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Siliguri: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will soon hold a meeting with Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling, she announced at the Hill Business Summit in Darjeeling today.

“The meeting will take place at Uttarkanya in Siliguri on 16 March to discuss investment potentials of Darjeeling and other issues,” Banerjee said.

The move is significant as for the past nearly four years, her government had been at loggerheads with Sikkim.

The discord started after she banned Sikkim tourist taxis in Bengal after the Himalayan state turned down a request for allowing Bengal taxis access to all of Sikkim. The situation aggravated last year after Chamling publicly supported the demand for Gorkhaland state comprising Darjeeling Hills and adjoining areas.

Speaking at the concluding session of the first-ever Hill Business Summit in Darjeeling today, Banerjee said that the two-day meet has attracted investment proposals worth about Rs 2,000-crore.

The investment proposals have come for Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong, and Mirik. The sectors that have attracted most investment proposals are food processing, tourism, hotel, dairy, aquarium, medicinal plants, handicrafts, and agro-industries, she said.

The Chief Minister also announced that Matigara in Siliguri will be developed further as the “gateway to the hills” with private investment and government support. Matigara is already home to Siliguri’s first integrated township Uttorayan and several state and Central government offices.

Banerjee said that the whole of Bengal wants to see Darjeeling smiling. Darjeeling has a brand value worldwide, she maintained. “Whenever Darjeeling moves forward on the path of development, certain sections try to destabilise the Hills. If we can work together, no power can stop us.”

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