Gorkhatimes

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DM prods juniors on cheque initials

Posted by Ramesh Khati on August 5, 2009

Pemba Tshering Ola at his chamber in the office of the Darjeeling Municipality on Monday

Pemba Tshering Ola at his chamber in the office of the Darjeeling Municipality on Monday.

Darjeeling, Aug. 4: The Darjeeling district magistrate has instructed the three subdivisional officers in the hills to ask the banks operating the civic accounts to stop honouring cheques which do not carry their signatures.

The directive comes a day after the former chairman of the Darjeeling Municipality signed cheques, withdrawing the salaries for the staff despite the government dissolving the board and giving the signing authority to the subdivisional officer heading a four-member board.

The former chairman, vice-chairman and a member of the directorate of local bodies are the other members of the board.

The signature of Pemba Tshering Ola on any civic document is invalid, district magistrate Surendra Gupta had said yesterday. The cheques with Ola’s initials were honoured by the State Bank of India, Darjeeling branch, as it had not been given any instruction to the contrary by the administration.

Ola today reiterated that the old board would continue to discharge its functions till elections were held.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which is spearheading the Gorkhaland agitation and has all the civic councillors as its members, has linked the municipality elections to the implementation of a three-tier panchayat system in the hills.

The party has rejected the government’s arrangement for the civic bodies of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong whose five-year tenures expired on July 14.

Ola said the councillors had written to chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, apprising him of their decision to continue with the discharging of functions.

The former chairman claimed that in the past, the government had always consulted the party in power in the hills before making any interim arrangements.

“When Subash Ghisingh did not conduct the elections to the DGHC, the government took a decision in consultation with the party in power (GNLF). But despite the Morcha being in control of the municipalities, the government has not consulted our leader, Bimal Gurung,” said Ola.

He also said the residence certificates he had signed yesterday had to be valid. “Since the SDO cannot identify a resident of the area, it will be our duty to issue these certificates,” said Ola.

Source:The Telegraph

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