SIKKIM NEWS: Sikkim Annual Plan budget at Rs 1175 cr – while Darjeeling continues to languish under Bengal with 3 times the population and problems ?!!
FROM THE HINDU BUSINESS LINE
GANGTOK, Monday, June 21, 2010: Sikkim’s Annual Plan Budget for 2010-11 as allocated by the Planning Commission of Rs 1175 cr was announced on the opening day today of the four day Budget Session-2010 of the assembly.
This year’s plan budget was an increase of 12.4 per cent over the 2009-10 of Rs.1045 cr which also includes a special plan assistance of Rs. 200 cr in the form of grants for projects of special importance to the state.
The allocation includes an additional central assistance of Rs 301.10 cr earmarked for special projects approved by the Planning Commission.
Governor, B P Singh in his address to the house, said “The Planning Commission has noted with deep appreciation of achievements and progress made by my government and based on the good performance and governance and governance, the allocation has been de servingly rewarded.”
He commended the excellent and pioneering initiatives taken by the government in making the state one of the most progressive in the country. – PTI
Seminar on Sikkim-Darjeeling Merger at Gangtok – political opportunism on the sensitive ‘Gorkha Identity Issue’ ?!!
Gangtok, June 20: Politician and intellectuals from Sikkim and Darjeeling are here to attend the seminar today organized by Gorkha Rashtriya Congress on ‘Sikkim-Darjeeling Merger’ at Chhukasum Hall, Nam-Nang. In nature, the legitimate aspirations of the people of Darjeeling and Sikkim will be in focus on the seminar. The organizers are seeking the opinion from the intellectuals which will support to draw a line of future agenda of the party.
In the aspirations of the people of Darjeeling and Sikkim, state unit President of the Party Niran Rai appealed to everybody, not to treat the issue as a problem. ‘Treat it as a matter of concern to solve the future problem and help to untie the unsolved problem of the disputed land’, he said.
OPINION: Supporting the issue of Darjeeling Sikkim unification is suicidal – G M Rai – echoing the conscience of secular Gorkha homes or a ploy to divide them further ?!!
Gangtok June 20: The seminar on The Importance of Sikkim-Darjeeling Unification in the context of the Present Political Scenario was held today at Tshoka-Som, Nam-Nang under the initiative of Sikkim unit of Gorkha Rastriya Congress (GRC).
Addressing the seminar DK Bomzan, President GRC said that the Sikkim-Darjeeling unification is the only way to free from the mental slavery of the Bengal government for the people of the Darjeeling hills. If Sikkim is really concerned about the future of its own community then she should support the issue, he said.
Our motherland is none other than Sikkim as the historical essence shows Sikkim as the legal owner of the Darjeeling hills under the Chogyal regime and it has been acceptable by now. But in recent Darjeeling has been treated as the detached son of the same mother owing to which she had to face hundred and three years of slavery, he further told.
Bomzan further raised the topic of the present political stand of Sikkim and expressed that the people here has known to live on government grants. But they should think above that and stuff the feelings of competition so they can abstain from becoming a mere grant seeker when the Bengal government already accepted Sikkim as the legal owner of Darjeeling hills way back in 1986 issuing it on white paper, he said.
The unification of Sikkim-Darjeeling will bring one hundred and thirty nine tea-estates, colleges, universities, bigger territory and further better infrastructure and most importantly a sense of pride with itself from Darjeeling only to enrich Sikkim which will prove beneficial for her in days to come, Bomzan further spoke while counting the benefits of the proposed merger.
Also addressing the juncture Durga Lama, one of the revolutionary of the 73rd agitation of Sikkim said that there is much to be exploited in the context of this issue as it is a sensitive one.
The very issue should be raised in valid platform for creating a spark but the people here should not feel insecure on being merged with Darjeeling hills which is quite possible in future, she suggested.
However addressing the seminar Biraj Adhikari, President Sikkim National Peoples Party said that Sikkim in future may not face security problem with the merger but she is already insecure from its own present government. The initiative of pink card and COI of the state government has mere become useless exercise and nothing else, he expressed.
He further told that the present approach of the GRC requires Politically, Socially, Environmental and Constitutional attachment with it.
In course of expressing the views at the juncture GM Rai, President Gorkha Prajatantrik Party said that supporting the issue of merger is suicidal as the people of Darjeeling are none other than ‘thugs’ and those people of Darjeeling hills are impossible to trust.
GRC has only raised this issue of merger to create the disturbance of the prevailing peace of the state. Further it will hamper the special provisions of our state, he said.
Rai further told that whoever the people of Darjeeling is supporting the merger is just eying the rich resource of Sikkim. One can not help his community by bringing up the rear of his present condition, he expressed.
Earlier BP Bajgain, writer of the forty six issue of Gorkhaland diary said that a scientific approach other than political approach is needed for adding a pace to this issue and expressed that the Unification by means of mind is much needed for the Ecological, Environmental and Habitational assurance for our hills. Historically, ethnologically and linguistically Darjeeling and Sikkim is one, he told.
One can not restrain the political and environmental misbalance which is likely to occur in the adjoining hills of Sikkim and Darjeeling by tomorrow. There is no unhurt escape from the present burning problem of Darjeeling for Sikkim and vice-versa, he expressed.
The seminar was also addressed by Nabin Kiran, General Secretary All Sikkim Educated Employed and Unemployed Association, Niran Rai, State Convener GRC and Subodh Pakhrin, President Sikkim-Darjeeling United Front which were participated by intellectuals of Darjeeling and the state.