Tuesday, March 25, 2014


GANGTOK, 24 Mar: What will come as a huge relief to all residents of the state, and perhaps even more so for the postal department, is the move of the State government to allot house numbers to all house structures and buildings in the state, both in the rural as well as the urban areas, and also domestic and commercial.
People will now finally have proper addresses and need not give their address in relation to recognizable landmarks as is the practice in many places still.
Business establishments will also be allotted Business Registration Numbers (BRN). People of the state, for so long, had no proper addresses despite the urban areas being put under the administration of urban local bodies under whose jurisdiction this is supposed to come under.
All establishments, domestic and commercial will now be allotted identification numbers; while business and commercial establishments will be given Business Registration Numbers, households and other buildings will be allotted with permanent unique house numbers. This according of numbers, which will henceforth be the known address of the particular household, is to be done by the Department of Economics, Statistics, Monitoring and Evaluation.
The lack of proper addresses has been posing problems to the residents especially in getting a passport, etc, which can become quite challenging. Officials inform that this is a centrally funded scheme and had been in the pipeline for quite some time now. It is informed that a national tender has also been done to get the best agencies to undertake the project in Sikkim.  In fact the proposal to allot house numbers as addresses in the urban areas had been put forward a couple of years ago but there had not been much enthusiasm. However, now the department is going ahead with the scheme.
According to officials all towns will be divided into blocks such as Block A, Block B, Block C etc and the numbers will be allotted accordingly. The numbering or address system will not have street names due to the many small roads and paths that are a feature of the small towns of Sikkim.
Also to be incorporated in this addressing system is the latest technological feature which allows for locating a particular house through GIS mapping through the internet.  The concerned agencies have been preparing maps of Gangtok on a pilot basis as well as other towns dividing them into blocks. The assigning of permanent unique house/ structure and household/ enterprise dwelling numbers to all the structures is primarily to aid in the development of an address identification system. This is expected to be helpful while conducting surveys and census, preparation of a business register and also to fulfill administrative requirements.
On the other hand BRN, as informed, will be assigned to all sub sectors such as trade, hotels, restaurants, transport, communication, real estate, legal and business services, industry, factories and all other activities engaged in the production of goods and services that add value to the State income.

In this respect it is informed that all registering authorities have been directed to incorporate the 16 digit BRN while registering all new entities. Those already registered are required to apply for a BRN within 6 months. All registering authorities including electricity boards, water supply authorities, local bodies and municipalities are to accept any application for BRN and to accept applications renewal only if the BRN has been provided by the entrepreneurs. Providing the house number has also become mandatory. 

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