Hon’ble Chief Minister meets Union Minister of State for Finance

New Delhi, 18 Jun (IPR): Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang (Golay) met Union Minister of State for Finance, Shri Anurag Thakur, at Cabinet Secretariat in New Delhi today. He was accompanied by Tourism Minister, Shri B.S. Panth, and officials of CMO.

The HCM in his brief discussion apprised him about the financial constraints faced by the State and sought for help and necessary grants from the Centre to overcome the burden. He also discussed about youth empowerment and sports development possibilities in Sikkim.

The Union Minister of State for Finance gave his valuable suggestions and also assured of all possible help and needful support from his end.

Incessant rain triggers landslides in North district

Mangan, 18 Jun (IPR): Due to continuous and incessant rain since couple of days in North Sikkim, it has triggered landslides at many parts of the district which has caused inconvenience to the tourist and local public of the district.

A cloud burst has been reported to have occurred somewhere in the up-stream of the Dam of Teesta III, Chungthang at 2.30 PM, Monday. As per SDM, Chungthang there is no report of any casualty or damages

All the people living in lower belt have been alerted about the situation by the District Administrative Centre, North under the guidance of the DM, North. However, there is no report of any massive landslides.

All machines and men have been mobilized to clear the landslide at war foot manner wherever the landslide has occurred.

As per the source of information, NHPC Guest House located near Dikchu bridge has also been washed away, similarly, Mantam foot suspension bridge has been collapsed in upper Dzongu last night. As an aftermath Sakyong-Pentong, Bay and some other villages of upper Dzongu have been totally cutoff.

All road connectivity of the district is clear except Chungthang to Lachen is blocked at Munsithang and several points, Efforts were underway to clear the roads as soon as possible.

River Teesta Update from DC, East

Singtam, 18 Jun (IPR): The level of River Teesta has decreased considerably and situation is normal as of now. However, people are still advised not to go near the river bank. Police SDRF and NDRF teams are taking rounds in different places.

It was also informed that inspection will be done today by Secretary (Land Revenue), DM East, SDM Rangpo, DPO DM, etc.

Hon’ble Chief Minister directs State Authority to help stranded tourists in North Sikkim

Gangtok, 17 Jun (IPR): Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang (Golay), in his official press release, has stated that he is deeply concerned with the news of stranded tourists at North Sikkim. He has directed the State authorities including the DC North and East and other agencies involved to clear the road as soon as possible so that the stranded tourists reach their respective destinations.

The HCM has also directed the authorities to extend all possible help to the tourists and the general public who are suffering out of the unprecedented calamity and road blockage due to torrential rain.

He has further directed DM East and DM North to take all necessary precautionary measures and closely monitor the water levels of Teesta River to prevent any damage to life and property.

Accordingly, the DC East has informed that all agencies including Singtam and Rangpo Nagar Panchayats, civil defence people in Singtam, SHOs Singtam/Rangpo, district hospital Singtam etc. are all placed on high alert since afternoon. The vulnerable houses have already been evacuated in Adarshgaon area in the day time.

NHPC & Police have been conducting regular loudspeaker announcements alerting the people to be cautious. BDOs, Nagar Panchayats, District hospitals, civil defence, NHPC all carried out awareness and are still on alert. SDRF and NDRF are also kept on alert in case of any eventualities, it was informed.

As per the statement from DC East, Shri Kapil Meena, Civil Defence members present in Singtam said that there is no new danger and on physical viewing, the water level has not increased and is normal as of now.  He also informed that they are in touch with all the concerned agency and the stakeholders and have asked the public not to panic.

Hon’ble Chief Minister calls on Union Cabinet Minister of Food Processing

New Delhi, 17 Jun (IPR): Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang (Golay) called on Union Cabinet Minister of Food Processing in the Government of India, Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal, today. Industries Minister, Shri B.S. Panth, was also present during the meeting.

The Union Cabinet Minister was accompanied by former Deputy CM of Punjab, Shri Sukbir Singh Badal. The leaders discussed all possibilities of improving food processing industries in Sikkim. The Union Cabinet Minister has assured all necessary support to the State of Sikkim.

1st batch of Kailash Mansarovar Yatra ’19 flagged off from Gangtok

Gangtok, 16 Jun (IPR): First batch of pilgrims for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra-2019 via Nathula Pass in Sikkim was flagged off from Gangtok today.

Additional Chief Secretary, Tourism & Civil Aviation Department, Government of Sikkim, Dr. K. Jayakumar, IAS, flagged off two buses carrying the pilgrims from a local hotel for 1st Climate Acclimatization Centre which is located at 15th Mile and 17th Mile.

A total of 31 (20 Male & 11 Female) pilgrims including two Liaison Officers (LO) is in the first batch of Journey for which a briefing session was organised at a local hotel here in Gangtok by the Tourism & Civil Aviation Department, Government of Sikkim.

Addressing the briefing session, ACS, Dr. Jayakumar, extended his warm welcome and congratulated the pilgrims. He also enlightened the pilgrims on the value of Indian culture and the significance of divine journey to the holy place.

Elucidating on the arrangements being made, he said that the Government of India and Government of Sikkim have been putting strong endeavours in all aspects for smooth conduct of the journey and added that there is nothing to be worried about and everyone should embark on this journey with full faith and confidence.

Special Secretary, Tourism & Civil Aviation Department, Ms. Namrata Thapa, in her articulation, welcomed pilgrims and expressed the pleasure of the department in extending support and services to the pilgrims of KMY. She also applauded on the active participation of senior citizens and further touched upon the beauty of nature in Sikkim.

Commandant, 48th Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Mr. T.S. Mangang, briefed about the route chart to Kailash Mansarovar, the acclimatization schedules, Do’s & Dont’s of KMY, acute mountain sickness and also urged to follow directions of the Liaison Officer and adhere to the given timings. He also informed about various rules and regulations to be followed during their onward journey.

Further, he advised everyone to remain mentally strong and peaceful throughout the journey.

The pilgrims will stay at 15th Mile and 17th Mile for the first two days and at Sherathang for another two days for acclimatization. Indo-Tibetan Border Police to conduct final round of Medical Check-up at Sherathang on 19th June, a day before crossing the indian territory and the pilgrims to cross Nathu-La pass for onward Journey towards Kailash Mansarovar on 20th June.

It may be noted that on the same day on 20th June, 2nd Batch of Kailash Mansarovar Yatra will arrive here in Sikkim from New Delhi.

It was also informed that the 1st batch will return to Gangtok on 1st July from Kangma and will leave for New Delhi via Bagdogra on 2nd July 2019.

HON’BLE CHIEF MINISTER’S SPEECH AT THE 5TH EDITION OF NITI AAYOG MEET

New Delhi, 16 Jun (IPR): HON’BLE CHIEF MINISTER SHRI PREM SINGH TAMANG’S SPEECH AT THE 5TH EDITION OF NITI AAYOG MEETING CHAIRED BY HON’BLE PRIME MINISTER SHRI NARENDRA MODI ON JUNE 15TH:

Hon’ble and Respected Prime Minister

Hon’ble Union Ministers

Hon’ble Chief Ministers of various States

Hon’ble Vice Chairman and the Members of the NITI Aayog

Very distinguished officials

Ladies and Gentlemen

Namaskar !

I bring warmest greetings from the people of Sikkim to all of you in this first meeting of the NITI Aayog after the formation of the new and second NDA Government led by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

Hon’ble Prime Minister Sir, we warmly congratulate you and the entire NDA team for this second inning and also for your very far reaching and visionary leadership in the country. Your political sagacity and depth and scale of new variety of governance are now globally recognised. Your farsighted stewardship of the NITI Aayog has started generating fruits of success and long term planning.

This very timely meeting of the NITI Aayog on so very critical issues of water, drought, agriculture and security are of tremendous importance to us in Sikkim. This also provides us with an opportunity to put forward our perspectives and needs before the NITI Aayog.

Besides being one of the major water towers in the Eastern Himalayas, Sikkim is endowed with two major river systems Teesta and Rangit. We get adequate rainfall. Even then we have faced situations of high drought, severe drinking water crisis, and bouts of water insecurity. It has adversely affected the entire agricultural heritage and related livelihood. Water pollution triggered by haphazard mushrooming of industrial units near the river beds, unplanned, unviable, hazardous and largely unsuccessful hydel power plants have created a huge imbalance in water availability and distribution.

Once we were the fresh water capital of the Eastern Himalayas. However due to the prolonged mis-governance, deep rooted corruption and leadership that tried to freely auction every natural resource of Sikkim in the last 25 years, we have reached a sorry and threatening state of affairs today. We consider all these to seriously impinge upon our national security. Our Government has a formidable challenge to correct these wrongs and provide a new direction.

All our four districts could be considered and incorporated in the aspirational districts programme. They have contrasting topographical features, common symptoms of laggardness and high potentials as growth centres. What is required is a well laid out long term plans, physical infrastructures and social amenities. The South district could focus on institutions, the west on tourism; north on centre of excellence for climate change studies and the east on floriculture, horticulture and light industries.

Hon’ble Prime Minister Sir, your imaginative interventions and honest and consistent efforts to reposition the North East Region of India in the last five years have brought a large number of international and multilateral institutions. These include the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, the UN agencies and even the JICA from Japan. We would really urge all these institutions to come to Sikkim and participate in our aspirational district programmes in a big way.

We are keen to play a pivotal role in understanding the impact of climate change on the Himalayan regions and put forward strategies to conserve the cultural, agricultural, biodiversity, water and other heritage.

Hon’ble Prime Minister Sir, your bold action and beyond the horizon thinking on India’s Act East Policy has highly inspired us to integrate the produces of the entire North East region for exports to South East and East Asia through the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway . These produce could be agricultural, floriculture, horticulture, bamboo, silk, and even services like education, health, music and tourism. In this respect, we sincerely urge the regional planning body like the North Eastern Council and the line Ministry of the Development of North Eastern Region to do a comprehensive project based planning.

In order to integrate the market and take full advantage of the India-ASEAN Free Trade agreement, we could even invite the investors from South East Asian Countries to the North East Region under the newly introduced North East Industrial Development Scheme 2018 (NEIDS) of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Being a strategically located state- peace, harmony, stability and prosperity with equality are very crucial principles of our governance in Sikkim. Our Government considers the crucial issue of national security as of paramount importance and of top most priority.

We have increasingly felt the need of nurturing our young children in schools and adults in colleges and universities with sharp consciousness about the national security interests. Hon’ble Prime Minister Sir, to this effect, we are soon going to introduce courses and programmes in the curriculum in schools and higher education institutions.

The state of Sikkim, despite profuse funding from the Union Government, is in the dire situation of large scale debt and extensive liability. We have inherited a literally empty exchequer. We remain deeply shattered by the unexplainable and unjustifiable guarantee that the State Govt generously extended to the scores of failed hydel power projects and other ventures. At this juncture, Hon’ble Prime Minister Sir, we would like to humbly request the Government of India to kindly make two effective interventions.

Firstly, an independent national commission may be appointed to examine the entire mismanagement of funds and their leakages in the last 25 years.

And secondly, to make a onetime generous financial grant to the State to recover from all these debts, laggardness and inequities.

With this very hope of restoring confidence and justice only, the people of Sikkim have voted us to form the Government and also to be a partner in the National Democratic Alliance.

We assure the nation that Sikkim is going to demonstrate a great leap forward in course of next few years with the prudent use of all the resources at its command.

We once again express our warmest greetings.

Thank you Sir, for your patience

Jai Hind and Jai Sikkim