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Mungpoo residents can breathe a sigh of relief, dual gift ahead of Nepali New Year

Thursday, 28 March 20130 comments

GTA chief to lay foundation of Chinchona Factory and inaugurate cymbidium park

D.K. Waiba
The Chinchona Factory at Mungpoo.
Kalimpong March 28: Come Mungpoo April 3 and the only second to tea industry in the hills, the Chincona Plantation under the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) now will get a fresh lease of life. The GTA chief Bimal Gurung will formally lay the foundation stone of the closed factory of the Chinchona Plantation in a bid to revitalize it that has been closed since 1999.
The Chinchona Plantation under the Directorate of West Bengal Food processing and Horticulture Department was handed over to the GTA by the State government after the agreement was signed for the GTA last year. The unit is the backbone of economy for hundreds and thousands of people living in Mungpoo. The factory however used to produce Quinine out of the   bark of Cinchona and is in high demand at the international market.
“The re-opening of the factory is a long standing demand of the people of Mungpoo. The issue was raised in the State Assembly several times earlier during the left front rule. The Left front government had also promised the reopening of the factory but it was not done so. Eventually after the formation of the GTA step has been taken to revive the factory that will bring cheers among the people,” said Dr. G.C.Subba, the Director of Cinchona Plantation in Mungpoo today.
The Chinchona Plantation was started in the year 1862 but due to some unknown reasons the factory had to be shut down in 1999. Since then various forms of agitation had been witnessed but to no avail. The government at one point of time had also decided to privatize the whole unit that could have posed a future cordon for the workers of the plantation. “Gurung will lay the foundation stone on April 3 and this is a huge sigh of relief for the workers here,” added Subba.
The cost of revitalization of the factory has been pegged at over Rs.50 crore. During the first phase a Machine that will grind the bark of Chinchona will be placed. The extract will be sold at the international market which has a high demand said Subba. “When the process will start benefiting the industry we will install more machines,” he added. From the extract medicines for diseases like Malaria and heart disorders can be made.
The Cymbidium Park
The good news for the residents eventually does not stop here. The Director informed that on the same day Gurung will also inaugurate the first of its kind Cymbidium Park in Mungpoo. The park has been constructed under the central funded National Farmers development project. Subba said that in a single time more than 2 lakh orchids can be placed in the park. The park that has thousands of varieties of orchids will also be tourism attraction.
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