Oct. 26 — Ex-officials of the DGHC have claimed that they would now work for the revival of the Arts and Crafts Centre, which was the glory of this once gateway to Tibet. They have said they would soon work for the reopening of the now closed Arts and Crafts Centre here despite the fact that a portion of the area of the centre is involved in a ‘legal hassle’. Besides it is caught in a debt of more than Rs 8 lakhs.
Former DGHC councillor and Kalimpong GNLF branch president Mr Dawa Pakhrin, in a press statement, said: “We will help revitalise the centre and the society which had undertaken its operation. Kalimpong is known for its handicrafts as Kashmir is for its shawls. The revival of the centre will generate employment for many”, he added.
He, however, didn’t comment about the legal status of the area and the financial status of the cooperative society which once ran the centre.
The centre, built during the colonial era (1887), was initially set up to meet the local needs and as well as generate employment. It was later undertaken by a society which was dissolved in 1984 due to financial reasons. Two buildings out
of the three owned by the centre were later burnt during the agitation in the late 1980s, bringing the centre’s operations to a standstill.
The DGHC has earmarked a stretch in the area for a park. While officials cite lack of finances as the reason for their inability to open the park, a ‘legal hassle’, between the centre and the land department is also reportedly on. The CITU has hired the upper floor of one of the buildings.
The CPI-M veteran, Mr Ananda Pathak, has made efforts for the centre’s revival but to no avail.