lama as the new Principal Secretary of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) in Darjeeling. Ms. Lama, who was Secretary, Self Employment (SE) Department, replaced Subrata Biswas as the Secretary of GTA, the regional autonomous body that administers Darjeeling, Kalimpomg and Kuseong hills.

The appointment of Ms. Lama comes at a time when all the elected Sabhasads have resigned from the body and the State government has appointed Benoy Tamang as the Chief Executive of the GTA. Bimal Gurung, who has been elected the Chief Executive of the body after elections to GTA, is in hiding after the violent Statehood agitation between June and September 2017. The elections to the regional autonomous body were due last year and the reshuffle according to many observers indicates that elections may be around the corner.

In the reshuffle, Alapan Bandopadhyay, who was in charge of Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) of Transport Department, was made ACS of the new of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprise and Textiles department. Mr. Bandopadhyay, as a journalist, edited a book on Gorkhaland movement three decades back and is considered an expert of the hill conflict.

There was a change in the State Health Department where the State government brought in Rajiva Sinha as the new Additional Chief Secretary of the Health and Family Welfare Department replacing Anil Verma. There was more reshuffle in the Heath Department where the State government transferred the Director of Medical Education and Principal of Calcutta Medical College on Tuesday.

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