SIKKIM NEWS: High Court directs BRO and state govt to restore roads within six months

SIKKIM NEWS: High Court directs BRO and state govt to restore roads within six months – now that’s a worthy example to set ?!!

A birds eye view of Gangtok - A supreme court in Sikkim, why not one in Darjeeling also ?!! To get a better overview and culturally different from that of Kolkata ?!!

FROM THE SIKKIM REPORTER
BY SR REPORTER

Gangtok, Aug 30, 2010: Sikkim High Court in a suo motto case has passed an order directing Border Road Organisation and the state government to restore National and State Highways within six months from first day of September.

A Divisional Bench of the High Court said, “On account of such bad condition of road, the main source of income, namely tourism, is very severely affected. In turn, it also reflects on the lifeline of the public and the economy of the state”. The court further said “…there is a great urgency to improve the condition of the roads and to maintain the same.”

Col. Rakshvir of BRO, who appeared in person sought three weeks time to file affidavit for execution of all the Highways road works in Sikkim, which shall include the time required for getting the permission from the competent statutory authorities, the ministry of Environment and Forest.

The Bench said that the BRO and Highway and Transport ministry shall also take all initiatives to get the best technology and mechanism in executing the road works, so that they can stick to the time schedule.

The Bench also directed the state government to identify the roads which require to be repaired and maintained properly and make such roads fit for transportation within the same time schedule.

The High Court has urged the senior advocates and members of High Court Bar Association of Sikkim to assist the court by bringing to its notice the roads that required to be attended to by the state government as well as the Border Roads Organisation.

BRO restores NH 31A connectivity, says – certain portions vulnerable – action respected ?!!

FROM THE SIKKIM REPORTER CORRESPONDENT

Gangtok, Aug 30, 2010: Road connectivity of Gangtok with rest of the country which had snapped at seven places between 32nd Mile and Singtam along the NH 31A on August 27 was restored Sunday, August 29 morning by Border Roads of Organization (BRO).

Two days’ bright sunshine enabled the Project Swastik of BRO, which looks after the highways of Sikkim and parts of North Bengal, to clear all the slides and restore traffic movement along the national highway.

“The slides have been cleared before 11 am and the highway is open for both light and heavy vehicles”, said Project Swastik executive engineer AK Singh. While five slides had been cleared early by the BRO, two stubborn slides near the Government Fruit Preservation Factory (GFPF), located 28 kms from here, had been a major headache. The first slide had breached some 15m of road and a huge pile of slush which had peeled off the hillside had buried the highway.

Fifty labourers and two huge excavators toiled hard to cut inside the hillside to approach the breach and sweep the slush of the second slide. 764 BRTF commander Manav Prasad said that the BRO had been clearing the slush near the GFPF for the past two continuous days. But the slush continues to pour down from the hill side, he said.

Prasad explained that three artificial ponds had been created by the slides some 200m further uphill. These ponds are being fed by small streams and the muck continues to roll down the hillside hampering the road restoration work, he said.

Though the slides near GPTF have been cleared for vehicular movement along the highway, BRO officials said that road links could be snapped at the same spot if it rains again. The Project Swastik executive engineer said that talks are on with geologists from Sikkim government to ‘do something’ about the ponds that had come up due to accumulation of rain-fed streams above the hill near GPTF. “We have to wait for some days when the weather will clear up. Right now the only temporary measure is to clear the slush whenever it comes”, said Singh.

In the past two days before the highway was restored, commuters traveling to and fro Gangtok had to depend on transshipment. They used to reach the troubled spot near GPTF and take a 300m detour on foot to board the waiting taxis on the other side.

Most of the vehicles from Gangtok had taken the longer distance to bypass the slides in the past two days. They used to take a detour from Ranipool, reach to Pakyong (28 kms from here) and then drop 25 kms down to Rangpo and join the NH 31A. Vehicles coming from Siliguri also took the alternative route.

State Government comes forward to assist 62 landslide-affected families – quick to action and good on its promises ?!!

From Haalkhabar
By Pravin Rai

Gangtok, 30 August, 2010: Without claiming any lives, the landslides that triggered at Rangang-Yangang constituency, South District had affected 62 families and the state government, providing a sigh of relief to the afflicted lives made an announcement to reinstate all the families.

The government had decided to rehabilitate the aggrieved at Lingmoo, south district and the constructive act is in process.

The government is ready to provide land and shelter for all the landslide-victims and other related and practical plans are still in progress, informed by CL Gurung, President of Constituency level Committee, SDF Party.

It had also been informed that the falling of boulders, debris and slush that started from 15th August at the particular spot is still going on which had hampered the daily life of 62 families of Upper Mangjing and Lower Mangjing.

40 suffered families have been evacuated to Panchayat Bhawan of the area and remaining families have been sheltered at a local’s house, it is informed.

CB Karki, State Minister for RMDD has also surveyed the area and the affected families, who were earlier, camped at a safer place. The government has been helping the families providing every facility. Further, the government has also decided to compensate the affected families, for which surveys regarding the loss have been undergoing by the department.

Mother Teresa peace rally – a week of celebrations and adulation, now service for the poorest of the poor, an example not many can emulate ?!!

Mother Teresa peace rally in Gangtok - 20 years of service in Darjeeling and birthplace of her inspiration now so-neglected by Bengal, would make Mother Teresa cry and pray ?!! (Sikkim Reporter)

FROM THE SIKKIM REPORTER CORRESPONDENT

Gangtok, Aug 30, 2010: St. Thomas Catholic Association (STCA) took out a peace rally in the town which marked conclusion of a week long celebration of the birth anniversary of Mother Teresa, the embodiment of compassion.

Participants in the rally included priests and sisters of churches of Gangtok and Pakyong, sisters of Missionaries of Charity, students and large number of devotees of Mother. Participants carried pictures of Mother, placards bearing her message and sang prayers and bhajan as the rally did the round starting from St. Thomas school ground.

Before commencement of the peace rally, a function was held at St. Thomas school auditorium to mark conclusion of the 7-day celebration. In the function, speakers briefly recalled the life and work of Mother Teresa. It was also recalled that at the holy Mother’s instance, a branch of Missionaries of Charity was established in Sikkim in 1980.

STCA publicity secretary further informs that a number of competitions was organized for students during Mother Teresa’s birth anniversary celebration.

Workshop on MSA implementation – total literacy mission by 2015, an example for the rest of India’s politicians ?!!

FROM SIKKIM REPORTER
BY SR STAFF REPORTER

Gangtok: A one day workshop cum meeting was organised on the “Mukhyamantri Saaksharta Abhiyan (MSA) 2015” at the conference hall of H.R.D.D. on 29th August, which was jointly chaired by Anil K Generiwala, Secretary, RMDD, and R. Telang, Secretary, HRDD, and attended by Special Secretary, HRDD, Director( Panchayat), District Collector, North, Director, HRDD, and Additional District Collector (East), among others.

Secretary, RMDD and Secretary, HRDD explained in details the Total Literacy Mission -2015. Officers present in the meeting raised many pertinent points about modalities of implementation of the mission which were clarified by the concerned Secretaries. After full deliberation on the issue the meeting resolved to assign the responsibility for implementation of “Mukhyamantri Saaksharta Abhiyan-2015” to all the BDOs and ADs of HRDD posted in BACs for rural areas, in coordination with the respective Gram Panchayats, and to the Urban local bodies in urban areas.

Responsibilities of those engaged in MSA implementation were delineared in the meeting. Mr. H. P. Dhakal, Deputy Director, HRDD, made a presentation on all important issues in details.

Sikkim govt gives aid to families of accident victims – empathy personified ?!!

BY SR STAFF REPORTER

Namchi: Sikkim government on Sunday gave Rs.50000 each family of the victims of road mishap of Jorethang. A representative of the government handed over the cash in aid as the Chief Minister Dr. Pawan Chamling could not do it personally for his ill health and poor road condition.

Chief Minster himself stopped at Jorethang and went to Mazhitar where he met the family of the owner cum driver of the vehicle which met an accident at Jorethang near Chirbireytar on 27th August, leaving nine dead and one missing. On the of doctors, Chief Minster sent a team to Singla to meet families of the victims of Jorethang. The team comprised of Political Secretary to Chief Minister, KN Rai, MLA Salghari Zoom, Madan century, MLA Namchi Singithang Binod Rai, among others.

The team met the bereaved families at Singla Tea Estate Manager’s Bunglow where the aid money was handed over to the family members and conveyed deep sorrow and sympathy.

Police nabs alleged cheats – illegal ponzi and pyramid schemes, playing on the layman’s greed ?!!

FROM SIKKIM REPORTER
BY PRAKASH CHETTRI

Namchi: Before it could cheat more people of Sikkim once again, the south district police has broken the nexus of another scam which was brewing here in the name of Stock Guru India.

The police has arrested one lady Leela Chettri, teacher by profession, under Prize Chits and Money Circulation Scheme (Banning) Act, 1978.

Hailing from Namchi kazitar, accused Leela Chettri was recently transferred in the District office of HRDD, south. Allegedly, she acting as an agent of the organization, collecting the amount from the investors and, after depositing it in her own personal account one of the banks in Namchi, was transferring the money to the organization, Stock Guru India.

According to SP South Monaj Tiwari, accused Leela Chettri wife of Neol Rai, resident of Kazitar Namchi, has been arrested for collecting cash from individuals. He also said that another co-accused, Yogesh Gurung (38), son of Lt. LB Gurung of Sadam, South Sikkim, involved in the nexus operating from Gangtok, has also been arrested by Sadar police and later handed over to Namchi Police.

Reportedly, Leela Chettri has already transferred Rs.13 lakhs (approx) while Yogesh Gurung transferred about Rs. 25 lakhs to the company.

It is learnt that Stock Guru India came to the state about 5 months ago and was promising to its depositors 20% interest on their deposits along with the principal amount after six months.

A case has been registered at Namchi Police Station under section 420 IPC r/w section 4/5 of Prize Chits and Money Circulation Scheme (Banning) Act, 1978 against the accused who are at present in police custody and the case is under investigation.

PM likely to visit Sikkim in February, reveals CM – a state tour the PM is set to enjoy ?!!

FROM SIKKIM REPORTER
BY SR STAFF REPORTER

Gangtok, Aug 29, 2010: “In all probability, the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh will visit Sikkim sometime in the month of February next year”. This was revealed by Chief Minister Dr. Pawan Chamling in a high level coordination meeting of all the Secretaries and Heads of Departments at the Conference Hall of Tashiling Secretariat here on August 27.

Chief Minister said that he is “contemplating to have the Char Dham at Solokhop, and Buddha Park at Ravangla in South Sikkim and Door Doordarshan Kendra, Gangtok, inaugurated by the Prime Minister during his Sikkim visit”.

During the meeting the Chief Minister thoroughly reviewed the matters that were discussed in the last coordination meeting and inquired about the achievements of different departments to meet the target since then. He directed all the departments to prepare a comparative document of all infrastructural as well as other developmental works that have taken place prior to 1994 and thereafter, so that it can be a proof about all the developments that have taken place in the state.

He also asked all the Secretaries and HODs to simplify the administration make it more people friendly, transparent and the staff accountable, while taking all the present plans and polices of the government in mission mode and work accordingly. He reiterated the need to have a good coordination and cooperation among the departments so that all the official and administrative works could flow smoothly. He expressed his happiness over the Chief Minister Special Scholarship Scheme which has generated a sense of competition not only among the students but among the parents also.

Chief Minister noted that to build a qualitative and highly skilled human resource is the need of the times. Accordingly, he urged the officers to give top priority to Capacity Building Programme, which is the flagship programme of his government and make it a total success. Chief Minister emphasized that all the developmental works in the state should be qualitative and cost effective and added that all the departments should find ways and means to generate maximum revenue in order to meet the expenditures of the government.
The Commissioner-cum-Secretary, IPR, apprised the meeting about the advertisement bills pending with various departments. For which, the Chief Minister directed heads of departments to clear the bills immediately.

The meeting began with the welcome note of the Chief Secretary Mr. T.T Dorji. He congratulated Chief Minister for being conferred the prestigious Thekong Ambassador of Peace Award and Bhanu Puraskar recently. Additional Chief Secretary, Mr. Karma Gyatso lauded the Chief Minister for his dedication in speeding up manifold development in the state. He vowed on behalf of all the officers to work the way Chief Minister has directed and desired.

Sikkim team to join CWG opening prog – to display a unique cultural heritage ?!!

FROM SIKKIM REPORTER
BY SR STAFF REPORTER

Gangtok, Aug 29, 2010: A team of 47 girls from three districts of the state, excepting North, will be in New Delhi to perform at the opening function of upcoming Common Wealth Games at the capital starting from October 3.

A conference was held here Friday at the Sikkim State Archives Cultural Affairs and Heritage Department, Gangtok, wherein Cultural Minister Sonam Gyatso Lepcha urged the participants to perform at the highest level as they bear the responsibility to represent Sikkim at the international arena. Mr. Lepcha said the team is a sign of unity as the participants are from all Sikkimese society irrespective of caste, creed and religion. “It would be a proud moment for us to see our participants performing in CWG”, he said.

Sikkim team has been assigned three performances, namely, Ghatu Dance of Gurung Community sponsored by Kala Tshetra Ashram, Singi Cham Dance and Yak Dance of Bhutia Community sponsored by INGS Foundation and North East Zonal Cultural, Dimapur.

The participants may also perform at the theme song of CWG composed by AR Rehman butonly after a tough selection test at Delhi. Sikkim is one from the four states of North Eastern states representing in CWG event, along with Assam, Nagaland and Manipur respectively.

Families thank Chief Minister – for the names of their fathers now immortalised ?!!

FROM SIKKIM IPR

Gangtok: Family members of late Rai Sahib B.B Pradhan and late Mr. Padam Singh Subba (Apatan), one of the brightest literary figures of Nepali Literature, called on the Chief Minister Dr. Pawan Chamling at his official residence Mintokgang here in the capital on August 27.

The members of both the families expressed their profound gratitude to the Chief Minister for honoring and paying homage by naming the roads in the names of their respective fathers and stated that they were highly moved by this gesture. They were all praise for the developmental programmes innovated by the Chief Minister for the state.

Chief Minister asked their support to his government and contribution to build Sikkim s a model State. He also requested the members of both the families to write biography of their respective fathers as a documentation of their lives and deeds, as a guiding force for the future generation.

Chief Minister assured them of his full cooperation for the same. (IPR)

AND ON THE OTHER HAND

A PHC fails to catch the CATCH – BJP claims CATCH a gimmick – not at rosy as it all seems, caught by the thorns ?!!

From Haalkhabar
By Pravin Rai

Gangtok, 30 August 2010: Days after the launching of a programme – Comprehensive Annual & Total Checkup for Healthy Sikkim (CATCH) – in order to make Sikkim one of the healthiest State of India by 2015, a Primary Health Centre (PHC) at Pakyong was found running without medicines and everyother medicinal facility, since the last week.

A PHC, situated at Pakyong, East Sikkim is running without a single medicinal facility. A notice has been issued by one of the Medical Officers and dispatched at the hospital that reads, ‘it is to inform all the patients that the health center is running with any proper and required medicines. We are directing the patients to buy the dressing stuffs like bandage, plaster of their own because the center fails to provide it.

Moreover, this is our firm request to all that no officials of the center are responsible for such hindrances and not to comment them. The center is also undergoing a construction work of repairing a safety tank hence, the center would not intake the admission of any patients for three days. All the patients are hereby directed to refer STNM, Gangtok Hospital for medical investigation and treatment”.

Dr. Sanjay Upretti, one of the Medical Officers of the PHC mentioned that no medicines have been supplied from Central Medicinal Store – located at Tadong, Gangtok – that is manned under State Health Department.

The PHC, at present is also facing the fund-shortage problem, it is informed.
The PHC at Pakyong witness more than 200 patients a day, which is same in number with STNM, Gangtok Hospital so the PHC requires abundant supply of medicine, added Dr Upretti.

Striking at the issue, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has appealed the State Health Department, State Government and Chief Minster Pawan Chamling to pug the loopholes right from the gramin level, inspecting every health centers within the state.

The programme on a comprehensive health awareness and checkup, CATCH launched under the banner of state government by Chamling days after stands as a gimmick, in terms of health, stated the State General Secretary, BJP, Sikkim Unit Padam Sharma.

BJP also claimed that during the launching of the programme Chamling had assured every citizens of the state to enable a healthy life by distributing ‘Health Card’ and providing a promotive and preventive health checkup to make the state a ‘Disease-free State’ by 2015 but with such management of PHCs – experiencing medical shortage – Chamling is trying to fool the Sikkimese.

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