Saturday, April 2, 2011

SHRA supports bandh

GANGTOK, 02 Apr: Its appeal for an exemption having attracted a strong reaction from the Sikkim Democratic Front which has called a two day bandh in Sikkim for 04 and 05 April, the Sikkim Hotels & Restaurants Association has called on all its members to support the bandh.
A press release issued by the SHRA assistant general secretary, Basudev Upreti, reads: “We understand that the 2 day bandh by the ruling party has been done for the cause of the Sikkimese people hence we fully support the cause and urge all our members to support the same.”
The SHRA president, Bhanu Pratap Rasaily, adds: "We understand and fully support the move of the SDF party of a 48 hr Sikkim Bandh for the genuine cause of the Sikkimese people and to safeguard the job opportunities of coming generations. Hence we fully support the cause and urge all our members to support the cause wholeheartedly."

Astroturf starts rolling out at Paljor Stadium

GANGTOK, 01 April: The laying of Field Turf Outdoor Series grade of 65 mm thick Astroturf on Paljor Stadium ground started early last morning after completion of all initial works. The work is being carried out by a US-based firm, Field Turf Tarkett, and Great Sports Infra Private Limited, Hyderabad.
Ronald Knott of Field Turf Tarkett was at work on the ground supervising the laying the Astroturf along with Consultant Engineer, Great Sports Infra, Abhijit Desai, and their team.
After the Astroturf has been laid out, it will be filled with rubber and silica which will be further compressed.
It was further informed that at present, the turf is two and half inches long and after filling with compressed rubber and silica, just two-third portion will be exposed.

SDF takes exception to SHRA appeal for exemption

GANGTOK, 01 April: The Sikkim Democratic Front has strongly opposed what the party has branded as “irresponsible statements” made by the Sikkim Hotel & Restaurant Association [SHRA] in response to the Sikkim Bandh called by the SDF. The party has taken exception to the ‘negativity’ it perceives in the SHRA appeal seeking exemption for the tourism sector from the SDF-sponsored bandh.
It has to be recalled that the SHRA had appealed the ruling party to exempt hotels, travel agencies and tourist vehicles from the purview of the bandh yesterday [read NOW! issue dated 01 April 2011].
An SDF press releases issued by its publicity secretary, Prem Karki, has demanded that the association first present the exact figure of Sikkimese employed in the hotel industry before claiming that the sector had satisfactory presence of Sikkimese in its employment rolls.

Sikkim shines at Scouts & Guides Tribal Meet

RANGPO, 01 April: A regional-level Tribal Meet for Scouts & Guides was organized by North Eastern Region, Bharat Scouts and Guides at Aizawl, Mizoram, in which 22 Scouts and Guides along with the leader and two staff members participated.
During the course of the competition - State Exposition, State Exhibition, Food Plaza, Folk Song, Folk Dance, State Marriage Ceremony, Tribal festival, Musical Instrument and Quiz Competition were organised. Sikkim bagged 1st position in 6 of the 9 categories.
Among the nine participating states, Sikkim was declared the overall champion. The Scouts and Guides were led by Nil Kumar Chhetri and Albina Lepcha whereas Kamal Dhoj Lepcha and Meena Bhutia participated in the events as staff members.

SMIT non-teaching staff pledge “whole-hearted” support for Sikkim bandh

GANGTOK, 01 April: The non-teaching staff of Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology, Majitar, Rangpo, has pledged their “whole-hearted support” to the strike called by the All Sikkim Democratic Labour Front [ASDLF], informs a press release.
“The strike called by the ASDLF against the partial treatment of the citizens of Sikkim engaged in different industrial sectors and educational institutes within the state of Sikkim is a welcome step towards the restoration of healthy democracy and voices the problems and grievances meted out to bonafide Sikkimese who are often discriminated in these sectors,” the release states.

Student’s Front appeals educational institutions to support bandh

GANGTOK, 01 April: The student’s front of the ruling Sikkim Democratic Party has appealed all the educational institutions to support the Sikkim Bandh called for 04 and 05 April. The bandh needs to be supported by all educational institutions because it has been called in the interest of the future generations of Sikkim, the release adds.

SEA supports Sikkim Bandh

GANGTOK: The Sikkim Entrepreneurs Association [SEA] has extended full support to the Sikkim Bandh called by the Sikkim Democratic Front for 04 and 05 April.
The Association has also appealed to entrepreneurs across the state to support the call and ensure successful conduction of a ‘peaceful bandh’ in favour of the local people.
Speaking to media persons today, the SEA president, Mani Kumar Pradhan, stated that all the 31 points raised by the ruling party were genuine and in favour of the local people. “So, the association is extending full support to the issues raised by the party for the betterment of the local people,” he said.

SDF posters Namchi for bandh

NAMCHI, 01 Apr: The Sikkim Democratic Front’s South district committee members, youth, cheli morcha functionaries and volunteers gathered at party office today and proceeded to locations around town, putting up posters calling support for a 48-hour state-wide bandh on 04 and 05 April to register the party’s protest against private companies and hydel projects which were not hiring local employees despite having signed an MoU undertaking to do so.

Old Settlers extend strong support for the Sikkim Bandh

GANGTOK: The Association of Old Settlers of Sikkim has announced strong support for the 48-hour Sikkim Bandh called by the Sikkim Democratic Front on the various demands pending with the Central Government including exemption from payment of Income Tax for the left-out categories of Sikkim, informs a press release.


The wet weather of the week has exposed the wreck that the drainage system of Namchi has become. Clogged with garbage and assorted debris, the jhoras cannot be expected to be of much service to the South district headquarter town when the monsoon opens up in full fury in the coming months. The jhora photographed above runs through the heart of Namchi, servicing the vegetable market as well. The entire stretch is now stinking and is dangerously clogged. It needs urgent clean-up and save from any further dumping.

Annual Sports Day at Holy Cross

GANGTOK, 01 April: Red House emerged the overall champion at the 11th annual sports meet of Holy Cross School, Tadong, held Friday at the school ground. Likewise, green house, yellow house and blue house stood on second, third and fourth positions respectively.
On the occasion, the primary and secondary students have also performed march past, drill and aerobics.
The sports meet included events like the frog race, caterpillar race, garlanding the partner race, skipping race, mathematics race, 100m, 200m, 4X100 relay race, three legged race, obstacle race, Tug of War, and others.
There were also special events for the parents, guardians and ex-students.

What After the Bandh?

So, when Sikkim served out a Resolution on a West Bengal matter, it acquired the neighbouring State’s fondness for bandhs in exchange. For a State which has for more than two decades now swallowed the indignity of suffering in someone else’s battle [via bandhs keeping it hostage], the quickness with which it announced a 48-hours bandh of its own is rather surprising. The reference to quickness here is with regard to the argument presented by the State to justify getting involved in the statehood demand of Darjeeling – that Sikkim has been held hostage to the political uncertainty of the neighbouring hills for far too long and deserved a permanent solution for Darjeeling so that its right to connectivity to the rest of the country is not so frequently compromised. That said, the party’s stand against the recalcitrant units has been growing more confrontational over the past few months and was always expected to culminate in a bandh. There are no signs to suggest that the recourse to bandhs is going to set in as a trend; the 48-hour Sikkim Bandh called by the Sikkim Democratic Front appears a one-off event, one which arrives after so many years that one cannot even recollect, off-hand, when the last bandh brought Sikkim to a halt. Since the bandh has been called by the ruling party, it is obviously going to be successful, so let us begin with what rankles in this episode.

Visiting architects brief officials on restoration work underway at Tsuklakhang monastery

GANGTOK: Restoration work is underway on the frescoes at Tsuklakhang Monastery situated in the palace premises here in the capital. The task is being carried out by two restoration architects who have worked on conservation of Tibetan architecture - Andre Alexander from Germany and Anca Nicolaescu from Paris on the invitation of the Tsuklakhang Trust.
The two architects Friday sat in an informal meet with officials from various state government departments, engineers, architects and officials from the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology. The architects made a power-point presentation on the conservation work underway at the Tsuklakhang Monastery.

NASBO celebrates Chogyal Wangchuk Namgyal’s b’day

GANGTOK, 01 April: The National Sikkimese Bhutia Organisation celebrated the 58th birthday of Chogyal Wangchuk Tenzing Namgyal, born to Chogyal Palden Thondub Namgyal and Lhacham Kushyo Sangye Deki on this day in 1953, with a simple function presided over by the organisation’s president, Sonam Kaleon, here Friday.

Consortium of Padeco and Louis Berger Group appointed to guide project management of Sikkim Biodiversity Conservation & Forest Management Project

GANGTOK: The JICA-assisted “Sikkim Biodiversity Conservation and Forest Management Project” (SBFP) is entering its second year of project implementation. International consultants were to be appointed to guide the Project Management Unit (PMU) of the SBFP in the Forest, Environment and Wildlife Management Department. The consortium of PADECO Co Ltd of Japan and The Louis Berger Group Inc. of USA have been selected for the work.
Towards this end, the Department invited proposals from firms through an international bidding process and received 19 proposals from different national and international firms, informs a press release.
The committee constituted for evaluation of firms scrutinized the proposals and shortlisted five firms. A Request for Proposal (RFP) inviting detailed technical and financial bid from shortlisted consortiums was issued to shortlisted firms following which, four shortlisted consortia submitted their proposal in accordance to Request for Proposal, the release further informs.

ASGEA South supports Sikkim Bandh

NAMCHI, 01 April: The All Sikkim Government Employees’ Association Group C and D of South Sikkim has extended full support to the Sikkim Bandh called by the Sikkim Democratic Front for 04 and 05 April. This was conveyed through a press release issued jointly by the president of the Association, Gajendra Subba and general secretary, Chewang T Bhutia.
The release states that the demands raised by the ruling party are genuine and important for the future generations. It further appeals for support from all sections of the society to make the bandh a successful and fruitful one.

Pani House group promotes 04 April as Happiness Day

GANGTOK: If a unique initiative taken up by the Shiva Gram Sewa Samiti [SGSS] of Pani House can have its way, you will get up on the morning of 04 April resolved that it would be a day devoted to being happy, making others happy and getting happiness out of it.
Yes, ‘Happiness Day’ is the universal theme proposed to see a happy and content Sikkim. The SGSS is promoting it with a punchline which adds, “Happiness is an inside job - now it is time to bring it out”. SGSS proposes to dedicate 04 April as the Happiness Day and work towards spreading some cheer around.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Agriculture Deptt spends crores in development, only to bring down crop production

GANGTOK: In the five years from 2005 to 2010, the Food Security and Agriculture Development Department spent Rs. 13.95 crore on implementing the Integrated Cereal Development Programme in Sikkim. The projects aim is self explanatory – to increase production and productivity on a sustainable basis. The Department obviously bungled big, because five years down the line and nearly Rs. 14 crore later, crop production in Sikkim fell by 10.16 per cent. This, despite the fact that area under cereal cultivation actually increased in these years.
This revelation is included in the Performance Review of the FS&AD by the Comptroller & Auditor General of India’s office and included in the CAG Report tabled in the Legislative Assembly during the recently concluded Budget session. The ICD Programme was part of a Rs. 64.87 crore [from 2005-06 to 2009-10] Macro-Management of Agriculture programme.

USFC draws its Second Division I-League debut

GANGTOK: A brace by NS Manju helped United Sikkim Football Club [USFC] draw its first match of the second division I-League Thursday morning at Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Guwahati.
The first match of the I-League between Bhaichung Bhutia’s USFC and Shillong based Langsing Football Club finished 2-2.
Bhaichung Bhutia and Rennedy Singh missed their club’s first game as both of them are recovering from injuries. They are likely to join the team in later matches.

Mocking Child Labour

All Fool’s Day is about having some fun at the expense of others. Mockery, however, has become so routine in our country with TV news dishing it out 24x7 that the day dedicated to practical jokes and general foolishness now needs to scratch notice by taking recourse to black humour. The darker recesses of implausibility need to be accessed to get noticed in these scam-driven times, so here goes an attempt to recount some absurdities, which, because they are done and over, can be received only with some shocked disgust and wry smiles; or maybe not, let’s see. This is not an April Fool’s prank. The example of preposterousness recounted below is an audited fact, included in the Comptroller & Auditor General of India’s Report on Sikkim for the year ended 31 March 2010.

Roshan Giri leads GJM delegation to Mintokgang to thank CM

GANGTOK: A senior-level Gorkha Janmukti Morcha delegation, led by its general secretary, Roshan Giri, called on Chief Minister Pawan Chamling at his official residence, Mintokgang, Thursday afternoon. They were here to personally thank the CM for his contribution to the cause of Gorkhaland by passing a Government Resolution in support of the demand for statehood and also to invite him to Darjeeling for a felicitation being planned for him by the people and leaders there.
“We have come here to thank the CM on behalf of the people of Darjeeling for the exemplary and honourable gesture of passing the historic resolution in favour of Gorkhaland in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly. The government of Sikkim has done what the West Bengal Government can never do and serves as an example for them to follow suit since our demand is legitimate and constitutional. The government of India has to understand this,” stated Mr. Giri while speaking to the media as he emerged from the 40-minute meeting with Mr. Chamling.

MVI checks thin traffic in Gangtok

GANGTOK, 31 March: The experience of free-flowing traffic in a jam-infested Gangtok must have confused commuters today as would have the shortage of taxis on the roads.
This happens every year at around this time. The reason - Motor Vehicles Inspection in coordination with the Traffic Police.
The Motor Vehicles Division of the Transport Department, in association with the Sikkim Traffic Police, began checking documents of all vehicles yesterday. The deserted roads imply that a majority of vehicles are plying in the capital with “failed” documents. Among them, taxis bagging the No. 1 position.

Public Undertakings and New Enterprises in Sikkim


I SAW WITH A tinge of sadness that the industrial flagships of the yesteryears - Sikkim Jewels and SITCO - are in the process of closing down with golden handshakes offered to its staff- the package varying from 4.5. lakhs to 10 lakhs. It was at the time of PP Pherwani and even Gyamtso Tashi in earlier times in Sikkim Jewels and Taga Khampa in SITCO that these institutions reached their zenith and were must-visit institutions for all dignitaries, from the Presidents to Prime Minsters to Ministers, from the Centre.
The world has changed, times have changed and so has the technology. It was expected that the executives in these institutions would be keeping abreast as to what was going around and keep changing the technology and the product as the market demanded. It is simple logic.

SHRA seeks bandh exemption for tourism sector

GANGTOK, 31 March: Sikkim Hotel & Restaurant Association [SHRA] has appealed to the ruling party to exempt hotels, travel agencies and tourist vehicles from the purview of the 48-hour Sikkim Bandh called by it for 04 and 05 April.
While doing so, the association has extended full support to the idea behind the bandh, welcoming the initiative as one launched for local protection in employment opportunities created here and to condemn the sidelining and negligence of local candidates by private companies in the State.
Addressing a press conference today, president SHRA, Bhanu Pratap Rasaily, pointed out that April marks the start of the tourist season and a strike in the first week of the season would divert tourist flow to other destinations and could tarnish the image of the state, causing long term effect on tourism here.
He stressed that tourism being a priority sector of the state government, the SHRA was appealing to the ruling party to exempt this sector from the bandh. Mr Rasaily said that the association was confident that the party will understand the request.

TT Dorji retires, Chingapa returns as CS

GANGTOK, 31 March: As per a notification issued by the Department of Personnel today, former Chief Secretary ND Chingapa [IAS, SK-1974], currently serving as Advisor to the Government, has been appointed the Chief Secretary to the Government again, following the retirement of the present incumbent TT Dorji today. Mr. Chingapa’s elevation to the post comes into effect on 01 April, Friday. 

Sikkim’s world premiere postponed to 06 Apr

GANGTOK: The world premiere of Satyajit Ray’s “Sikkim” has been postponed for 06 April by the Art & Culture Trust [ACT] of Sikkim. The venue remains the same- Vajra cinema hall.
A press release issued by the secretary, ACT of Sikkim, Atul Kaura, informs that in view of the 2-day bandh called for 04 and 05 April, the world premiere of the much-awaited documentary film has been is rescheduled for 06 April, Wednesday.
The Trust has conveyed its apologies for the inconvenience caused to patrons and well-wishers due to the rescheduling of the program.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chumbung’s Uttam Rai scores hattrick in Florida

GANGTOK: Uttam Rai of Chumbung, West Sikkim, a member of the Indian U-15 team, currently training at the IMG Academy in Florida, USA, scored his second hat-trick in a match against IMG U-18 on 29 March. Uttam’s 3-goal haul earned his team a 3-0 win over his seniors.
Earlier, on 26 March, Uttam’s 4-goal deluge made India U-15 setup a 7-0 victory over Florida U-15. Apart from Uttam, a goal each was scored by Alien Diory, Germanpeet and Lalmohana.

Two Boys Club U-13 footballers selected in team India

GANGTOK, 30 March:  Dawa Lhendup and Ramesh Chhetri of Sikkim have been selected in the India U-13 team finalised for the AFC U-13 Boys Football Festival to be held in Iran from 10 to 23 May 2011. The two pre-teens were selected based on the performance at the AIFF U-13 Boys Football Championship held at Neyveli, Tamil Nadu, where the Sikkim team gave an impressive performance “compelling the AIFF selectors to select” the duo the India team, conveys the Sikkim Football Association general secretary, Menla Ethenpa, in a press release issued today.

Bridge where no road exists and no bitumen for roads crying for blacktopping

CARTELISATION OF TENDERS: 21,387 contractors, but no competitive bidding
GANGTOK: The Roads & Bridges Department got a Rs. 1.91 crore steel bridge on the road to Khedum village in North Sikkim approved by the North East Council in March 2005 so that the villagers could transport agricultural produce to markets at Chungthang and Mangan. This work, awarded at 25 per cent above the estimated cost was already running more than 3 years late when auditors from the Comptroller and Auditor General’s office visited the site in August 2010. It was 99 per cent complete [at an expenditure of Rs. 1.66 crore], but the villagers were still carrying agricultural and other essential commodities by head-load through a small log bridge.
The CAG Report for the year ended 31 March 2010, tabled in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday, reveals that the Department did not establish road connectivity on both sides of the bridge. The bridge spans a stream at a spot where no one travels!
Closer to Gangtok, lies the Ranka-Luing-Burtuk road, for the blacktopping of which, the Department assessed a requirement of 760 drums of bitumen. The proposal was sanctioned in 2004-05. In October 2005, when the Department got around to acquiring the supply, it purchased only 576 drums. Of this, it issued only 130 drums to the Ranka-Luing-Burtuk road and diverted the rest to works undertaken in and around Gangtok. Five years down the line, the diversion has not been made good, and upgradation work on the Ranka-Burtuk stretch, originally scheduled for completion by July 2006, remains incomplete.
Revelations like these pepper the Integrated Audit of the Roads & Bridges Department [covering 5 years from 2005-06 to 2009-10] by the CAG office. The Sikkim Public Works [Roads & Bridges] Department, one may add here, is the oldest State Government Department. Its planning and financial handling, however, reflect a juvenile propensity for thrift and waywardness.

Restoration brings shine back to frescoes at Tsuklakhang

GANGTOK: Restoration work is underway on the frescoes at the Tsuklakhang Monastery situated in the palace premises here in the capital. The restoration is being overseen by two respected architects who have worked extensively on conservation of Tibetan architecture - Andre Alexander from Germany and Anca Nicolaescu from Paris, who are in Sikkim on the invitation of the Tsuklakhang Trust.
“This is my first project in Sikkim, but I have worked eight years in Ladakh and another seven in Tibet and also head the Tibet Heritage Fund,” informed Andre, who has studied Tibetan Architecture in Lhasa and is a Conservationist Architect.

SDF calls 48-hour bandh to leverage 31 demands

GANGTOK: The Sikkim Democratic Front has called a 48-hour Sikkim Bandh on 04 and 05 April. The bandh will be effect from 6 AM of 04 April to 6 AM of 06 April. The party has called for all shops, offices and schools to remain closed for the two days. This has been called to press for a set of 31 demands with local protection by way of employment taking up most of the points while also included are demands pending with the Centre.
Ambulances, medicine shops, milk transport vehicles, press, Fire Department, Police, armed forces and paramilitary traffic, court and garbage vehicles and class X and XII board examination students have been exempted from the purview of the bandh.
Addressing a press conference today, SDF spokesperson, Bhim Dahal, explained that the party was compelled to take up this “strong democratic weapon” in the interest of the local people and to press for their rights and aspirations.

Sikkim Solidarity Forum for Gorkhaland welcomes Resolution, claims credit

GANGTOK, 30 March: The Sikkim Solidarity Forum for Gorkhaland [SSFG] has welcomed the Resolution passed by the Sikkim Legislative Assembly during the Budget Session yesterday, and also took the opportunity to claim it as their “achievement”, contending that it was their ‘stand’ on the issue which had brought about a positive turn for the people of the Darjeeling Hills in Sikkim.
“We stood by our responsibility towards our neighbours which is what was seen as convincing enough for the people in power in Sikkim to act accordingly,” claimed CC Shangderpa, Convener, SSFG, while addressing a press conference today.

SIBLAC protests Resolution to increase Assembly strength without proportionate increase in BL seats

GANGTOK, 30 March: The Sikkim Bhutia Lepcha Apex Committee [SIBLAC], has received as “unfortunate and disappointing”, the Resolution adopted by the Sikkim Legislative Assembly seeking an increase in strength of the Assembly from 32 to 40 without a proportionate increase in the Bhutia-Lepcha seats.
A press release issued today, states, “Most surprising is to witness the curiosity of both the Governor and the State Government to diminish the political identity of the Sikkimese Bhutia Lepchas from their own land of origin by proposing to reduce the BL seats in the Sikkim Assembly.”

GJM rallies in Gangtok to thank Sikkim

GANGTOK: A rally was taken out jointly by the state unit of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and Sikkim Chalak Mahasangh to express gratitude to Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, his Cabinet colleagues, the MLAs and the people of Sikkim on Wednesday. This, for the Resolution passed by the Sikkim Legislative Assembly yesterday in support of the demand for Gorkhaland.
The rally flaunted banners and placards expressing thanks to the Chief Minister, his Cabinet Ministers and to the people of Sikkim. It started from Hotel Hungry Jack and concluded at Zero Point.

Lost, at Roads & Bridges


The Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India is an annual ritual which shocks with each edition. The scale of misappropriation uncovered by the auditors has been noticeably diminishing over the recent years and while this is as a definite positive, what remains worrying is the continuing disconnect between policy commitments and ground delivery stemming from uninspired administration.
The Integrated Audit of the Roads & Bridges Department detailed elsewhere in this paper, warns in its conclusion that unless the Department woke up to its role in the State and its importance to developmental goals, all of Sikkim’s aspirations could come to naught.

Gorkhaland Resolution was supported by only 31 MLAs in a House of 32, Dahal points out

GANGTOK, 30 March: Spokesperson, Sikkim Democratic Front, Bhim Dahal, mentioned that the adoption of a resolution in support of Gorkhaland by the State Legislative Assembly yesterday was a historic moment for the state. He also underlined that although the SDF occupies all the seats in the Assembly, the Resolution had the support of only 31 of the 32 MLAs – the Burtuk MLA, PS Tamang, having remained absent from the Budget Session.

Bimal Gurung writes to thank CM

GANGTOK: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president, Bimal Gurung, has expressed gratitude towards Chief Minister Pawan Chamling on introducing and passing a resolution supporting the Gorkhaland demand in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly.
In a letter to the Chief Minister on Tuesday, Mr Gurung begins by stating, “I am overwhelmed with intense happiness on hearing the news that the Legislative Assembly of the state of Sikkim unanimously passed a resolution supporting our demand for the creation of a separate state of Gorkhaland”.

Bhandari welcomes Resolution in support of Gorkhaland

GANGTOK: The Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee has welcomed the Resolution [click here and here] passed by the Sikkim Legislative Assembly in support of the Gorkhaland demand yesterday. The Congress has stressed that the SDF Government now follow-up this Resolution in the right earnest.
The SPCC president, Nar Bahadur Bhandari, through a press release issued today, said, “The Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee welcomes passing of resolution by the ruling SDF Government. However, the SPCC demands that the SDF Government should implement its thus passed resolution in both letter and spirit.”

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


The hills might be known more for football, but it is cricket which has now grown as the more popular spectator sport here. The India-Pakistan World Cup semifinal saw a slew of public screenings around Gangtok today. Many faces sported the Tricolour paint, giant flags were strung across MG Marg and every nukkad had a TV placed outside, like this one [above] on Tharo Line where Team India supporters watched the broadcast from a difficult angle and high passion. They even draped a Tricolour on the TV to underline which team they were cheering for. The pic below is of the match in progress at MG Marf. These photos were taken before the Indian batting collapse, when Sehwag and Tendulkar were still on the crease.

Assembly joins CM in feting Chief Secy TT Dorji for dedicated service to Sikkim

GANGTOK: In his concluding remarks at the Budget Session on Tuesday, the Chief Minister put on record the unparalleled services rendered to the State by Chief Secretary TT Dorji, who will be proceeding on retirement soon. “It is a sad moment for the State government that such a dynamic officer is now proceeding on retirement,” the CM said in his vote of thanks address today.
“I put on record that I have worked with six other Chief Secretaries, and Mr. TT Dorji has been a trendsetter among all. He is one of the most dedicated officers I have ever worked with. We will miss the presence of this vision-oriented dedicated officer who has worked for the state to his full potential and with full commitment. I want to thank him for his services to the State and its people,” the CM said.
This endorsement was greeted by a spontaneous thumping of tables by the MLAs. Such endorsement of a CS on the floor of the House is a first for Sikkim.

“Central Govt should fulfill the legitimate demand of Darjeeling people”


GANGTOK: The Sikkim Legislative Assembly on Tuesday, unanimously adopted the Government Resolution No.3 of 2011 brought in by the Chief Minister calling on the Central Government to respect the “hopes and aspirations deeply embedded in the hearts and minds of the people of Darjeeling” and fulfill the demand for a State of Gorkhaland. Such a move, the Resolution asserts, would “ensure peace, security and development of Darjeeling and the Region as a whole”. [click here for copy of the Resolution]
The Resolution is explained in the subject line as: “To ensure peace, security and development of Sikkim and the region, free movement of National Highway 31A lifeline of Sikkim is central to the well being of land locked sensitive border State. Formation of Gorkhaland - the ultimate and permanent solution”.
The Resolution calls on the Central Government to “kindly consider the legitimate demands of the people of Darjeeling for Statehood and take necessary steps as required under the Constitution”.
The Resolution was seconded by MLA Ugyen Gyatso Bhutia.
Reading out the resolution, the Chief Minister held it up as “historic” and explained its need as the only recourse available to respect the sentiments of the people of the neighbouring hills, while also guaranteeing that Sikkim was not routinely made to suffer connectivity problems.

One in every 26 Sikkimese is a contractor with Roads & Bridges Deptt, and still there is cartelization by contractors!

GANGTOK: The reports on accounts and major audit findings of the Comptroller and Auditor General for the year ended 31 March 2010 on Sikkim Government was laid in the State Legislative Assembly by the Leader of the House, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling Tuesday.
Later in the day, the Accountant General of Sikkim, Dinesh Bhagata, convened a press conference to shed light on some of the major audit findings and recommendations recorded in the CAG Report.
The CAG Report, which always makes for interesting reading for the revelations of financial misappropriation, reckless planning and wasteful expenditure, the auditors dig out, is an important exercise with its findings referred to the Public Accounts Committee and Committee on Public Undertakings for further discussion and suitable recommendations.
This time the CAG report also has undertaken an integrated audit of the Roads & Bridges Department, which, ironically, has been found to have neither incorporated the government’s mission into its functioning nor even formulated any Road Policy till date.

Supporting Gorkhaland, for Sikkim


The Government Resolution passed in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly on Tuesday is a strong gesture of support towards the statehood demand currently coursing through the neighbouring Darjeeling Hills. Not that such a gesture was required, because Sikkim, even if the State Government had thus far not officially joined issue with the movement in the neighbouring hills, has always supported the people there in the pursuit of their aspirations. Sikkim’s general endorsement of the demands of the neighbouring district has always been clear and spontaneous and required no reiteration.
This, however, has been a thankless job because even as the unofficial channels extended material and emotional support beyond Rangpo, the reciprocal gestures have been prone to whimsical lapses.

Assembly seeks reserved seats ‘soon after’ publication of Census 2011

GANGTOK: The concluding day of the week-long budget session at the Sikkim Legislative Assembly Tuesday unanimously passed the Rs.8, 090 crore budget for the financial year 2011-12 today. It may be informed here that this is a 62 percent increase over the previous year and was tabled by the Chief Minister on Saturday, with voting and discussions held yesterday.
The Chief Minister also brought in the Government Resolution No 4 of 2011 today with three main points: Reservation of seats for Limboo and Tamang tribal communities in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly, the increase in the number of seats to forty in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly and Notifying the remaining Sikkimese as Scheduled Tribes, which was considered and adopted unanimously by the House today.
In his vote of thanks, the CM remarked that the SDF government has ‘secured’ the delivery of almost all the issues ‘promised’ to the people of Sikkim. He stated that he was ‘committed’ towards the remaining three points [listed in the Resolution], which, he announced, he would ‘actively’ pursue with the Centre and also assured that even the Karmapa to Rumtek aspiration of the people, which was a long-pending demand of the State government, would also be “made heard” at the highest level.

BGP welcomes Sikkim Resolution on Gorkhaland, thanks Chief Minister

GANGTOK, 29 March: The Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh [BGP] has welcomed the passing of the Resolution in support of Gorkhaland by the Legislative Assembly of Sikkim. [click here for copy of Resolution]
“We want to congratulate and thank Chief Minister Dr Pawan Chamling for initiating the resolution on Gorkhaland,” conveys Rev. Dr. Enos Das Pradhan, working president of the Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh, in a press release.
“Sikkim had earlier played a stellar role in the movement for the recognition of Nepali as a national language and its inclusion in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution. By becoming the first Chief Minister to pass a resolution on the creation of Gorkhaland, Dr Pawan Chamling has once shown again that Sikkim will not belie the hopes and expectations that Gorkhas across the country have from Dr Chamling and Sikkim,” the BGP working president adds.

Speaker welcomes Budget 2011-12 as “positive and visionary”

GANGTOK: Speaker, Sikkim Legislative Assembly, KT Gyaltsen, in his vote of thanks address at the conclusion of the Budget Session on Tuesday, said that the Budget 2011-12 was “historic, comprehensive, farsighted and democratic in its true spirit”.
“I take the privilege and honour to extend my sincere congratulations to the Leader of the House for the positive and visionary document, the Budget 2011-2012,” he put on record.

Angalo Yo Maya Ko to embrace audiences on Thursday

GANGTOK, 29 March: The cast and crew of Sikkim’s first Silicon-2k HD film, Kishor Dungmali Rai’s  “Angalo Yo Maya Ko”, made on a budget of Rs 65 lakhs and set to premiere on 31 March at Vajra cinema hall, got talking with media persons today at the Gangtalk restaurant on MG Marg.
Speaking to media persons, the producer, Mr Rai, said, “We have tried to make the film as local as possible from the locations, cast and crew, to the sound recording. We have tried to make use of all the available local resources. ”

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Still Waters will ripple in Nepali now

They complete a decade in the rock scene this year, and are, in a way, “Starting from Scratch” again. Still Waters made headlines in 2002 by becoming the first band from Sikkim to play in the Great Indian Rock festival. They have headlined many gigs since, and after a couple of years off the scene, exploded back on the stage last year, storming into the GIR again and flaunting a new line-up built around the rock-sync of Ananth Pradhan, the lead vocalist, and Sonam Lachungpa of the skilful fingers on lead guitar. The band is now all set to release their second album – “Starting from Scratch” - which belts out their foray into Nepali Rock.
With 6 songs in Nepali and 2 in English, “Starting from Scratch” is an essentially Nepali album. Incidentally, the band also performed one of their Nepali songs, ‘Pharki Na Au’, at the GIR festival last year, which is a first on the fest.

Sikkim Assembly passes Resolution in support of Gorkhaland

GANGTOK, 29 March: Chief Minister Pawan Chamling today brought in Government Resolution No. 3 of 2011 to the Legislative Assembly. The Resolution was seconded by MLA Ugen Gyatso Bhutia and carried this as its subject: "To ensue peace, security and development of Sikkim and the region, free movement on National Highway 31 'A' lifeline of Sikkim is central to the well being of the land locked sensitive border state. Formation of Gorkhaland State - the ultimate and permanent solution".
The 6-page Resolution calls on the Central Government to respect the "hopes and aspirations" of the people of Darjeeling and "fulfill" their "genuine, legitimate, justified and within the framework of the Constitution of India" demand for a State of Gorkhaland. A scanned copy of the Resolution is included here. Detailed report on the Assembly proceeding will follow later.

UID programme underway, 4,025 have signed up so far

GANGTOK: Around 4,025 people have signed up for the Unique Identification Number [UID] in the State so far. The process, which had begun with the enrollment of Governor on 04 March, is underway at Bojoghari above Gangtok at present.
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has been set up by the Government of India with the aim to issue unique identification numbers of “Aadhaar” [identity] to all residents of the country. So far, nine states in the country have begun the process and in Sikkim, it is being carried out by Department of Economics, Statistics, Monitoring and Evaluation [DESME].

Sikkim Jewels workers stumped by unpaid PF deposits despite deduction from salaries

GANGTOK, 28 March: Another shock has hit the workers at Sikkim Jewels. Already on tenterhooks since they will soon be without jobs since the unit is winding up, they have now learnt that the Provident Fund, deducted every month from their salaries, has not been deposited to their personal accounts for the last 10 months.
Not only the PF, even the personal loan installments and LIC premiums, also deducted from their salaries, have not been deposited with the concerned authorities for the last 4-5 months, they contend.
“We learnt of this only when we were informed of the arrears by the banks and in some cases found that the outstanding amounts had been deducted from our saving accounts,” contended one of the members of the Sikkim Jewels worker’s committee, formed to speak on behalf of the 106 employees of the unit.

A Karateka felled by lack of patronage and remoteness from meaningful information

BOOMPULL [Rinchenpong], 28 March: There is not a dearth of sporting talent in the State. That goes without saying. But what irks ever so often is how so many of them fall by the wayside for want of patronage and guidance, and how, at times, the denial continues because of lack of access to information. Though many claims, assurances and initiatives have been undertaken, there is still much that the concerned departments as well by the various sports-related associations could do to service the sustenance of the sporting spirit in Sikkim.
Such is the story of 29-year-old, 1st Dan Black Belt housewife from Dethang, under Rinchenpong constituency in West Sikkim, Geeta Thapa [Karki]. In  her journey as a sportsperson, one realizes the urgent need to initiate and implement concrete policies which look out for those who excel in sports, but are forced away due to circumstances beyond their control.

RBI reaches Rey-Mindu with Financial Outreach Programme

GANGTOK: A Financial Outreach programme, organized by the Reserve Bank of India [RBI] was held at Rey-Mindu village, on Sunday.
The chief guest, S Kurrupasamy [Executive Director, RBI, Mumbai], while addressing the function explained that the Chief Minister’s Rural Universal Financial Inclusion programme was focused to make the rural people financially secure by inculcating a habit of saving. He added that by March 2012, every village in Sikkim will be provided with banking facilities.

JNV celebrates annual day at Shelapthang

GANGTOK: JNV-Shelapthang, North Sikkim, celebrated its 14th annual day today with District Collector [North Sikkim], TN Kazi, who is also the Chairman, Vidyalaya Management Committee, as chief guest while Deputy Director, HRDD, North, MK Gurung and PTC Member, Sang Doma Bhutia, were present as guests of honour.

Recalcitrant departments will be hauled for Contempt of House, Speaker warns

GANGTOK: The Discussions and Voting on Separate Demands for Grants of different ministries concluded here Monday with proposals tabled by seven Ministers getting the “green signal” from the members without discussions in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly.
The session also included queries and suggestions being offered by the members, with the Gangtok MLA, Dorjee Namgyal, making extensive observations and raising several points. These found sync with the House and one of the points, that of lack of coordination with MLAs by Departments, was also taken up by the Speaker, who warned that recalcitrance by government departments in their interactions of the people’s representatives will be taken as contempt of House in the future.

Inner Wheel ladies organize elocution contest for juniors

GANGTOK: The Inner Wheel Club of Gangtok, the women’s arm of the Rotary Club, has effected a new initiative. Convinced that personality development can, and should, begin at the infant stage, IWC organized an open elocution contest on Sunday for children of classes I & II in group A and classes III, IV & V in group B, under the purview of their Kala Niketan project at St. Thomas’ School.
Children of  schools from in and around Gangtok participated. Prior to the competition, training was also provided at Kala Niketan. The objective behind this programme is to help children overcome stage fright, thus enabling them to speak infront of an audience.

Satyajit Ray’s "Sikkim" to premiere on Chogyal’s birth anniversary

GANGTOK: After a wait of 40 years, Satyajit Ray’s only work never to have been officially premiered, his documentary film, ‘Sikkim’, is now finally ready for its world premiere; the date aptly set for 04 April, coinciding with the birth anniversary of the late Chogyal, Palden Thondup Namgyal, who had produced the film in 1971. The documentary film will premiere at Vajra cinema hall.
The film is being presented by the Art and Culture Trust [ACT] of Sikkim, which holds the rights to the film, and has worked for many years now to restore the original prints of this, thus far lost work.

Missing From Health Sector Priorities


A child was killed on the spot last week when a truck, with a reportedly drunk driver on the wheels, ploughed into a group of teenagers on their way to a tuition class. Three of the victim’s friends who were with her at the time were also grievously injured. This transpired in Singtam and the trauma for the injured and their families did not end with the accident; it played on as the children developed complications and had to be moved to “better facilities”. Ambulances were not immediately available, facilities at the hospital inadequate and the desperation levels high.
Drunken driving and accidents are common in Sikkim, and while this is deplorable enough, what is even more galling is the continued failure of the policy-makers and the administrators here to create infrastructure which at least guarantees the best medical attention to accident victims. Hill roads are notoriously accident-prone and the quality of driving here, nightmarishly rash. Then there is the profusion of hydel projects and road and construction sites which inundate the hills, all of which offer only the most rudimentary of safety measures to their workers. The need for safer roads and better working conditions cannot be stressed enough, but in the absence of this being ensured, it becomes extremely necessary that the medical infrastructure is shored up to a level where victims are guaranteed adequate medical attention in the event of an accident.

CM gives departments 100 days to prove commitment, will divert funds to performers otherwise

GANGTOK, 28 March: Day-5 of the Budget Session 2011 saw members Sonam Gyatso Bhutia, MLA, Ralang- Barfung and Tulsi Devi Rai, MLA, Melli participate in the general discussions on Monday the budget presented  by the Chief Minister, who also holds the Finance portfolio, in the House on Saturday. The members appear to have warmed up to legislative proceedings and after the first three days ended quick, without much interaction, discussions and announcements have started featuring since yesterday. Among the more substantial announcements made in the House today, the Chief Minister set a 100-day deadline for departments to start work on projects bankrolled by the latest budget. He warned that funds would be diverted away from departments which dragged their feet.
The MLAs who joined the discussion on the budget, while welcoming it, highlighted that the Assembly had delivered out its duties by bringing in the proposed budget, and that now, it was the responsibility of the bureaucracy to ensure proper delivery to the masses and to projects and areas where it was needed the most.
The members, while urging for “effective and efficient implementation” of the schemes and programmes of the government, added that the budget would benefit all sections of society, especially the poorest of the poor and the educated unemployed youth because of its focus on security and support through schemes to enhance self-sufficiency.

Another group announces candidates for ASGEA elections

GANGTOK: A new group has announced plans to contest the elections called for the central executive committee of the All Sikkim Government Employees’ Association [C&D] called for 09 April.
A meeting of the group, held here today, under the chairmanship of Dakman Subba, unanimously selected Phursang Lepcha as their presidential candidate.
Mr. Lepcha will be accompanied by MK Lama [for vice-president], Keshar Singh Rai [general secretary], Purna Bahadur Kami [joint secretary], Ms Phupu Doma Bhutia [treasurer], Om Nath Chettri [asst. treasurer], Sonam Tamang [coordination secretary], Nim Tshering Lepcha [publicity secretary] and Depen Subba as office secretary candidates.
The group, which is beginning campaigning soon, is promising to work whole-heartedly for the welfare of the members, if they were voted into power.

Khatiwaras to prepare directory of all members

GANGTOK: A meeting of the Khatiwara community was convened yesterday at Singtam Marwari Dharmashala under the chairmanship of the Shyamlal Khatiwara of Aho, East Sikkim, informs a press release.
PP Khatiwara from Dentam, West Sikkim, in his welcome address underlined the importance of the meeting. The meeting resolved to locate and make a list of all members of Khatiwara community in Sikkim. The meeting also decided to produce an annual journal where all the updates of the progress of the community would be included and that the community will hold a grand meeting once a year.
Working committees for East, South and West districts were also nominated at the meeting and a decision taken to hold another meeting of the working executive committees on 29 April.
The vote of thanks was proposed by ML Khatiwara of Pakyong.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Prof Lama raises SU woes stemming from BSNL bottlenecks

Sam Pitroda, Advisor to the Prime Minister and Chairman of the National Knowledge Commission,
interacting with the Sikkim University VC, Prof. Mahendra P Lama.

GANGTOK, 27 March: The 2-day conference of Vice Chancellors of Central and State Universities on theme, “University and Society: Issues and Challenges”, concluded at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi with the Union HRD Minister, Kapil Sibal, calling on Universities to promote secondary schools as they are the “key catchment area of the university system”, informs a press release received from the Sikkim University. Sikkim University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mahendra P Lama, raised limitations, vis  a vis ICT-based teaching, suffered by SU due to the poor BSNL services here and also contributed ideas for the draft document prepared by the team on Research & Innovations, the release adds.
Over 300 VCs of state and central universities participated in the conference.

CATCH reaches Sokpay with health camp

A daylong health camp under the Chief Minister's Comprehensive Annual & Total Health Check-up for Healthy Sikkim [CATCH], along with a “Mini Health Mela” under the RCH Program was organized yesterday at Sokpay Junior High School for areas serviced by the Yangang PHC by the Pacific Club
Sokpay is one of the under-served areas of South district, a Pacific Club press release informs. The health camp was serviced by CATCH Nodal Officer for South District, Dr. Ugen Sherpa, along with the Micro-Biologist from District Hospital [Namchi] and four doctors from Yangang and other places with PHSC staff from Neh-Broom, Lingmoo and Lingi LHV, BPM, Lab technician from Yangang PHC and NGO members.
Around 300 people attended the camp with 250 of them receiving treatment and free medicines, the release informs.
Zilla Panchyat Ram Katwal welcomed the specialists while Dr. Sherpa explained the CATCH programme. The RCH Mini Health Mela was explained by secretary, Pacific Club, Bishnu Pokhrel.

Officials and consultants inspect Teyongsi Sirijunga statue fabrication work in progress

NAMCHI, 27 March: A team of officials from the Rural Development & Management Department, accompanied by representatives of the Limboo association were at Assangthang here on a daylong visit to supervise the 36-feet tall bronze statue of Limboo reformer and revivalist Teyongsi Sirijunga Sing-Thebe being fabricated there for the project coming up at Hee-Gaon in West Sikkim.

SPCC welcomes exemption for left-out sections and wants post-1970 ‘influx population’ taxed

GANGTOK, 27 March: The Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee has demanded that the State government “involve and the take consent” of national and regional political parties in Sikkim before deciding matters having direct bearing on the Sikkimese people.
The reference here is to the resolution passed in the State Legislative Assembly which, apart from defining “left-out” communities, also seeks exemption for the left-out communities from payment of Direct Income Tax under Income Tax Law, 1961.

Historic Recognition of Sikkimese as One People

The Direct Tax Laws and sections exempted from paying Income Tax in Sikkim are back in the news. We reprint, with a fresh title, an extract from the editorial published when the Income Tax exemption was formalised by the Parliament in the year 2008. This as much to relive the moment from three years ago, as to recall what the development meant for Sikkim. This editorial was first published on 04 March, 2008…
The amendment to the Finance Bill tabled by the Union Finance Minister [on 29 Feb, 2008] is of much more significance that just the Income Tax exemption announced for Sikkim Subjects. It is a historic development and one without any recent precedence in the country in that special treatment has been announced for “a people”, not a community, caste, or religious denomination. The amendment mentions exemption for the “Sikkimese”; an explanation attached to the amendment, defines Sikkimese as Sikkim Subject Certificate holders and their descendents. The Sikkimese are receiving special treatment as a collective group for the first time. Thus far, special treatment has been based on ethnicities. Delhi has never acknowledged the people of Sikkim as a united group and even leaders here have acquired the rhetoric which speaks of the people of Sikkim segregated as Bhutia, Lepcha and Nepali; a coinage that got into currency with the Tripartite Agreement of 1973 and continues to remain in circulation. The State is too small for such divisions and it is ironic that this message had to be driven home with an amendment of the same Bill, which in 1994, had cleaved Sikkim into even deeper divisions.

NASBO rejects Governor’s Budget address

GANGTOK, 27 March: The National Sikkimese Bhutia Organization [NASBO 371F], following a general meeting held yesterday, resolved to reject the “content and intention” of the Governor’s address to the Budget Session of the Sikkim Legislative Assembly with regard to the demand for increase of the Assembly strength from 32 to 40 without proportionate increase in the number of Bhutia-Lepcha reserved seats.
A press release issued by the NASBO publicity secretary, Karma Denka, states, “It is very unfortunate that the Head of State should come forward with his anti-Bhutia Lepcha agenda openly in the Sikkim Assembly.”

HRDD signs MoU with Quality Council of India to grade delivery of education in Sikkim

GANGTOK, 27 March: A Memorandum of Understanding [MOU] on “Accreditation Standard for Quality School Governance” was signed between the Human Resource Development Department and Quality Council of India yesterday.
The MoU was signed by the Commissioner-cum-Secretary, HRDD, R Telang, on behalf of the State Government and the Director, QCI, Bipin Sahani, representing his organization, in the presence of HRDD Minister, NK Pradhan. With this, Sikkim has become the second state in the country, after Bihar, to sign on MoU to accredit the standard for school education.

CM tables Govt Resolution seeking Income Tax exemption for left-out communities

GANGTOK, 27 March: Communities residing in Sikkim, left-out from the Income Tax exemption accorded to the Sikkim Subjects, received a reiteration of the State Government’s commitment to lobby for similar exemption for them yesterday, with the Chief Minister bringing in Resolution No.2 of 2011 “Seeking exemption from payment of Income Tax under the Income Tax Act, 1961 for the left out categories of persons”. This Resolution, proposed by the Chief Minister, was passed unanimously by the Sikkim Legislative Assembly with MLAs Dorjee Namgyal [Gangtok], Madan Cintury [Zoom- Salghari], Sonam Gyatso Bhutia [Ralang-Barfung], and Binod Rai [Namchi-Singhithang] participating in the discussions.
This, it may be recalled is the second time that the present Legislative Assembly is passing such a Resolution, but as the Chief Minister explained, the last Resolution, brought and passed on 11 December 2009, was a Private Member’s Resolution, while this time, it was a Government Resolution, carrying that much more weight and significance.

Former panchayat challenges Minister’s claims on Singling incident

GANGTOK, 27 March: A former Panchayat, Jacob Khaling, has rejected the statement issued by Road & Bridges Minister, RB Subba, as “very unfortunate”, alleging that the Minister cannot deny his involvement in the Singling outburst of violence.
A press release issued by Mr. Khaling demands that it the Minister give his clarification to the police and to the courts and not to the media. He has further demanded to know why the state police was delaying in effecting the arrest of the Minister in connection with the Singling incident.

CM tables Rs.8,090 crore budget, announces 2011 as Year of Innovation

GANGTOK, 27 March: Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, who also holds the finance portfolio, proposed a budget of Rs. 8,090.24 crores in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly yesterday. Holding it up as a “balanced budget”, which has a deficit of merely Rs 20 lakhs on a proposed expenditure of Rs. 8,090.24 crores, he explained that the State’s tax revenues were projected to climb over 27 per cent. The voting and passage of the budget is scheduled for 28 March, Monday. He also declared the year 2011 as the “Year of Innovation” for Sikkim.
“This is the final year of the 11th Plan and hence there is more emphasis being given on completion of ongoing projects and improvement in quality of implementation. Furthermore, there is going to be increased monitoring through use of new tools that will be introduced. More training programs of high quality are on the anvil for our young officers to help inculcate a stronger sense of purpose in them. This will equip them with the latest knowledge and skills to serve the people of Sikkim more professionally,” stated the Chief Minister.

AJKS condemns Singtam accident, wonders why teacher and student associations remain silent

GANGTOK, 27 March: Anusuchujit Jati Kalyan Sangh, Namchi, has strongly condemned the Singtam accident in which a speeding truck crushed four girl students on 24 March, killing one of them [Kalpana Darnal] on-the-spot and injuring the three others, and has demanded strict action against the driver of the truck.
The AJKS has conveyed its condolences to the bereaved family, and in a press release issued jointly by its president, Gopal Mother, and coordinator, Binay Gazmer, also thanks the Singtam Police Station for its prompt action which led to the arrest of the accused driver before he could flee Singtam.
While also conveying its gratitude towards the Chief Minister for providing financial assistance to the affected families, the release also expresses “amazement” over the “silence” with which the All Sikkim Students Union and teachers associations have received news of the accident.