The Ecclesiastical Department organised a plantation drive at the Sheda complex Deorali Chorten

Gangtok July 1(IPR): The Ecclesiastical Department organised a plantation drive at the Sheda complex, Deorali Chorten today. Hon’ble Minister for Rural Development and Ecclesiastical Departments Shri Sonam Lama led the plantation drive along with Secretary, Ecclesiastical Department, Shri S. T. Tamang, Additional Secretary, Mrs Kincho Doma Lepcha, Officers and staff of Forest and Ecclesiastical Departments.

The plantation drive was carried out for the purpose of setting up of Fruit Garden in the premises of Deorali Chorten.

While presenting a brief address, the Hon’ble Minister Shri Sonam Lama mentioned that the plantation drive was carried out in view of the recent announcement made by the State government during the World Environment Day celebration to plant 1000 each sapling in all constituencies of the state to further preserve and promote the environment and foster a responsible culture towards nature.

He further informed that as per the vision of the State Government to increase the green cover, the Ecclesiastical Department in coordination with the Forest Department will simultaneously conduct plantation drives in all the religious places in the State.

During the occasion, the Hon’ble Minister planted a sapling of Guava. The monks from the Sheda, officials and staff from the Ecclesiastical and Forest Department along with volunteers and local public actively participated in the plantation drive and planted saplings at designated spots in and around the Sheda premises.

Around 100 saplings of Avocado and Guava provided by the Forest Department were planted during the plantation drive.

A meeting was summoned by Chief Secretary Shri S.C. Gupta with SSB, ITBP & BRO

Gangtok, July 1: In the backdrop of some reported positive cases in armed forces, a meeting was summoned by Chief Secretary, Shri S.C. Gupta today with Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Border Roads Organization (BRO) to discuss the Standard Operating Procedure followed by them for quarantine of officers and jawans, at the Teesta Lounge, Tashiling Secretariat. The meeting was also attended by Pr. Secretary, Shri K Sreenivasulu and Principal Directors of the Health Department. The Chief Secretary directed that the SOPs followed by SSB, ITBP and BRO should be shared with the Health Department for vetting by the Department’s technical committee. This was acceded to by the organizations.

All three Organizations informed that their Officers and Jawans are being quarantined in Siliguri for 14 days and the remaining 14 days in Sikkim. Those who are found to be showing symptoms are isolated and tested immediately.

BRO informed that presently only their officers and jawans are entering the State, the labourers will be brought from August onwards. The Health Department would be informed about this, it was informed.

It was further informed that the quarantine centres in Sikkim are well guarded and the quarantines are not allowed to roam around freely.
SSB requested the Health Department to conduct random testing of the returnees. SSB was asked to send the request to the Health Department in writing.

The Chief Secretary also directed that the uniformed personnel in quarantine should, at no cost, be allowed to mingle with the civilian population, till completion of the period of quarantine. This will assist in avoiding the apprehension about the community spread of the COVID-19 infection. The officers present agreed to ensure in the meeting.

An orientation-cum-awareness programme for the implementation of PMKSY held at AH&VS Department

Gangtok, July 1(IPR): An orientation-cum-awareness programme for the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) “Per Drop More Crop” and other schemes under Agriculture and Horticulture Departments was held at the conference hall of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services (AH&VS) Department, Sokaythang, Gangtok, today.

The Hon’ble Minister, Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services (AH&VS) Shri Lok Nath Sharma graced the occasion as the Chief Guest in the special presence of the Principal Secretary Agriculture and Horticulture Department Shri R. Telang, Secretary Horticulture Shri M.T. Sherpa, Principal Directors and senior officials of both the departments. The programme also had active participation of Engineers of Agriculture, Agriculture Development Officers (ADOs), Horticulture Development Officers (HDOs), and the field functionaries from South and West Districts.
Minister Shri Lok Nath Sharma, in his address, highlighted the pivotal role of the field functionaries and the prime purpose to embrace the targeted goal of the department so that the farmers would be uplifted economically and socially. He motivated the participants to be actively involved in doubling the productivity of the farmers through proper implementations of the programme, directives and the issued guidelines. Further, he urged everyone to take pro-active steps to bring about a paradigm shift in the farming sector.
The Minister also showed concern over the age group of majority of working farmers and directed to encourage the youths towards agricultural profession. Field officers also need to evaluate their activities on a monthly basis and to address the limitations through output analysis to ensure consistent improvement in the field, he added.

He also advised field officials to be more responsible and accountable to address the existing challenges in the field. The Minister Mr. Sharma reiterated his commitment to revive the VLW centres and urged to develop every farm as a model to attract and encourage farmers. The department needs to act practically on the selected cluster of PMKSY and to follow the issued guidelines and directives with utmost sincerity. The hardworking and deserving farmers need to be benefited, independently, he added.

The Minister also stressed to be more pragmatic while collecting data from the field and submit it to the department for preparing an action plan, accordingly, in a time bound manner for onward action. Speaking in the context of credit loan, he informed that a large number of youth have come forward to initiate farming and also touched upon department wise monitoring to meet up the objectives behind the subsidised loan.

Encouraging the field functionaries, he announced to reward the best performing ADO and HDO on annual basis and directed them to show notable improvement in following the directives of the concerned authority and timely distribution of inputs like seeds, production of crops, cereals, fruits, vegetables, growth of farmers income, implementation of Governmental schemes etc.

Principal Secretary Shri R. Telang, interacted with the field functionaries to know the feedback, based on their experiences and observation in terms of germination, yielding, pest resistance, seeds, use of nutrients and technical aspects etc.

He acknowledged the individual potential of the participants and spoke on the need to institutionalize their invaluable knowledge and expertise.

Further, he urged everyone to work collectively as a team to achieve a common goal of the department. He also suggested to encourage dignified farming and to work for technical intervention in the field. He also emphasized the need to introspect on the outcome of the assigned responsibilities and thereby providing benefits to the farmers. He also advised maintaining proper coordination at the community level and the concerned authority to ensure smooth flow of the activities without any hindrance and obstructions.

Secretary Horticulture Shri M.T. Sherpa appreciated the efforts being made by the field functionaries and advised for demand based technological intervention to ensure required benefits to the deserving farmers. He also stressed on the need for synchronizing the activities like conservation of water and channelling with the concerned department so that the farmers would get optimum benefits of available resources.

During the meeting, ADOs and HDOs also outlined the ongoing departmental activities, work progress and implementation of schemes in the field. Shri Suraj Chettri ADO, Hee Martam Block represented the West district while Ms. Geetanjali Pradhan HDO Yangyang Block represented the participants from South District.

Additional Chief Engineers Shri Jeewan K. Chettri spoke on the technical aspects of PMKSY scheme. He threw lights on the other interventions like source development, conveyance pipe-line, storage facilities in command areas and the application of irrigation water through a sprinkler and drip irrigation systems.

Earlier, Additional Director PMKSY Shri Jagdish Pradhan proposed welcome address and gave an overview of the PMKSY programme, which is a flagship programme of Government of India launched during the year 2015-16. He also touched upon various components of the scheme and drew lights on implementation strategy, administrative setup, and procedure for selection of clusters and farmers under the scheme.

Doctors’ Day Celebrated in STNM Hospital

Gangtok, July 01: (IPR) National Doctors’ Day is celebrated every year on the 1st of July in commemoration of the birth and death anniversary of Bharat Ratna Dr. B.C. Roy, an eminent doctor of extraordinary talent and acumen, who was also the second Chief Minister of West Bengal. The national theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Lessen the mortality of COVID-19′.

To mark this important occasion and to honour the selfless contribution of doctors as health care providers and lifesavers, STNM Hospital organized a special programme in the Hospital auditorium today. The programme was graced by Hon’ble Chief Minister of Sikkim Shri Prem Singh Tamang as the Chief Guest. The programme had the presence of Hon’ble Ministers Shri K.N. Lepcha, Dr. M.K. Sharma, Shri Arun Upreti, Shri M.N Sherpa and Shri B.S Pant, and Hon’ble MLAs Shri Aditya Golay Tamang and Shri Pintso Namgyal Lepcha. The programme had the attendance of Principal Secretary, Health, DG cum Secretary Health, MS STNM, senior officers of the Health Department and all the doctors of STNM Hospital.

Speaking on the occasion, Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang extended warm greetings to all the doctors and medical fraternity of the State on the occasion of National Doctors’ Day. Highlighting on the significance of the day, he paid his tribute to noted physician Dr. B.C Roy in whose memory this day is celebrated every year on the 1st of July. He said that doctors symbolize the epitome of service to mankind and is considered one of the noblest professions. The Hon’ble Chief Minister attributed the success of Sikkim’s fight against COVID-19 to the relentless effort of the entire medical fraternity and the supporting staff. He extended his gratitude to the medical team and support staff lending their support from various quarters such as the screening centres, the quarantine centres, the sample collection centres, the contact tracing rendering their services at the COVID-19 wing of the STNM Hospital as well as in the Isolation wards in Namchi and Geyzing.
The Hon’ble Chief Minister further stated that the State Health Department accepted the challenges posed by the pandemic with all readiness and exhibited a high level of management skills to ensure that each and every COVID-19 patient is handled with utmost care and compassion. He said that the medical team has been quick to respond to the daily incidence of COVID-19 cases and in providing timely treatment. This has resulted in over 50 patients completely cured and discharged within a short span of time, he added.
The Hon’ble Chief Minister reiterated that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought out the best in the health workers in the State, and has signalled the possibility of Sikkim becoming a leading State in terms of providing quality health care.
The Hon’ble Chief Minister stated that the State Government has laid the highest priority on the overall improvement of the healthcare system in the State. He assured that the Government will make sure that the healthcare workers are not deprived of any necessary equipment or manpower, and added that all gaps would be fulfilled immediately. He informed that the Government has allocated an enhanced budget of Rs. 40 crore for the health sector, with an additional 16 crore as buffer fund to meet any exigencies. The Hon’ble Chief Minister also spoke about plans of the Government to establish Dialysis Units in the district hospitals as well as the sub-divisions. He informed that the Dialysis Unit in District Hospital Namchi is functional, and the one in Geyzing will be inaugurated tomorrow.

On the occasion, the Hon’ble Chief Minister made the following announcements:
1. A ‘Mobile Village Clinic’ service will be initiated in all the districts from the next financial year. He informed that the Mobile Village Clinic will have state-of-the-art equipment and will be manned by trained medical staff. Specialists will travel in the Mobile Clinic five days in a week to provide treatment and care to people in the villages and wards. He said that the Government will appoint required health workers, if necessary. He further informed that the Mobile Clinic will also be equipped with medicines. The Hon’ble Chief Minister stated that this initiative is being conceived to ensure that the people of Sikkim living in the villages and far flung areas will not have to travel to the District Hospitals for mild illnesses and routine tests. He directed the Health Department to submit a proposal to this effect immediately.
2. The Hon’ble Chief Minister announced financial incentives for all the COVID-19 frontline health workers as a token of love, respect and appreciation for their selfless service and dedication. He announced a one-time incentive of Rs. 20,000 for the doctors, Rs. 10,000 for the nursing staff, and Rs. 5000 for the supporting staff. He said that the incentives will be disbursed within fifteen days.

Hon’ble Minister Health Department Dr. M.K. Sharma began his address by remembering the selfless service of doctors around the country especially in the challenging crisis of COVID-19. He also initiated a two minutes silence for all members of the medical fraternity in the country who lost their lives while dealing with the pandemic. The Hon’ble Minister lauded the efforts of the medical fraternity of STNM Hospital and the frontline health workers in other parts of the State, in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis with utmost efficiency. Speaking on the theme of Doctors’ Day Celebration, he called for the need to be highly vigilant and aware of asymptomatic hypoxia, to avoid deaths due to COVID-19. The Hon’ble Minister also shared some of the experiences he has faced in the past as a professional doctor himself.

One of the highlights of the programme was the live video conferencing of the Hon’ble Chief Minister with the medical team (COVID-19 Warriors) of Isolation Wards in the COVID wing of STNM Hospital as well as the COVID warriors under quarantine. The Hon’ble Chief Minister extended his gratitude and Doctors’ Day greetings to the COVID warriors. Though his encouraging words, the Hon’ble Chief Minister thanked the COVID warriors for setting a unique benchmark though their service.

Ms. Menuka Pradhan, Staff Nurse, STNM Hospital, who was among the first batch of health workers to serve the first COVID-patient, shared her experiences on the occasion. She thanked the Government of Sikkim for providing all the necessary support throughout.

Earlier, Medical Superintendent, STNM Hospital, Dr. C.S Sharma in his welcome address highlighted the vital services rendered by doctors even under the most challenging circumstances.

Head of Department, Forensic Medicines, Dr. O.T. Lepcha highlighted the significance of Doctors’ Day.

Likewise, Additional Medical Superintendent, STNM Hospital, Dr. Yudok Bhutia presented the status report of Covid-19 Management in the State and the COVID dedicated wing of STNM Hospital. She explained in detail the timeline of COVID-19 and the steps taken by the State to combat the virus.

Also, during the programme, Senior Medical Officer, STNM Hospital, Dr. Tara Gautam recited a poem titled ‘Bimari Ko Bibasta’ which she had coined after completing her duty at the COVID-19 Isolation Ward.

The programme concluded with the vote of thanks proposed by Head of Department, Dermatology, STNM Hospital, Dr. Tshering Peggy.

Chief Secretary chairs State Task Force Meeting to discuss unlock 2.0

Gangtok, July 1(IPR): Chief Secretary Shri S.C. Gupta chaired the State Level Task Force Meeting at the Conference Hall of Tashiling Secretariat today to review the State Government’s plan of action in line with the new guidelines for phased reopening (unlock 2.0) issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India dated 29th June 2020.

The meeting was attended by members of the State Level Task Force and was joined by all District Collectors through video conference.

At the outset, the Chief Secretary informed that the fresh guidelines 2.0 on phased re-opening (unlocking) of activities issued recently is enforced from1st July to 31st July 2020 in the State of Sikkim. He directed the officials for strict enforcement of the new guidelines.

The new guidelines were discussed in detail during the meeting, and specific directives issued.

The Chief Secretary also said that it is mandatory for the returnees to get prior registration on and undergo compulsory quarantine as per the Health Department protocol.

The Chief Secretary reiterated that all the Government offices will now function with 50% of staff strength to ensure that all important works are attended to.

Thereafter, the Chief Secretary also convened a meeting with the Heads of various departments to prepare a comprehensive report on the damages caused due to natural calamities in the State. The meeting also had the presence of Additional Chief Secretary, Finance, Shri V.B. Pathak and DGP Shri A.Shankar Rao and heads of departments.

During the meeting, the Chief Secretary made an assessment of various places which have been severely damaged by the recent flash floods and landslides triggered by the incessant rainfall in the State. He also asked the concerned officers to identify the vulnerable and affected areas which needed immediate attention like Adarshgaon in Singtam, Tsong and Salley villages in West District, Passingdang, Bay, Shipgyer and Mangan in North District.

He directed the District Collector North to identify a safe place to shift approximately 35 to 40 households of Passingdang village in North District which has been severely damaged by the flash flood as the village is still in a vulnerable condition. The Chief Secretary also directed DC North for re-location of the people in Bay and Shipgyer which are prone to natural calamities.

In the meeting, the Chief Secretary directed the heads of departments to prepare a detailed report on damages caused by the natural calamities and submit to the Secretary Coordination and Secretary cum Relief Commissioner, Land Revenue and Disaster Department for onward submission to the office of Chief Secretary by 5th of July 2020.

A thorough discussion on department wise plans and proposals on assessment and mitigation of natural calamities were also discussed during the meeting.