NEWS FROM SIKKIM: “Degradation of Himalayan eco-system an issue of concern and a challenge”

NEWS FROM SIKKIM: “Degradation of Himalayan eco-system an issue of concern and a challenge” – and not an isolated area case where Darjeeling is parochially ignored ?!!

Prof. Dr. Mahendra P lama, Vice-Chancellor of Sikkim University speaking at the Seminar - critical and resourceful minds of India on equitable distribution of resources for all ?!!

From The Sikkim Reporter
By Vishnu Neopaney

Gangtok, Aug 8, 2010: Dr Prodipto Ghosh, former Secretary of Ministry of Forest and Environment, Govt. of India said Sikkim should play a ‘vocal role’ in the issue of degradation of Himalayan eco-system.

Dr. Ghosh was addressing the third Foundation day National Seminar on ‘Mountain Regions and Climate Change: Impact, Adaptations and Policies, here at Chintan Bhawan on August 7, organized by Sikkim University. Former chief secretary of Sikkim Mr. KC Pradhan chaired the first half of the seminar.

Delivering his key note address on the seminar topic, ‘Challenges for sustainability in the Indian Himalayas’, Dr Ghosh, who is also the India’s representative in the global climate change negotiations, said the climate change refers to the ‘change of the climate that is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere’.

Mentioning that the Himalayan bio-diversity hotspot covers an area of nearly 7.5 lakh square kilometer he said, it also produces a distinct climate of its own. He said, the Indian Himalayan region consists of 816 varieties of trees, 765 wild edibles and over 1,740 species of medicinal plants which are of great significance and value.

Stating that the degradation of Himalayan eco-system is emerging as one of the major issues of challenge and concern for the environmentalists, Dr Ghosh pointed out that deforestation, submergence of rivers and valleys by hydro power plants, pollution of fresh water sources, improper sewerage disposal are some of the major factors which are affecting the Himalayan eco-system directly.

All three major policy documents on Himalayan study are premised on accomplishing sustainable development and not environment conservation or responding to climate change, he added.

Prof Jayanta Bandopadhaya from Indian Institute of Management (Kolkata) made a power point presentation on problems of global warming and climate change in the Himalayan region.

He said the making of a database on the spatial variability of the Himalayan climate has now become vital for accessing the impacts of global warming and climate change. He asserted that the Himalayan glaciers are much more stable in comparison to other glaciers, adding, 30-40 percent of the glaciers of the world could melt with the warming of two to three degree Celsius by 2015. He also spoke on an alternative approach to evolve local adaptation strategies.

Mr. KC Pradhan in his address said Sikkim is rich in bio-diversity and it should be used for the commercial purposes. He said the people should not only remain custodians but should market the bio-diversity commercially. Expressing concern over the deploring old food habits he said the hotels in Sikkim should adapt the local food culture. He also said that ‘Sikkim lacks the culture of sharing information so the Sikkim University should take a lead in this area’.

Prof. Dr. Mahendra P lama, Vice-Chancellor of Sikkim University, said the seminar aims at deliberating awareness on the issue of climate change and mountain regions by critical and resourceful minds of India and the countries abroad.

Prof Lama said the onus of protecting and conserving the significant portion of the fragile environment has been with the people of Darjeeling, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. ‘The protection of bio-diversity and the forward and backward linkages emanating from it to the entire Himalayan Community and plain land have never been quantified. Many quarters are not able to appreciate the work the people of this region are doing for sustainability of the region’ Prof Lama added.

Mentioning that the issues of global warming and climate change have started affecting even when there is not much of awareness about this at the very local level he added that the receding glaciers, hot winters and the poor regenerative cycles have started occurring with great frequency.

Dr LMS Palni from GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, Almora, Dr Pradeep Mool of International Center for Integrated Mountain development, Kathmandu, Dr Pulok Mukhrjee of school of Natural products studies, Jadavpur university, Sally Daultrey from the University of California and Dr Anamika Barua from Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati also addressed the seminar.

New guidelines for contract jobs Preference to unemployed youth through co-operative societies – so no more ugly street protests ?!!

Unemployed Youth rally in Gangtok - a cultural abrogation and taking the lustre out of development ?!!

From The Sikkim Reporter
By the SR staff reporter

Gangtok, Aug 9, 2010: The State government has issued fresh guidelines for issuance of tender works for development schemes under the Roads & Bridges department worth up to Rs. 2 crores, keeping in view the interests of registered cooperatives managed by unemployed educated youth in Sikkim.

Only registered cooperative societies within the territorial jurisdiction of gram panchayat or urban local bodies where the work is to be executed are eligible for works of value up to Rs. 50 lakhs.

For contract works above Rs. 50 lakhs and up to Rs. 2 crores, both registered cooperative societies and contractors from the respective Assembly constituency and district where the works are to be executed are eligible to bid.

Giving more preference to the unemployed youth, the State government has also made it clear that one out of every four civil works between Rs. 50 lakhs to Rs. 2 crores in the concerned Assembly and district may be kept reserved for the registered co-operative societies of the educated unemployed youth and women through tender among Societies.

Only registered contractors are allowed to participate in contract works above Rs. 2 crores that has to be executed through e-tendering process.

As per a recent notification issued by the State Roads & Bridges department, registered cooperative societies within territorial jurisdiction of the gram panchayat or urban local bodies where the work of Grade IV contract with limit up to Rs. 20 lakhs to be executed.

For Class III grade contract with limit above Rs. 20 lakhs up to Rs. 50 lakhs, registered cooperative societies within the territorial jurisdiction of the gram panchayat or urban local bodies where the work to be executed are eligible.

For Class II B contract works of value between Rs. 50 lakhs and Rs. 1 crore, registered contractors and registered cooperative societies within the territorial jurisdiction of the Assembly constituency where the work is to be executed are eligible.

Registered contractors and cooperative societies within the territorial jurisdiction of the district where the work is to be executed are also eligible for Class II A works whose above Rs. 1 crore up to Rs. 2 crores.

Only registered contractors of appropriate grade within the territorial jurisdiction of the district are eligible for work above Rs. 2 crores and up to Rs. 5 crores. The work is to be executed through e-tendering process. Similarly guidelines have been framed for contract works above Rs. 5 crores and up to Rs. 10 crores.

For Class I AA contracts above Rs. 10 crores, all registered contractors of appropriate grade within the State and country are eligible where prequalification criteria to be adopted and executed through e-tendering process.

The notification has also delegated power to competent authorities for calling tenders.
For civil works of value up to Rs. 50 lakhs, the gram panchayat through gram sabha or urban local bodies through local bodies meetings can call for tender within the territorial jurisdiction of gram panchayat or urban local bodies where the work is to be executed.

A divisional engineer or sub-divisional engineer has been delegated the power to call tender for civil works worth above Rs. 50 lakhs and up to Rs. 1 crore. One out of every four works in the district may be kept reserved for registered cooperative societies of educated unemployed youth through tender among societies, the department said.

For civil works whose value is above Rs. 1 crore and up to Rs. 2 crores, a superintending engineer or district collector can call the tender and, here also, one out of every four works in the district may be reserved for registered cooperative societies of the educated unemployed youth.

An officer of the rank of an additional chief engineer, chief engineer or departmental secretary can call for tender for civil works whose value is above Rs 2 crores through e-tendering process.

Focus on education to brave the modern world: CM to students – and do watch out for corruption from within ?!!

Sikkim CM Dr Pawan Chamling at children at Jawahar Lal Nehru Memorial Institute for Handicapped - not blind to corruption allegations ?!! (Sikkim Reporter)

From The Sikkim Reporter
By Prakash Chettri

Namchi, Aug 9, 2010: Chief Minister Dr. Pawan Chamling on Sunday encouraged the physically challenged children at Jawahar Lal Nehru Memorial Institute for Handicapped (widely known as Blind School).

In conversation with the physically challenged students of this institute, he encouraged them during visit of South Sikkim. “You all are challenged physically but not mentally, you have the potentiality to face and overcome every challenge in this universe as the common men are doing”, Dr. Chamling said cheering up the students.

He told the students to “focus on the education” which, he said, will teach them to struggle and adjust with the modern world. Later, the Chief Minister held a meeting with the institute administration. Hearing the grievances and problems of the institute, he assured to solve all the problems through his government as well as by his personal effort.

Chief Minster, who is well informed about the skills of these handicapped children, especially in the field of music and culture, said that if they want to go ahead with the same skill and potentiality then he will help them whole heartedly. As a step to provide a balanced diet for the students of the institute, Chief Minister handed over an amount of Rs.1 lakh to the Institute administration.

He also distributed clothes among the students, while his family organized a lunch for the students and institute staff, in which along with the Chief Minister his wife Tika Maya Chamling and their children also took part.

Earlier, Chief Minster along with his family members went to Kholaghari Shiv Mandir and performed puja there. He was accompanied by MLA Namchi Singithang, Binod Rai, Chairman BT Tamang and Vice Chairman NH Ansari of Namchi Municipal Council, Upadhyaksha South Himal Tamang, Secretary RM&DD AK Ganeriwala and other district officials. Coming to Namchi on Saturday, Chief Minister inspected the construction project of Chaar Dhaam at Solophok the same day.

NGOs move to recall birds to their habitat – denudation not an answer or an option, nor is hunting ?!!

Mrs Gould's Sunbird from the Kitam Sanctuary - a birdwatcher's paradise of the flying kind ?!!

From Sikkim Reporter
By the SR staff reporter

Namchi, Aug 9, 2010: Soon the jungle of Kitam Bird Sanctuary in Kitam, South Sikkim, will be filled with the trees of flowering and fruit bearing plants. The responsibility to fill the forest area with such plants with the aim to attract large number of wild animals and birds has been shouldered by local NGO Munal Club.

Fruit giving plants like guava, amala, lechi and other locally available plants have been planted in the forest area of Kitam Bird Sanctuary. President of the club KN Pradhan on Sunsay informed that the flowering and fruit bearing saplings were planted on the occasion of World Environment Day 2010 in presence of area MLA Melli Constituency Tulsi Devi Rai, Ex MLAs and government officials.

He further informed that the club has also taken the responsibilities to take care of the planted saplings and as a post plantation care programme, the members of the club Sunday went to the plantation site and organized a programme in which both male and female members of Munal Club cleared the site so that the saplings can grow smoothly and once again the jungle is filled with such plants.

Talking to reporters the club members said, Kitam area is well known as a bird sanctuary but due to lack of flowering and fruit giving plants (as the area only have sal trees) most of the birds and wild animals of the area were migrating elsewhere leaving. Hence the club has taken this initiative to re-attract these birds and animals in the sanctuary area which, according to the members, will add more glory to the beauty of the forest.

The club members are dismayed at the ill habit of some people who were dumping garbage, especially construction garbage, in the forest area where the club is working for its development.

Singer calls at destitute home – the power of popular music that knows no boundaries, except for the statehood call in Darjeeling ?!!

Nima Rumba - The Nepalese pop star, shaking hearts in Sikkim ?!! (SR)

From Sikkim Reporter
By the SR staff reporter

Gangtok, Aug 8, 2010: Nima Rumba, renowned singer of Nepal, Saturday afternoon visited Sikkim’s lone destitute home managed and run by an NGO, Mayalmu Lee, at 5th Mile Tadong. He was accompanied by former minister and also a social worker T. Lachungpa.

Mr. Rumba, with love and affection to all the destitute persons, offered them a packed lunched. He shared views with inmates of the home who evinced keen interest. He assured the NGO that he will organise a charity show in Gangtok to raise fund for the destitute home.

Mr. Lachungpa, who has borne most of the expenditure of the NGO, also assured his support for the noble cause to help destitute persons of the home. At present 31 persons are living in the home and three persons are admitted in hospital, one of them is in critical condition. He was found five days ago at dying stage at Gangtok.

The singer urges the civil society to lend their physical and mental support to help helpless persons, with love and affection on humanitarian ground.

EARLIER

Longest Calligraphy Scroll – Jamyang Dorjee Chakrishar sets world record – long, long, long road to Lhasa – so to the world book of fame instead ?!!

Jamyang Dorjee Chakrishar revealing the World's Longest Calligraphy Scroll at the Flushing Medow Park in New York - the story tells of a labour of love, long ways from anywhere ?!!

From World Records Academy

NEW YORK CITY, USA, Sunday, Aug 1, 2010: Jamyang Dorjee Chakrishar, a 56-year-old Tibetan Master Calligrapher, resident of Sikkim, India has created a 163.2 meters long calligraphy scroll – setting the world record for the longest calligraphy scroll.

The longest calligraphy scroll in the world is 163.2 meters long and contains long life prayers composed for His Holiness the fourteenth Dalai Lama by 32 great spiritual masters of Tibet.

The world’s longest calligraphy scroll was written on Lokta Tibetan handmade papers manufactured in Nepal by a Tibetan paper company, the ink used was Japanese Sumi Ink.

International Bestselling author Sogyal Rinpoche and Special Envoy of HH the Dalai Lama Lodi Gyari Rinpoche viewing the World's Longest Calligraphy Scroll - now we just need to interpret it into English and Chinese ?!!

The longest calligraphy scroll in the world has been previously exhibited at the Tenzin Gyatso Institute in the presence of International Bestselling author Sogyal Rinpoche and the Special Envoy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lodi Gyari Rinpoche.

It took 6 months for Jamyang to write the longest calligraphy scroll which contains 65,000 Tibetan characters, written in different Tibetan calligraphy styles including Tsugring, Tsugthung, Tsugma Kyug and Kyug form of Umed.

Born in Lhasa, Tibet, Jamyang Dorjee Chakrishar studied in Tibetan refugee schools in Shimla and Mussoorie, India.

He worked as a senior Bureaucrat for the Government of Sikkim, India and later joined the Central Tibetan Administration of the Tibetan Government in Exile in Dharamsala, India.

Jamyang is currently based in Nepal and works as the Regional Program Coordinator for the Conservancy for Tibetan Arts and Culture (CTAC).

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