Friday, October 9, 2015

66.75%- the final voter turnout figure for municipal elections

The final official voter turnout figures released by the State Election Commission for the municipal elections 2015. Overall voter turnout: 66.79%
Gyalshing Municipal Council: 77.01%
Rangpo Nagar Panchayat: 75.49%
Singtam Nagar Panchayat: 74.04%
Jorethang-Nayabazaar Municipal Council: 71.01%
Namchi Muncipal Council: 65.58%
Gangtok Muncipal Corporation: 64.75%

Municipal polls register 71% voter turnout

As per the final data released by the State Election Commission, elections held for the six municipal towns of Sikkim today received an overall voter turnout of 71.18%. Interestingly, Gyalshing Municipal Council, where elections were held only for two wards [five having already gone to SDF uncontested], recorded the highest voter turnout at 77.01%. With this, West Sikkim continues its record of registering the highest voter turnouts in Sikkim. For the Assembly elections 2014, West Sikkim had posted the state’s highest voter turnout at 82.94%.

1,058 students graduate at SMU convocation

Sikkim Manipal University [SMU] convened its 15th Convocation here at the SMU auditorium hall on 09 October. During the function, Vice Chancellor, SMU, [Retd] Brig. Somnath Mishra, awarded degrees of MBBS, MD, MS, BSc and Post BSc Nursing, BPT, MPT, Medical MSc, MHA and BSc MLT to graduates whereas Dean SMIMS Air Marshal Dr. G.S Joneja, administered the Hippocratic Oath to MBBS graduates.

Voter turnout as of 2p.m.

It appears that Sikkim likes to vote in the afternoons with the voter turnout having spiked across the state between noon and 2p.m. (for voter turnout update as of 12 pm, The total voter turnout at the 6 towns hosting municipal elections stands at 41% as of 2 p.m., with Gyalshing Nagar Panchayat’s two wards having surged ahead with 68% turnout already, followed by Jorethang Nagar Panchayat which saw 56% of its voters cast their votes and Namchi Municipal Council where 55% have cast their votes already. At Rangpo, 47.01 voters have cast their votes thus far while in Singtam, the turnout thus far is 43.01%. Gangtok brings up the rear with 36.65% voter turnout as of 2p.m. Voting is underway at 83 polling stations spread across 6 municipal towns where election are being held today.

Swift voting for municipal elections

Chanatar polling station of Rangpo Nagar Panchayat
As per the data released by the State Election Commission, Gangtok Municipal Corporation has recorded 36.65% voting as of 12.30 pm. Similarly Rangpo and Singtam Nagar Panchayats recorded 47.01% and 43.07% voting respectively till that time. On the other hand, Namchi Municipal Corporation recorded 31% followed by 38% voting for Jorethang Municipal Corporation. As of 12:30 p.m., Gyalshing Municipal Corporation has recorded 25% of voting.

Yoga for neck pain

Neck tension and pain is the most common problem that people face these days. This is also the most neglected part of our body workout. The most common cause of the neck pain is bad posture, stressful lifestyle, use of computer for a prolonged period of time, no exercise etc. Therefore it is important to take a little break everyday for at least 10 minutes to exercise your neck for a lasting relief of neck pain.
Here are a few neck exercises to stretch and strengthen your neck muscles:
The first four are strengthening exercises where you press the palm of your hand against the head on all four sides while keeping your head steady and strong.
The others are stretching exercises where you stretch your neck muscle on all four sides.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Vigilance arrests Forest RO on charges of misappropriating Kichumdumra project funds

Vigilance case lists Addl Director among accused, invites people to share further information

Sikkim Vigilance Police on 07 October, Wednesday, arrested PK Sharma, a Range Officer of the Forest Department, under Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 on charges of misutilization and misappropriation of funds in connection with the execution of a project at Kichumdumra in South Sikkim, around 30 KM from the south district headquarter town of Namchi, informs a press release issued by the SP, Vigilance Police.
The release further informs that the case is also registered against an IFS officer of the Department, Udai Gurung, Additional Director, who, along with Mr. Sharma, had supervised and executed the works titled “Development of Ecological Park with Recreation and Allied Facilities at Kichumdumra, South Sikkim”.

High Court admits petition challenging changes in seat reservation nomenclature for municipal polls

Vishnu Neopaney

The High Court of Sikkim on 06 October, Tuesday, admitted a writ petition challenging the government notifications published on 01 September and 09 September 2015 in connection with the municipal elections. These notifications were related to the reservation pattern for wards in the municipal bodies and did away with the community specific Bhutia-Lepcha and Limboo-Tamang seat reservation seen in the last municipal polls and clubbed them together as Scheduled Tribe seats for the upcoming municipal elections.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Rey Khola claims one more. Toll up to 5 in 4 months

Subash Rai

Another drowning at Rey Khola in East Sikkim was reported on Sunday, 04 October. With this incident the number of lives claimed by a paticular section of this river has gone up to five in four months! As per eyewitness accounts, a 24-year-old youth from Vajra, Baluwakhani died due to drowning at around 4.30 pm on Sunday. According to a friend of the victim, five of them including the victim’s younger brother were swimming at that particular spot but suddenly the victim’s brother started drowning. Seeing this, the victim jumped into the deep whirlpool and pulled his brother out but was himself sucked in.

Sanitation campaign underway

Sagar Chhetri

Rural Management & Development Department is launching a series of interventions this month as part of the National Sanitation Campaign. The month-long National Sanitation Campaign started on 25 September and will conclude on 31 October.
Addressing a press conference here at Janta Bhawan on 05 October, RMDD Secretary DR Nepal explained the various state-level interventions to be undertaken during the month-long campaign in the State.

Nation’s highest legal aid clinic opened at Thegu

Vishnu Neopaney

Executive Chairman of Sikkim Legal Services Authority, Justice SP Wangdi inaugurated the country's highest Village Level Care and Support Legal Aid Clinic at Thegu on the occasion of Gandhi Jayant. The Village Level Care and Support Legal Aid Clinic at Thegu is located at an altitude of 13,300 feet above sea level.

Half shoulder stand

Vipareeta Karani: Also known as the queen of asanas, Vipareeta Karani is used to treat almost every chronic ailment in yoga therapy. This posture stimulates the thyroid gland and revitalizes the cervical nerves. It increases the flow of blood to brain and ear, helps ease hearing related problems, headache and stress. It also stretches the spine and stimulates all the spinal nerves which improves circulation to the upper body and brain. Holding in an inverted position reverses the effects of gravity on the digestive organs and legs thus relieving  digestive problem and swollen legs issues.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Mint award for ‘competitive’ Sikkim

Sikkim was conferred with the most competitive state in India award in the category of North East economies by The Mint Newspaper. The award was handed over in a ceremony held on 30 September in New Delhi. Principal Secretary-cum-Principal Resident Commissioner, Sikkim House, New Delhi, Govind Mohan received the award on behalf of the state government.

Two killed in truck accident

Two persons were killed in a road mishap here at Makha Balak Bhir 10 mile in East Sikkim on the Dikchu-Singtam highway at around 10 pm on 29 September. A truck bearing registration No. SK04-D-0024 was plying from North Sikkim to Siliguri when the vehicle plunged about 1,000 feet of the road. The driver Mukesh Chettri [24 yrs] and the handy boy died on the spot.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Phimchu bridged

Vishnu Neopaney

A bridge across Phimchu, a stream in north Sikkim ahead of Lachen towards Thangu, was washed away by a flash-flood on 10 September cutting off the regions further north and inconveniencing not just the few locals who reside that far north in Sikkim but also the sizeable army and ITBP deployment there. Vehicular connectivity was an urgent requirement, and despite inclement weather, the Border Roads Organisation spanned the khola and restored connectivity in 11 days.

Govt school enrolments to begin at age 4 from next year

Gazetted status for headmasters under active consideration

“Majority of children belonging to poor Sikkimese families attend Government schools. In order to start them on quality formal education from the age of four years itself, our government has decided to launch LKG and UKG classes in select government schools from the next academic session,” said Chief Minister Pawan Chamling while replying to a query during a press meet here at Samman Bhawan on Tuesday, 29 Sept.

Still no ray of hope at Rey

“Youth dies of drowning” - is a headline that does not garner much interest apart from a cursory look. But what about a headline which screams, “Four youth drown within four months at the same spot”? This is exactly what happened on 27 September, a Sunday, when a Class X student drowned in Rey Khola below Gangtok at around 12.30 pm. He became the fourth person to drown at the exact same place at this popular picnic spot in the past four months. Before him, a young driver and two students, just like him, have drowned here.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Ex-gratia for local drivers killed in accidents hiked by Rs. One lakh

Vishnu Neopaney

The state government has enhanced the ex-gratia grant for drivers killed in road accidents from Rs 2 to Rs 3 lakh. On 02 September, the Department of Transport, Motor Vehicle Division, notified the state government policy enhancing ex-gratia grant to the kin of drivers killed in road accidents.

The King of all Asanas

HEADSTAND is also called the King of all Asanas in yoga. Headstands stimulate and provide refreshed blood to the pituitary and hypothalamus glands. These glands are vital to our well-being, and are considered the master glands that regulate all other glands in the body (thyroid, pineal, and adrenals). Headstand relieves pressure in your lower back and your lower body’s veins, particularly those in your legs. Headstand gives your lungs a workout, making you breathe deeper. It makes you think clear and improves sleep. In yoga therapy headstand is also used to treat eye related problems.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

No Honk Gangtok

Hoteliers and restaurateurs propose ban on honking

Sikkim Hotel and Restaurant Association [SHRA] has proposed that the state government initiate measures and set rules to minimize vehicular honking within the capital as well as come up with a long term plan to educate citizens on the nuisance created by unnecessary honking.

Making Unequal Citizens: Nepal’s denial of women’s identities has parallels in Sikkim

Women’s groups in Nepal are up in arms against unequal citizenship rights that even the new Constitution the country adopted on 20 September continues to perpetuate. Even as the new constitution appears to accord greater rights to women in terms of citizenship, in principle, the refusal to recognize women’s identity as completely detached from that of the Nepalese man remains.
The change that has been made in the new constitution is the requirement for children of Nepali women married to foreigners to be born in Nepal to gain naturalized citizenship. This has been removed and Article 12 of the new constitution allows for the citizenship certificate in either of the parents’ name and also carries their gender identity.
However, children of single Nepalese women must be born in Nepal to qualify for citizenship by descent while it is not so for children of Nepalese men. Children of Nepalese women married to foreigners can only obtain naturalized citizenship while children of Nepalese men married to foreigners get citizenship by descent.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Court directs State Govt to establish dispensaries in jails, within four weeks


The division bench of the High Court of Sikkim has directed the State Government though the Health department to establish dispensaries in the Central Jail at Rongyek and district prison at Namchi within a month with all the possible facilities of nursing staff and resident doctor.
While hearing the suo moto PIL taken up by it after the Supreme Court directed the all High Courts to take up the PIL within their respective jurisdictions and supervise and direct the state government providing such facilities for inmates in jail and directed the state to establish temporary in both the jails with all facilities relating to the staff structure, conservative arrangements and medicines as provided in the Jail Manual.

Health Deptt realizes there is a Dengue outbreak in Delhi

The Health Department convened a meeting on 21 September to discuss the outbreak of Dengue fever in Delhi and to formulate the plan of activities in the state for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease. The meeting was chaired by DG cum Secretary Health, Dr K Bhandari and was attended by Medical Superintendent, STNM Hospital, SPO, NVBDCP & SSO IDSP, an IPR press release informs.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Milan’s honesty continues to win accolades

Rebyna Rana

Milan Rai, a security guard employed with the Sikkim Security Force and posted at the Central Referral Hospital, was awarded a certificate of appreciation by Governor Shriniwas Patil for his honesty and integrity in retrieving a package containing a substantial amount of cash [Rs 2.50 Lakh] which he handed over to its rightful owner.
He has also been awarded certificates of appreciation for the Best Employee of the year 2015 and also for the Best Supervision in Duties of the Year 2015, by the Sikkim Security Force [SSF] and Allied Management Private Ltd, during the "3rd Annual Function & SFF Foundation Day 2015" held on 20 September 2015, here in the premises of SSF Office, Lumsey. A total of 36 guards were awarded certificates in different categories.

Wider contests this time, and Tadong continues to attract the widest contests

Municipal Elections 2015

Subash Rai

After the final date of withdrawal of nominations on Saturday, 19 September, it is now confirmed that a total of 107 candidates will be battling for 42 seats of the upcoming urban body elections 2015. Out of total 53 seats, the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front has already registered uncontested wins in 11 wards including all five seats of Mangan Nagar Panchayat, five out of seven in Gyalshing Municipal Council and one seat out of the total seven in Namchi Municipal Council.


While this is good news for SDF, the scenario this time is very different from the April 2010 municipal elections when the party had a clean sweep with almost all the wards won uncontested.  Out of total 47 seats at that time, the party had won 44 uncontested. SDF had to contest only three wards viz. Tadong and Burtuk wards of Gangtok Municipal Corporation and Rangpo Upper Bazar seat of Rangpo Nagar Panchayat. Later, it registered comfortable wins in these wards keeping its hold in all the urban bodies.
This time, for 42 seats, the SDF has to face challenge from 54 candidates including 42 of Sikkim Krantikari Morcha, three from Bharatiya Janata Party and nine Independents. Like in the 2010 municipal elections, the ruling party will fight its widest battles in GMC’s Tadong area, two wards of which have the highest number of candidates in the fray at five each.

Sikkim lobbying with MPs to build support for IT exemption for left out Sikkimese

Vishnu Neopaney

The state government is lobbying with MPs of neighbouring states and Northeast to support the demand for exemption of direct tax to left-out communities and old settlers of Sikkim.

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Municipal Election of Challenges

The much awaited urban local body elections 2015 are now in the offing. The State Election Commission has declared 09 October as voting day, counting on 12th, and by 15 October the election process will be over. With that, all the four districts of Sikkim will have their respective urban representatives for the next five years. As expected earlier, there will be having two cornered contest between the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front and the opposition Sikkim Krantikari Morcha.
The SDF has fielded candidates from all the 53 wards in the seven municipal bodies of the State. On the other hand, SKM has concentrated primarily in areas where it had gained some hold in the general elections. SKM is contesting from all the 17 seats of the Gangtok Municipal Corporation as it had swept the assembly elections here with six of its nine MLAs, including party president PS Tamang having on from assembly constituencies comprising of areas within and around what is now the GMC. Similarly, the party is also contesting from all the seven seats of Nayabazar-Jorethang Municipal Council and five each seats of Singtam and Rangpo Nagar Panchayats.

Friday, September 18, 2015

The contestants, after scrutiny

The candidates for the municipal elections after completion of the scrutiny on 18 Sept. The numbers will reduce a bit since there is still another day for candidates to withdraw nominations and there are still some dummy candidates remaining in some wards.





Sikkim marks earthquake anniv with workshop on disaster risk reduction

Gangtok, 18 Sept [IPR]: A daylong workshop on ‘Disaster Risk Reduction - Sikkim’s Commitment for Sendai Framework 2015-2030’ was held at Chintan Bhawan today on State Disaster Risk Reduction Day, commemorating the devastating earthquake of 18 September 2011 and to deliberate on the future strategies for preparedness and mitigation.
The workshop was chaired by Chief Minister Pawan Chamling and had the presence of eminent resource persons from across the country. Prof. V.K. Sharma, Executive Vice Chairman SSDMA delivered the key note address.

The Syria Crisis

Know the NEWS

The world is discussing the refugee crisis created by the situation in Syria. Here is a backgrounder on the situation which is making refugees of so many people
• During what is now known as the Arab Spring in 2011, 15 school children were arrested, and reportedly tortured, for writing anti-government graffiti on a wall in the Syrian city of Deraa. Angry locals took to the streets in protest.
• Early demands of democracy and greater freedom soon changed to demands for the resignation of President, Bashar al-Assad.
• Almost a 1,000 groups opposing the government have cropped up since the conflict began, with an estimated 100,000 fighters.

Yogic Breathing, an introduction

Breathing is a natural process, one in which we don’t have to think or make any extra effort. Due to this, many people tend to not give much importance to breathing technique during yoga practices as we give to the postures (asanas). On the contrary, yogic breathing technique (Pranayama) is the essence of the yoga practice. Without pranayama one cannot get the true benefits of any yoga posture or prepare for meditation.
“Yogic breathing technique is at once a physical health practice, mental health practice, and meditation. It is not just breath training, it’s mind training that uses the breath as a vehicle,” says Roger Cole, PhD, Yoga teacher
Some of the important beginners’ yogic breathing techniques are:

Thursday, September 17, 2015

One fails scrutiny, two candidatures kept pending out of 79 nominations received in East Sikkim

Gangtok, 17 Sept [IPR]: Scrutiny of nomination papers of 79 candidates from the three municipal bodies going to polls in East Sikkim was taken up by the Municipal Returning Officer, East today in the presence of the candidates. Following the scrutiny, nominations of all 54 candidates in the fray for Gangtok Municipal Corporation were accepted. The GMC has 17 wards.

Pemayangtse to host grand birth anniv celebrations of Lhatsun Chenpo

Turquoise Thanka dedicated to the Great Master to be unfurled at Pemayangtse Monastery on 22 Oct 

Founder members of the Le’u Dunpa Bumtherma Monlam Chenmo and the authorities of the Sangchen Pemaynagtse Monastery, the seat of Gyalwa Lhatsun Chenpo, have announced plans to celeberate the 360th birth anniversary of Gyalwa Lhatsun Chenpo on 22 Oct 2015.
One of the main aims of the celebration is to pay gratitude to the kindness of Naljor Cheshi in general and Gyalwa Lhatsun Chenpo in particular and to create awareness in Sikkim and the world, the organisers inform. Naljor Cheshi are the Four Noble Brothers who “unlocked” Sikkim as per the prophesy of Guru Rinpoche and installed the Namgyal dynasty here in the 17th Century. Lhatsun Chenpo is one of the four.

SKM candidate withdraws from Upper Boomtar, rest clear scrutiny in South Sikkim

SKM candidate Neetu Baraily who had filed her nomination papers from Upper Boomtar ward of Namchi Municipal Council, withdrew her nomination today and with that, the SDF candidate, Tulsa Devi Thatal, now stands elected uncontested. Today was the day set for scrutiny, and accordingly, the SKM dummy candidate for Shyam Kumari Rai from Sisney Nayabazar-A, namely Sujata Rai withdrew her nomination today, an official press communiqué informs.

Biswakarma Puja today, and tomorrow as well this year


Every year, Biswakarma Puja is celebrated on 17 September but this year some organizers in Gangtok and its surrounding areas have decided to hold the prayers on 18 September instead. According to them, the puja must fall on the first day of the month of Aswin as per the Bikram Sambad calendar. While this day almost always falls on 17 Sept, this time it is coinciding with 18 September.