August 2006

31 Aug 2006 11:42 pm IST

Set to mark time, again


Kalimpong, Aug. 31: After lying mute for years, the clock atop the Raja Dorjay tower at Kumudini Homes here is all set to chime again.

Kumudini Pariwar, the school’s alumni association, has decided to pay for the restoration, nearly two months after The Telegraph published a report on the two long-defunct clocks of the town. The other clock is atop Georgina McDermot Memorial Tower at Dr Graham’s Homes.

The association will meet soon to work on the project, but the preliminary estimate for the restoration is Rs 2 lakh. “We will organise a concert in between Dasai and Tihar (Puja and Diwali) to raise funds,” said Gaulan Lepcha, local MLA and an alumnus of Kumudini. He will make a guest appearance at the concert with his band, Unitarians.

While the 99-year-old clock at Dr Graham’s Homes was damaged in the 1968 earthquake, the exact year in which the clock at Kumudini (in picture by Chinlop Fudong Lepcha) stopped chiming is not known.

“When the British went, they left behind the clocks, but seemed to have taken along the admirable virtue of punctuality with them,” said Lepcha, who promised to contribute from the MLA fund.

31 Aug 2006 01:54 am IST

15-hr wait as landslides hit hills

Malli/Kalimpong/Darjeeling, Aug. 30: Landslides caused by heavy overnight rain claimed two lives in the hills, while the main road-link between Sikkim and the rest of country remained blocked for close to 15 hours.

A number of houses were also damaged as more than a couple of dozen landslips rocked the Kalimpong and Darjeeling subdivisions.

Sundar Chettri, 50, died after a pile of mud fell on the tinned shop he was sleeping in at Warling Golai on Upper Cart Road in Kalimpong town. Milan Tamang, 43, the wife of a police constable, was buried alive inside her house at Sundhara Goan in Dali, 4 km from Darjeeling town.

The biggest landslide occurred on NH 31A at Labarbote near Malli, 18 km from Kalimpong town, around two last night. Traffic was eventually restored around 4.45 pm today. (more…)

29 Aug 2006 07:05 pm IST

Lepcha threat

Kalimpong, Aug. 29: Local GNLF legislator Gaulan Lepcha has threatened to take out a rally to a National Hydel Power Corporation (NHPC) project site at 27th Mile near Rambi here to protest against the damage caused to National Highway 31A allegedly due to the power major’s project on the Teesta.

“The NHPC must repair the road at the earliest. Otherwise, I will mobilise residents of Kalimpong and march to the project site… I am willing to face any consequences of my action,” said Lepcha, without specifying the date of the proposed march.

27 Aug 2006 09:06 pm IST

Sun salutes marching band

Kalimpong, Aug. 27: Even the weather gods are game for a little spectacle.

In fact, they made their intentions pretty clear when the skies miraculously cleared for the Second Inter-School Marching Band Contest at Mela Ground here this morning.

The grand show, which was held up by torrential rain, got underway amid huge fanfare as hundreds of people gathered at the ground to witness the spirited display put up by schoolchildren from the hills. (more…)

27 Aug 2006 05:10 pm IST

Fun Sunday in the offing

Kalimpong, Aug. 25: An unlikely combination of music and muscles is expected to make for an exciting Sunday in the hill town this weekend.

The fun begins at 9 am with the Second Annual Inter-School Marching Band competition at Mela Ground here. And at 1 pm, the focus will shift to the nearby Town Hall, where the Second Gorkha Hill Classic Bodybuilding Championship will be staged. (more…)

24 Aug 2006 11:11 pm IST

Choppers rev up for hill ride

Vivek Chettri

Darjeeling, Aug. 24: The choppers are back to rock the hills.

As those in love with their mean machines will know, a traditional chopper is a home-built bike that is customised according to the needs and fancies of the owner. Often all excessive accessories, that hinder the bike’s power, speed and looks, are stripped off. The machines are arrayed in a collage of striking colours and stickers made legendary by the bikers of the 60s and 70s.

Steven Dhendup Bhutia, the owner of the Kalimpong-based SJ Choppers, is now ready to roll out beauties for the bikers of the hills. “I have just finished a chopper and I have named it Hot Rod Chopper. I am now ready to start commercial production,” he said.

The 28-year-old computer science student builds the machines himself, though he does not have any formal training in bike designing. “It was my obsession with bikes since my school days at St Augustine’s here that has given me courage to venture into the business.

Bhutia’s chopper is modelled out of a 350cc Royal Enfield and local expertise has harmonised the charms of the “outlaw ride” with the luxury of modern comforts.

“I love the 60-70s era bikes and wanted to make a chopper that reflected the old school of choppers. These are such a welcome relief from those boxy motorbikes that have flooded the mainstream market,” said Bhutia, who does graphic designing for the bikes.

Chopper builders usually style their bikes according to their biking philosophy but Bhutia is ready to shed his preference for the biker’s choice.

While the first chopper cost him around Rs 25,000, Bhutia claims that a chopper can be built for as little as Rs 10,000. “It depends on the needs of the biker and the total time to make it will range from 6 to 12 weeks,” he added.

24 Aug 2006 11:05 pm IST

Students boycott classes

Kalimpong, Aug. 24: Students of Kalimpong College boycotted classes in the second half of the day to protest against alleged teacher atrocity. The teachers, meanwhile, have demanded that a student be expelled for assaulting one of their colleagues yesterday.

The Kalimpong College Students’ Union, affiliated to the Gorkha National Students’ Front, the students’ wing of the GNLF, said the boycott will continue tomorrow as well. (more…)

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