Gangtok, 07 Feb (IPR): Hon’ble Chief Minister Mr Pawan Chamling laid the foundation stone of three important infrastructures in the capital today.
The Chief Minister laid the foundation stone of Social Housing for Economically Weaker Section, a project under Gangtok Smart City Development Limited, at Sokeythang. The programme had the presence of Minister, UD&HD Shri N.K. Subba, Ministers, MLAs, Mayor GMC, Secretary UD&HD and other Heads of Departments, and officers of UD&HD and Gangtok Smart City Project. The Housing facility will be built at an estimated cost of Rs. 43 Crore, and will comprise of seven blocks, 240 dwelling units and 6 individual plots.
The Chief Minister then laid the foundation stone of another project under the Smart City Development Limited, the upcoming Khangchendzonga Square at the existing premise of the STNM complex outside the Orthopedic Department. The project comprises of a multi-layered car park and commercial hub.
The Khangchendzonga Square is going to be a recreational cum interactive public plaza with facilities like shopping, food court and a parking arena. The space is constructed keeping in mind access and movement for the differently-abled people as well and the total project cost is estimated at approximately 81 Crore.
Chief Minister Shri Pawan Chamling then attended the Bhoomi Pooja cum foundation laying of Marwari Swarajanik Sewa Bhawan at the existing Old Children Park Complex, above taxi stand, in the presence of the Minister for Urban Development & Housing Department, Mr. N.K Subba and other dignitaries.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister congratulated the Gangtok Marwari Samaj Sewa Trust (GMSST) for community development through social gatherings and awareness and expressed his happiness and pleasure for being able to play the role of a leader in such an event. He stated that under the governance of the State Government, business activities have expanded, derived profit and functioned in peace sans any conflict. He asked the business community and entrepreneurs to be creative and innovative in their business ventures to take the trading profession to a whole new level.
He said that while currently, there is a 5% reservation in higher studies for the business community children, the government would look into and consider a rise in the percentage in the coming session. He also stated that they would also consider the 35% subsidy for Start-up Loans, depending on budget preparation and financial analysis by the concerned departments.
He spoke on the existing benefits of the Residential Certificate and said that almost every perks and advantage given to a Sikkimese is granted to those in possession of the RC as well. He explained that certain differences exist based on the Old Laws of the State and those must be recalled and respected. He said that a government who has taken the efforts to formulate such policies for old residents and provide them with equal opportunities is a government that works towards community development. From free education to medical facilities and various grants, the State Government has worked in fairness.
He urged the people to take advantage of the 90% reservation in the industrial sector and work towards the progress of the State through manufacturing and related commercial activities. He stated that the government has been inclusive socially, culturally and even politically and the evidence is palpable.
Speaking of infrastructural development in the State, he thanked former heads of departments and current officials of UDHD, Engineering Cells for being able to make such progress. He asked the people to be proud of the fact that they live in the Cleanest and the Greenest City of the North-East Region. This, he said has enhanced the quality of life, thus leading to higher standard of living and with peace and stability, Gangtok is an example for other cities to look up to. He reiterated that the State Government has provided the business community with equal opportunities and given the respect that they deserve.
He asked them to reap profits through various branches of tourism, mainly through hospitality and commute. He said that the State Government has been working towards making Sikkim a Pilgrimage Tourist Destination hence, keeping the pilgrimage tourists in mind, there can be many unexplored avenues to tread on and explore. He also said that Sikkim is the only State in the country where the Government is mindful of the ecclesiastical affairs and makes sure to contrive, create and construct religious sites and structures. He remarked that it was also a proud moment for all Sikkimese to realize that in the last 24 years there has been no conflict over caste, creed and religion.
Another sector that he asked the business community to develop and explore was the organic field. He asked them to work in proximity with the farmers and help them bring their organic products to the market. He asked them to use the brand of “Organic Sikkim” when dealing commercially with products and services both. He suggested that an Organic Hotel or an Organic Fast Food would be a revolutionary idea that could accelerate the business in the State.
He also spoke on the State moving ahead through industries of Pharmaceuticals, Hydel Power Plants and Road Connectivity and Transport. He said that while these help with branding, basic needs and connectivity to remote and rural areas, they also provide job opportunities, create real estate and generate revenue for the State. When roads reach places, so does development, he said.
He said that Sikkim is the only State to provide free education even in higher studies, as every individual must be empowered with education. The government has never and will never compromise on the education sector for it is the ammunition of the modern man. He also mentioned the new STNM hospital and said that there will be free medical treatment and dialysis for Sikkimese people. He said that the State Government has always had courage and temerity both to work fearlessly for the well being and welfare of the State.
He reminded the people that all necessities had been taken care of and that, the people of Sikkim have always been provided for. He also spoke on the growth of transport and civil aviation and stated that soon enough, the State would have railway links for easier and efficient commute.
He concluded his address by asking the people to bring about peaceful change and not a change that would sabotage the future of the public. He urged them to use their democratic right with full responsibility. He asked them to develop a sense of ownership and not to compromise on the peace and stability of the State for trivial changes.
Earlier, Mr. Hari Prasad Agarwal, President of the GMSST welcomed the Chief Minister and the gathering. He thanked the Chief Minister for the constant support, guidance and for the development of the business community and expressed his satisfaction. The growth of business and the community both, he said was due to the relentless efforts and the encouragement of the State Government.
The architect for the complex, Mr. C. Singhi provided a brief detail of the structure stating that it was spread over 16,000 sq. ft. and would house banquet/conference hall, rooms and kitchens. He said that the purpose of the complex would be to meet and provide community service.