Friday, June 17, 2011

CJ addresses legal awareness session at Namprikdang

MANGAN, 16 June: A daylong legal awareness session was held here at Namprikdang in Upper Dzongu today by the Sikkim State Legal Services Authority. The function was chaired by Chief Justice PD Dinakaran of the High Court of Sikkim who is also the Patron-in-Chief of the Sikkim State Legal Services Authority. He was accompanied by Justice SP Wangdi of the High Court, Sonam Gyatso Lepcha, Power Minister, Khamsoong Lepcha, North Zilla Adhyaksha, DC [North] TN Kaxi, SP, panchayat and zilla members, officials from the State Legal Services Authority.
The function started with a welcome speech by the DC, following which the Chief Justice introduced the gathered people to the Legal Service Authority and stressed that access to legal recourse was among the basic needs of the society like education and health. 

Tourist killed in Sherathang road mishap caused by suspected rash driving

GANGTOK, 16 June: A 33 year old tourist from Kolkata was killed on the spot when the vehicle he was travelling in along with 10 others, including the driver, veered out of control and plunged 150 feet off the road between Serathang and Baba Mandir here beyond Tsomgo this afternoon at 2:10 p.m.
Speaking to NOW! S.I. Choley Bhutia, in-charge of Serathang Police Out-Post, who evacuated the injured tourists to STNM Hospital, informed that the Mahindra Maxx taxi being driven by one Satan Kumar Darjee lost control and skidded off the road near the Serathang Helipad killing Sudip Das on the spot and grievously injuring two passengers. Rest of the passengers, although injured, are not in any immediate danger, it is informed.

IOC racks up storage capacity to 21,000 cylinders

GANGTOK, 16 June: This monsoon, LPG consumers in the State can expect some relief as the LPG refilling plant at Majitar, Rangpo is now equipped with a capacity to store 21,000 cylinders at a time instead of the earlier 7,000.
Speaking to NOW!, STCS Managing Director, S. Gyamptso Pulger, said, “Now the refilling plant has increased its storing  capacity and is also arranging for buffer stocks. There should not be scarcity during monsoon.”
At present, according to Mr. Pulger, the supply is running normal as the refilling plant has almost cleared its backlog carried over from February to April.

Hemakarna and Sancharani Subba Memorial Trust awards scholarships

SORENG, 16 June: In order to improve the education standard in the area and encourage students, Hemakarna and Sancharani Subba Memorial Trust, Soreng organized an awards ceremony today at the Soreng Senior Secondary School, Soreng, West Sikkim.
This is the 7th year that the trust has been awarding the top-ranked students of Government schools in Soreng-Chakung and two schools of Daramdin constituency. To mark the occasion a grand function was organized today with the area MLA, Roads & Bridges Minister RB Subba as the chief guest accompanied by SDM Soreng Sub Division, Aiswarya Singh as special guest.

Sikkim-GJM begins awareness campaign to explain GJM-WB Govt deal

GANGTOK, 16 June: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s Sikkim-unit has begun an awareness campaign here to inform interested people about the finer details of the recent arrangement arrived at between the party and the West Bengal State Government.
The awareness programme kicked-off from Kamrang near Namchi with the GJM’s Sikkim members meeting with the public, a GJM press release informs. 
The Sikkim-GJM president, Bhawani Pradhan, addressing today’s meeting, announced that the Sikkim unit was ready to welcome the “deal” provided that it include Dooars, Terai and Siliguri in the Gorkhaland area, and stressed that the party will carry on with the Gorkhaland demand along with the new arrangement.
Accusing the opposition parties in Darjeeling of trying to misguide Gorkhaland supporters about the bilateral talks, he explained the purpose of his visit as one “to clear such misconceptions among the public”.
He further alleged the opposition group in Darjeeling has always hindered a resolution of the demand for Gorkhaland and appealed to the people not to get swayed by the “false propaganda” of the opposition.
He also appealed for continued support for the GJM chief, Bimal Gurung, who, he claimed, was “a true and committed leader of the Gorkhaland movement”. 

Singbel JHS stakeholders meet to discuss CCE implementation

MANGAN, 16 June: A meeting to institutionalize smooth implementation of CCE guidelines was held here at Singbel JHS on 14 June, attended by SMC members, Panchayats, teachers, and guardians.
The ward Panchayat, HB Karki spoke on the new rules as formulated by CCE which have to be followed by the teachers and parents.  He said that the teachers should be well informed about the CCE norms and follow the guidelines accordingly.
He also advised and requested the guardians to apprise themselves about the changing scenario of education and added that all children below the age of fourteen years must sent to the school.
The Headmaster assured that the teachers will follow all CCE norms and also sought cooperation from guardians for the all round development of the children.  New SMC members were also nominated on the day.

Tumin-Lingee prepares for CM’s upcoming visit

MANGAN, 16 June: A meeting was held here at Tintek BAC yesterday chaired by area MLA, Ugen T Gyatso Bhutia, who is also the government chief whip, in preparation for the Chief Minister’s upcoming visit to the constituency [Tumin-Lingee] during his village-to-village tour of the State.
The MLA appealed to the public to place genuine community development demands and issues with the CM when he calls on them. He also congratulated Lower Samdong Secondary School for winning the Green School Award.

Workshop cum Awareness on PYKKA held at Namchi

NAMCHI, 16 June: A District Level Workshop cum Awareness and Committee meeting on Panchayat Yuva Krida Aur Khel Abhiyan (PYKKA) 2011-12 organised by the Sports & Youth Affairs Department was conducted today here at Indoor Stadium, Namchi South Sikkim.
During the programme, Joint Director (HQ), Doma Tshering Bhutia spoke on the PYKKA scheme, the role and responsibility of the PYKKA committee, role and responsibility of Zilla Panchayat members Secretary and Krida Shree.
The PYKKA aims at providing basic sports infrastructure and equipment at the panchayat level and encouraging sports and games in rural areas through annual competitions at the block and district levels.
PYKKA will help States in promoting sport at the grassroots level, which they have not been able to achieve on their own so far due to severe resource constraints. It will also deepen and widen the seedbed of sporting talent of our villages leading to better performances by our sportspersons in national and international events.
She informed that under PYKKA, 23 grounds costing Rs 5 lakhs each and more than 100 grounds costing one lakh each have been sanctioned under the scheme. For the better implementation of the scheme Zilla Panchayat and Krida Shree should take the lead, she added.

Shop burgled at Namnang

GANGTOK, 16 June: Some unknown persons broke into a shop here at Namnang and stole away laptops and cash on the intervening night of 14 and 15 June.
The burglars made away with 4 new laptops, 1 old laptop an Rs 1,665 in cash from the shop, Innovation Computer Solution.

Not Just Landslides

Climate change is playing tricks on the weather. Gangtok is sweltering through what, till a decade ago, was Rangpo weather, and even as June enters its final week, the monsoon is still to officially arrive here. The south-west monsoon is still sauntering in the south and west corridors of the country and yet to poke its head into the Eastern Himalaya. Now, even the pre-monsoon nor’westers are not delivering with the intensity expected of them, save a brief burst which inundated the Gangtok hill with mudslips and coverted streams coursing off from it into frothing rapids. All’s quiet now. The traditional date [Asadh ko Pandra Gatey] is less than a fortnight away but the fields are still dry. Of course, if the rains over the next few days, the fields will be ready, but despite everything that the national weather watchers have been saying, things don’t appear to be gearing up for a normal monsoon.

3 injured in Wok accident

GANGTOK, 16 June: Three persons sustained injuries when the vehicle they were travelling in met with an accident on the evening on 14 June at Wok in South Sikkim.
The vehicle tumbled down the road at around 6 PM and all three occupants including the driver sustained injuries. They were evacuated to the Namchi District Hospital. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

YAT organizes Saga Dawa procession for the devout

GANGTOK, 15 June: The Bum-Kor procession of religious books [Kanjur] was taken out by from Tharpa Manilhakhang at Tathangchen on the occasion of Saga Dawa today. The Bum-Kor, organized by the Yargay Association of Tathangchen [YAT], covered the route from Tathangchen-Secretariat Road to Kazi Road, Tibet Road, MLA Hostel, Tashi Namgyal Academy turning, White Hall and concluded at the Manilhakhang.
The procession received a massive participation of the students of Enchey SSS, West Point SSS, Modern SS and Tathangchen SS along with members of YAT and other social organizations and devotees from around the capital.


“Democratic provisions should be used for general good, not exploited by vested interests”
GANGTOK, 15 June: Chief Minister Pawan Chamling today inaugurated the Auditorium of the High Court of Sikkim.
“All the democratic institutions like the executive, judiciary, legislative and the fourth estate are meant to serve the larger interest of the people and the nation at large. All these institutions should be utilized for common good and not misused for some sectarian purpose or individual interest. However, it pains me to recount how in many cases, the democratic provisions are being misused by some vested interest groups. Like for example, in majority of cases, misusing the provision, information under RTI is being sought by vested parties without any real interest to secure any genuine information for any genuine purpose,” the CM said in his inaugural address.

Workshop discusses Responsible Tourism

GANGTOK, 15 June:  WWF-India, Ecotourism and Conservation Society of Sikkim (ECOSS) and Khangchendzonga Conservation Committee (KCC) jointly organised a two-day training workshop on ‘Practising Responsible Tourism’ on 11-12 June in Gangtok, Sikkim.
The workshop was part of WWF’s ‘Green Hiker’ campaign, an initiative that aims at conserving the Himalayan high altitude wetlands, founded under its 'Saving Wetlands Sky-High’ programme, informs a press release. The campaign is already running successfully in India in the five Himalayan states of Jammu & Kashmir, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Targeted primarily at tourism service providers, the workshop enabled an analysis and discussion on the current tourism scenario and trends in Sikkim, the urgent need for responsible tourism, successful case studies of community-based and home stays from Arunachal Pradesh, Makaibari, Mayal lyang (Dzongu), Darap and more.

Azing presents working model for farming

GANGTOK, 15 June: “Azing’s Model Farm”, is truly a flag-bearer for the prospects that agriculture and allied sectors hold for Sikkim. Owned and managed by Azing Lepcha at Tarsung Dara in Hathidunga around 4 km from Rinchenpong is a fascinating example of progressive farming, and now also a popular tourist spot in the area.
The farm, spread over a 5 acre plot is not only a successful story of being self-reliant with agriculture and horticulture as a profession, but Mr Lepcha is also doing well in piggery, poultry, fisheries and bee-keeping.
The farm is managed by 48-year-old Azing Lepcha and his wife Dil Maya Lepcha [Rai]. The farm is maintained in stunningly clean and hygienic condition and also displays the innovative ideas of Mr Lepcha.
The farm has been receiving a good number of visitors and responses in the visitor’s register shows how it has impressed all. It was not only for the visitors, but the locals have also been impressed and motivated by Mr Lepcha’s farm. He has been charging a nominal entry fee which helps to maintain his farm.

Corruption Has No Defence, It’s Time People Took Offence As Well

Corruption had ceased to become a dirty word, but the civil society has done well to hold it up in all its ugliness, assisted by a Central Government which has spoiled things rather well to convince people of this country that they need a Lokpal, and a strong one at that. Almost everyone has been at either the receiving end, or the bribing end of this social exchange and while this had diluted the disdain one would expect for this permanent feature of “work”, the frustration of the people has reached critical mass. This frustration might ebb before it delivers any solutions, but while the people’s involvement is still around, more discussions should be encouraged at all levels. The arguments proffered to justify corruption need to be demolished. Corruption has struck such deep roots that no government is going to allow an effective Lokpal to be instituted. At least not yet. But if people express their disgust forcefully in the ballot and ensure that the corrupt are made to feel ashamed, the monster will at least get contained.

Lepcha Gaon plants to support green mission

GANGTOK, 15 June: The Sikkim Himalayan Green Group, a Namcheybong-based voluntary organization, carried out a plantation drive at Lepcha Gaon under Kyongsee ward of Namcheybong GPU in East Sikkim today to support the State Green Mission.
The plantation work was initiated under the National Environment Awareness Campaign (NEAC) supported by the Forest Department, a press release informs.
Dup Tshering Lepcha, Forest Guard, supervised the plantation work. The plantation drive was assisted by the Creative Self Help Group, Surya Development Sangh and Jan Sewa Samiti, the release adds.

Santosh Alley named for Dr. Shova Kanti Thegim Smriti Puraskar

GANGTOK, 15 June: Respected litterateur from West Sikkim, Santosh Alley will be conferred with the 14th Dr. Shova Kanti Thegim [Lepcha] Smriti Purashkar- 2011 for his book Karyang-Kurung ko Aakaash. Mr. Alley’s name has been recommended by the two-tier selection committee constituted by the Dr.  Kanti Thegim [Lepcha] Memorial Trust, which is sponsoring the award will be conferred on 04 July, the birth anniversary of Late Dr. Thegim.
For this award, books written/ authored by all levels of writers from Sikkim and published during the calendar years 2007, 2008 and 2009 in Nepali were eligible. Mr. Alley’s Karyang-Kurung ko Aakaash- a collections of poems was published in the year 2007.
Similarly, the Trust has also announced the name of Ms. Arapana Basnet as the winner of Dr. Shova Kanti Thegim [Lepcha] Memorial Prize and Stipend comprising a cash prize of Rs. 2001 as prize money and Rs. 1500 per annum as stipend for pursuing further studies in Class XI with Nepali as one of the major subjects.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tourism stakeholders form JAC to challenge Service Tax imposition


GANGTOK, 14 June: In what is being claimed as the biggest setback for the tourism industry in the region, especially Sikkim, the Finance Ministry has dampened aspirations here by imposing Service Tax on all tourism service providers in the Northeast and demanding that the account be settled with retrospective effect.
Acting on directions of the Ministry, the Office of the Commissioner, Central Excise, Customs and Service Tax Headquarters, Anti Evasion Unit, Siliguri Commissionerate has started issuing summon notices to service providers in Sikkim, directing them to submit details of the service tax with retrospective effect from 01 April 2006 which is also the date the service taxes were extended to all Northeastern states.
Addressing a press conference here today, the newly formed Joint Action Committee for Sikkim Tourism Stakeholders which is an apex committee of representatives of Travel Agents Association of Sikkim [TAAS], Sikkim Association of Adventure Tour Operators [SAATO] and Sikkim Hotel & Restaurant Association [SHRA] has appealed that the Finance Ministry include Service tax exemption under North- East Industrial Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP) and further waive the retrospective clause.

Hopefully, there will be enough blood

Sunita Jhulka, appointed Goodwill Ambassador of the Sikkim State Blood Transfusion Council on Tuesday, in recognition of her astounding performance as a blood donor - more than 50 times so far.

GANGTOK, 14 June: World Blood Donor Day on the theme, ‘More blood, More life’ was observed today at the European Commission Building of Sir Thutob Namgyal Memorial Hospital with a special event organized jointly by the Sikkim State AIDS Control Society [SSACS] and Sikkim State Blood Transfusion Council [SSBTC]. A rally was also taken out starting from the Bansilal Petrol Pump to the Blood Bank at the STNM Hospital flagged off by Shakti Singh, Deputy Mayor, Gangtok Municipal Corporation. Also on the day, the SSBTC introduced its Goodwill Ambassador and felicitated nine others for their consistent track record of donating blood. Four organizations were also feted today.

Meeting resolves to suspend work at Dikchu HEP power house for one week

MANGAN, 13 June: A meeting was held yesterday between Sneha Kinetic Power Project Ltd. SKPPL, the project developer of the 96MW Dikchu Hydel Project, Drillcon Infrastructure, a subsidiary of SKPPL, the Project Implementation Committee, executive members from the Dikchu branch of the All Sikkim Democratic Labour Front and workers here at the project office. The meeting was convened by the Project Implementation Committee to sort out differences between the labourers complaining of unsafe working conditions and the management. 
Chung Chung Tongden Lepcha of the PIC highlighted that unless there was better coordination between the project developer and the workers, the project will not progress and urged for a mutual understanding to be arrived at between the two parties.

SIBLAC wishes people equanimity on Saga Dawa

GANGTOK, 14 June: Sharing the belief that effects of positive or negative actions are multiplied ten million times on Saga Dawa, the Sikkim Bhutia Lepcha Apex Committee [SIBLAC], has called on everyone to “consider Saga Dawa and this celebration as ways to enhance your awareness and practice”.
In a press communiqué issued today, SIBLAC convenor, Tseten Tashi Bhutia, while explaining the significance of Saga Dawa to the Buddhists, has also conveyed this hope: “May all sentient beings have happiness and the causes of happiness; may all sentient beings be set free from suffering and the causes of suffering; may all sentient beings never be separate from the genuine happiness that is free from suffering; may all sentient beings abide in equanimity that is free from passion, aggression, and prejudice.”
“Saga is million; Dawa is moon. Thus, Saga Dawa is the million multiplier month. Each day, our activities (good or bad) are multiplied one million times. Thus, this is a good month for practice! Multipliers help give us focus in our practice. Intention is very important in Buddhist practice. We take vows towards our intention,” the release explains.

Hear Them Out, and Help Cure Addiction

The Recovering Users Network, an organisation of recovering drug addicts, as their name suggests, wants the Sikkim Ant-Drugs Act of 2006 amended to make it more humane in its handling of addicts who are victims of their dependence. There are some aspects to the Act and its enforcement, which, RUN is convinced, are causing substantial damage to efforts to reach out to those in the habit and counsel them to recovery. While peddling might be a criminal offence, addiction is a disease, and one does not march off the sick to lock-ups and jail. Admittedly, rehabilitation is also not as simple as forcing someone into a rehab and the complicated situations which make drug addicts out of the youth requires more nuanced and compassionate handling, not the black and white of law which demands that the addicts change or get cut off.

Respected educationist, DR Thapa, passes away

RANGPO, 14 June: DR Thapa, a respected educationist, passed away on 10 June at Central Referral Hospital Manipal, Tadong.
He was admitted to the ICU on 07 June in a critical condition and succumbed to complications brought on by high blood pressure. He leaves behind his wife, Bavy Thapa, two sons, Abinash and Abhishek, four brothers and three sisters.
Born on 17 November 1950, he was appointed a substitute teacher in the 1970’s at Rangpo Primary School and his services regularised in 1981.

In his long teaching career, he taught at Duga JHS, Rangpo High School, Dodak School in West Sikkim, as headmaster at Shapley Sardarey Secondary School and Borang School. He retired from government service in 2008 but continued his teaching career as principal of Tiny Tots School till the time of his death.

DoNER launches adventure programme, Youth on the Edge

GANGTOK, 14 June: Union Minister of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Bijoy Krishna Handique, today announced the launch of a programme named “Youth on the Edge” by Ministry of DoNER through the North Eastern Council for encouraging adventure activities in the North Eastern Region, informs a press release. This is the first time that the Ministry of DoNER has taken up a programme to attract youth from other parts of India.
“We have devised Youth on the Edge with the primary objective of encouraging movement of youth from the rest of India to the Border Areas of the North Eastern States to participate in structured adventure activities thereby furthering the cause of national integration and mainstreaming. The participants would get a chance to learn about the cultural heritage and local traditions of the Region.

SAA congratulates Tarundeep on NEC Excellence Award

GANGTOK, 14 June: Arjuna awardee and International archer from Sikkim, Tarundeep Rai, will be awarded the North Eastern Council Chairman's Sports Excellence Award on 16 June at the 60th NEC Plenary under the Chairmanship of DoNER Minister and Chairman NEC at the Parliament House annexe, New Delhi, informs a press release.
This award is being given to Tarundeep Rai in recognition of his hard work and excellence in the field of archery and for winning laurels for the state as well as the country at International meets such as Commonwealth and Asian Games. He will be given a cash award of Rs 5 lakhs for his Silver medal in 2010 Asian Games held in China and Rs 3 lakhs for his bronze medal in 2010 Commonwealth Games held at New Delhi.
The President and members of Sikkim Archery Association congratulate Mr Rai for his achievement and wish him all the best for his future tournaments, the release states.

Kunga Gyatso’s “Dream of Complacency” published

GANGTOK, 14 June: “Dream of Complacency,” the fourth anthology of poems by Kunga Gyatso Bhutia has arrived in bookstores here. A retired government servant, Mr. Bhutia wields a prolific pen and his present collection packs in 79 poems divided into three sections – “In Intrinsic Manner”, “In Extrinsic Manner” and “In Conclusive Manner”. Published by UBS Publishers’ Distributors Pvt Ltd, New Delhi, the book 124-page book is priced at Rs. 150.
Mr. Bhutia has dedicated the book “for a Harmonious World”, and shares in his introduction, “Dreams begin without cessation. Dreams evolve without extinction. Dreams today had dreams yesterday and will have dreams tomorrow. There is no world without dreams. There is no life without dreams.”

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Upper Suldung’s poisonous mushroom dinner toll ends at five

GANGTOK, 13 June: Three of the five, two of them minors, admitted at CRH, Tadong, after they consumed poisonous mushrooms and developed complications, have died due to multiple organ failure, confirms the Medical Superintendent, Dr. BK Kanungo.
With this the death toll from one dinner of poisonous mushroom goes up to 5 persons, which include the father who was undergoing treatment at Namchi District Hospital and died on 1 June and the 8- year- old daughter who passed away the same night the family of six and a friend of the children had consumed the poisonous mushrooms which was on 29 May.

CM calls on young to pursue excellence, not let failure keep them down

The CM meets students of KB Limboo Secondary school
GANGTOK, 13 June: Chief Minister Pawan Chamling inaugurated a Model Police Station established at Soreng in West Sikkim today, on the 16th day of his village-to-village tour.
The two-storied police station is spread over a 4,000 sq ft plot and was built at a cost of Rs 58.95 lakhs. The station has separate male and female hazats, a visitor’s room, office in-charge room, an 18 bedded dormitory and other facilities.
Earlier, the CM began his tour meeting with the people at Rinchenpong, where he stayed overnight, making his first halt at Samdong Junior High School, then an interaction with people of Deythang GPU at Gairi Gaon, on to KB Limboo Secondary School at Sreebadam and concluded his tour at Soreng.

Rs. 3.022 lakh bus & truck terminus sanctioned for Jorethang

GANGTOK, 13 June [IPR]: Urban Minister for Urban Development, Kamal Nath, in a letter addressed  to Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha), PD Rai, has informed that he has sanctioned a project for the construction of Bus & Truck Terminus and Allied Facilities at Jorethang (Phase-I), South Sikkim.
The project has been sanctioned under the 100% Lump sum Provision Scheme for the North Eastern Region during the current financial year at a total cost of Rs. 3,022.63 lacs.

Saga Dawa at Rumtek

GANGTOK, 13 June: There will be Empowerments [Kawangs] of Tadrin [Hayagriva], Chagna Dorje [Vajrapani] and Ja Khyung [Garuda] deity, an oral transmission of Phowa [Pho-lung] and performance of Crown ceremony by the 12th Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche at the Rumtek Monastery Dharma Chakra Centre on the 15th day of Saga Dawa at 10 a.m., informs a press release.
The programme is being conducted on the request of the organizers of the ongoing recitation of ‘Karmapa Khyenno’ 100 million times in congregation at Rumtek Monastery by the monks and lay people.
The recitation of ‘Karmapa Khyenno’ began from 17 May at Rumtek Monastery by the monks and lay people for the 17th Karmapa, all the holy beings of the world including the Dalai Lama, for all sentient beings and for world peace, the release informs.
Saga Dawa is celebrated according to Phukluk tradition, the release adds.

Find More VIPs

A national TV news channel chief, when asked why the Indian media was so obsessed with politicians, gave a frank answer. He said, in the absence of any other heroes [the definition probably limited to ‘celebrities’], journalists had no option but to zero in on the politicians, who were easily recognizable, always in the public domain and always willing to offer quotes and interviews. He was not wrong. Who does India have apart from politicians [when it comes to celebrities]? Some cricketers, Bollywood stars, erratic flickers in other sports, tennis for a while, and now boxing and badminton as well. We are not a very sporty population and it has remained the media-fed spectator sport of cricket and its constant supply of individual performers who have provided public icons. Okay now we also social activists and yoga and lifestyle gurus joining the list, but this might not last very long.

Gurung associations meet in Siliguri to discuss demand for tribal status

GANGTOK, 13 June: A delegation of All Sikkim Gurung (Tamu) Buddhist Association [ASGBA] members led by HB Gurung attended a meeting organised by the All India Gurung (Tamu) Buddhist Association [AIGBA], Siliguri, to discuss the demand for tribal status for the community at Salugara yesterday, informs a press release.
The purpose of the meeting, chaired by Colonel Bed Prakash Gurung of Siliguri, was to demand tribal status for Gurungs in the country “to bring uniformity in the cultural and traditional practise of Gurungs, to help and support all Gurungs who are socially and economically weak and also to work and live life on the principles of Gautham Buddha”, the release informs.

NE Accountant Generals meet for midterm review of CAG Reports

GANGTOK, 13 June [IPR]: A two-day workshop, “Mid-term review on Report of Comptroller & Auditor General of India for North-Eastern states”, began here at the Chintan Bhavan today. Accountant Generals from all the eight North-eastern states are attending the workshop. The workshop has been organised by the Accountant General, Sikkim, and is being presided over by Additional Deputy C&AG of India, Rajib Sharma.
The AG, Sikkim, Dinesh Bhagata, in his welcome address, gave an outline of the aims and objectives of the workshop and expressed hope that the deliberations will lead to “meaningful conclusions and help in further improving the quality of the Audit Report”.
The Addl. Deputy C&AG of India, in his inaugural address, apprised the participants on the importance of holding this seminar and stressed that the opportunity of this mid-term review should be utilised for bringing out a more contemporary and meaningful Audit Report, “rich in content and quality”.The participants deliberated on key strategic issues relating to Audit Reports having bearing on good governance especially with regards to Elementary Education and land acquisition among other issues.

NSSO to sample survey consumer expenditure and employment

GANGTOK, 13 June: The National Survey Office (NSSO) has announced plans of organizing its 68th Round from 01 July 2011 to 30 July 2012. The 68th Round of NSS is earmarked for surveys on ‘Household Consumer Expenditure’ and ‘Employment and Unemployment’, informs an official release. 
In order to train the Assistant Superintending Officers on concepts and definitions of survey, Regional Training Camp will be held from 15 to 18 June 2011 in the Field Section of NSSO (FOD), Tadong, Gangtok and will be inaugurated by the Research officer in Charge, Regional Research Centre (Ayurvedic), Tadong, the release adds.
NSSO was set up by the Government of India in 1950 to collect Socio-Economic data employing scientific sampling methods.

JNV Phodong felicitates its CBSE toppers and teachers

MANGAN, 13 June: The Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV), Shelapthang, Phodong, today organized a special felicitation for its CBSE toppers and the teachers who groomed them.
The programme had the DC (North), TN Kazi, who is also the ex-officio Chairman of JNV, as chief guest, accompanied by Joint Director, HRDD, Ugen Lepcha, Panchayat Secretary [Chungthang], Lhendup Lepcha, BRC [Kabi], PN Pradhan, Principal JNV, T Gopalakrishna, programme coordinator, PK Niraula, local area Panchayats, teachers, local gentries and students. 
The function started with the lighting of the ceremonial lamp by the guests and Saraswati Bandana presented by the students followed by a welcome speech by SO Humney, SMT, JNV. A colorful cultural programme was also presented by by the students as part of the programme. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dikchu roils in unkind power-cuts on the banks of mega hydel project

Outside the SBI branch at Dikchu waiting for the power to come back and allow their bank accounts to be used.
DIKCHU, 12 June: Irregular power supply on the banks of the 510 MW Teesta Stage V dam-site at Dickhu and parts of Lower Dzongu continues to frustrate residents here. The problem is not new and this rubs even more salt into the hurt of the people here who have to watch the project site all lit up every night but themselves suffer through extensive power cuts.
The past month has been especially bad, so much so that the overworked generator at the State Bank of India’s Dikchu branch having collapsed, leaving customers with important work with the bank, unserviced. 
“I have been coming here for the past three days to withdraw cash from the bank and have been turned away because the bank’s computers are not working because of the extended power cut,” said an irate resident of Lower Dzongu who finds it hard to believe that the power supply situation is so bad that he cannot even withdraw his own money.

Firemen rescue fishing enthusiast trapped by rising Teesta

GANGTOK, 12 June:  An afternoon of leisurely fishing turned disastrous yesterday when a sudden swell in the Teesta stranded one Kumar Bardewa, a resident of Singtam, on a rock in the middle of the river. Surrounded by the swirling waters of the river, he was stranded at the spot he had walked across to only hours earlier. The NHPC Stage-V reservoir at Dikchu, it may be recalled, is maintaining a low level [releasing more water] because of the high siltation getting deposited in it. The friends were obviously caught by one such release from the reservoir.
The incident occurred near the Singtam Bridge which leads to Manpari basti on the far bank.
With no immediate help available and the river rising every minute, locals from Singtam bazaar called the local Fire Station, whose personnel, after an hour of negotiating the river current, managed to rescue the man with the help of ropes and some brute strength. 

Day 15 of cm’s Sikkim bhraman

“Developmental intervention to secure the future, no please individuals”
GYALSHING, 12 June: Chief Minister Pawan Chamling urged the people to develop a stronger sense of belonging towards Sikkim in delivering their responsibilities and duties towards the state.
He was addressing the people on the 15th day of his village-to-village tour covering parts of rural Sikkim, He started his day with an interaction session with people from different wards of Pecherek-Martam GPU at the Gram Prashasan Kendra there.
The CM stressed that the people should evaluate the performance of the State Government in the past 18 years under his charge, an evaluation, which, he said, would convince them of the government’s commitment to Sikkim and its under-privileged.

Arithang sensitized to community’s responsibilities towards combating addiction and rehabilitating addicts

GANGTOK, 12 June: “The biggest threat for the youth is drug abuse. This is not only a problem of the family alone and requires a holistic approach which the society has got to wake up to,” stressed Ashish Rai, Municipal Councillor, Arithang, while speaking to a gathering of youth during a special programme on awareness against substance use and disorders convened at the AIR housing complex here at Arithang yesterday.
The programme was organised by the Arithang Educated Unemployed Cooperative Society. The councillor urged all to come forward to work against the rampant problem of drug abuse and help making the ward “Drug free.”

Children at Work

Sunday was World Day Against Child Labour. An issue which was quite ‘popular’ in the NGO circuit and its circus of rallies and placards appears to have fallen off the priority list of public engagement. After the high of [appearing] to save under 14 years olds even from the servitude of domestic help, the law remains largely ignored, save the extremely rare occasion when some ‘rescues’ are made. The only real change which has transpired at the ground level is that all those ‘lost’ notices of domestic servants who have gone missing record their age as 14, conveniently matured to save the masters and mistresses from attracting legal action. What this makes amply clear is that awareness on child labour laws is universal. Unfortunately, so is the disregard for these rules, a disregard born not from an evil design to exploit children but from a nonchalance nurtured by a disinterest among the concerned agencies to enforce the rules and rescue children.

BRO completes phase-I works on Mangan roads, awaits NOC’s to continue work

MANGAN, 12 June: The RCC (107) GREF OC, Sunil Kumar, informs that the organization has completed the first phase of work on the Mangan Bazaar highway which had the roads converted to RCC concrete topping. This means that 60 percent of the work has been completed. Work has remained suspended for the past three days since some of the official NOC’s required for work to continue have not been received from some State Government Departments thus far. The remaining work will be completed once these NOC’s are received, the OC informs.
He further shared that GREF plans to deliver proper road development works for Mangan bazaar but will need the public, Mangan Nagar Panchayats and the administration’s support and coordination to carry on the works with “minor problems” settled across the table since highway development works will benefit everyone in the future.    

NE MP’s Forum writes to PM seeking 5-year breather from service tax for tourism sector

GANGTOK, 12 June: Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha ), PD Rai, interacted with media persons at his residence HEREyesterday and discussed various issues concerning the North Eastern states and the role of DoNER.
“North East MPs Forum is working on larger issues of the region and most of the meetings of the forum are being held in New Delhi at regular intervals,” he informed.
On being asked about the service tax being raised from tourism service providers [an issue raised by TAAS recently], he said that the stakeholders and local operators are now making it a habit to pay their taxes on a prospective basis and not on retrospective. He also ruled out the occurrence of double taxation.
He also shared copies of a letter to the Prime Minister recently in which the NE MP’s Forum has raised the issue and prayed for relaxations.

SDF draws up Mangan’s wish-list for CM

MANGAN, 11 June: The North district wing of the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front convened a meeting at the party office here today to sort out the various developmental demands to be taken up with the Chief Minister during his upcoming visit to North Sikkim scheduled for the first week of July.
The meeting was chaired by Zilla Adhyaksha (N), Khamsoom Lepcha, coordinated by SDF North president NT Lepcha, general secretary Chumki Saring, MNP Councilors, Panchayats, Zilla members and CEC members.
The meeting resolved that the general public of the district wished that the Chief Minister personally visit the Mangan District Hospital and see the problem faced due to shortage of equipment, doctors and medicines and other amenities there.

Teachers on training appeal for full salaries through diploma course

MANGAN, 12 JUNE:  Primary and monastic teachers from different schools who will be undergoing training on study leave for a period of two years from 01 July 2011 to 30 June 2013 for diploma in Elementary Education at DIET, Gangtok for the academic session 2011-13 have appealed to the Department that they be paid their full salary during this period. A total of 29 teachers from different schools of North District have been selected for the training.
These teachers who have been directed by the department to undergo the above training have been informed through a circular that they are entitled to half their salary during the study leave. 
The teachers here informed that earlier they have been paid full salary along with two increments after the training.

Domestic abuse ends in murder

NAMCHI, 10 June: In a tragic incident in West Sikkim a mother of three was brutally murdered by her husband last evening. The incident occurred at around 8:30 p.m. at Gerethang Tinziring basti which falls under Tashiding-Yuksom constituency, when the accused, 33-year-old, Ram Bdr. Basnet, hacked his 31-year-old wife, Tara Kri. Basnet, and fled from the spot while she bled to death. 
It is learnt, that the couple had been having problems in their marriage for the past few years with a history of domestic violence. The husband used to regularly abuse his wife which had even led to separation and an FIR filed against him by the victim’s relatives about a month ago.


“Build stronger resolve to stand up for your rights”


PELLING, 10 June: Chief Minister Pawan Chamling began the second day of his West Sikkim village-to-village tour [his 13th day of the statewide travel] by offering prayers at a temple at Tashiding from where he proceeded to Chongrang to lay the foundation stone of a Block Administrative Centre and a Kisan Bazaar there. On the occasion, Tashiding Senior Secondary School felicitated the Chief Minister for opening a Science stream in the school.
He continued a hectic day of travelling and interaction, conferring with people from Gerethang, Arithang, Chongang, Tingting, Mangsabong, Thingling, Tathang, Melli, Khechupuri, Rimbi, Darap, Pelling and adjoining areas.

Labour Deptt and Project Implementation Committee teams visit Dikchu HEP, take stock of working conditions

DIKCHU, 09 June: A team of officials from the Labour Department’s North district office and later, the Project Implementation Committee members were at the 96MW Dikchu Hydel Project site yesterday to take stock of the working conditions there. The 08 June edition of this paper, it may be recalled, had reported on the dangerous conditions under which labourers at the power-house site were being made to work under.
The team from the Labour Department, headed by Deputy Commissioner, KR Limboo, also checked on the welfare activities initiated by the company. They reminded the project developer and its contractual companies of the prohibition order directing that all tunnel-related works be suspended till a bridge was constructed to carr workers across the Dikchu khola.

Shrishti Art Class mourns MF Husain’s death

GANGTOK, 10 June: Shrishti Art Class, Tadong, has mourned the passing away of celebrated painter, MF Husain, who passed away yesterday in London and offered prayers that his soul may rest in peace.
Born in a humble family on 17 September 1915, MF Hussain endured much hardship throughout his career. While his problems were material in the years of struggle, in the later stage he was subjected to pressure aimed at stifling his creativity and artistic expressins.
“The he dies on a foreign land is a disgrace to the entire artistic fraternity across India,” expresses Shristi Arts Class.
MF Hussain was a respected figure all over the world whose life itself was inspiration to many, records a press release issued by the trainer, Shristi Arts Class, Bhawani Pradhan, further contending that the demise of such a gifted personality was a huge loss to the nation.

CS chairs follow-up to telecom network review meeting

GANGTOK, 10 June: A follow up meeting to review telecom services in Sikkim was held in the Tashiling conference here on 08 June chaired by Chief Secretary ND Chingapa, who is also the chairman of the review committee, a press release informs.
In his opening remarks, the Chief Secretary voiced his concern over the poor condition of telecommunication services in the state and advised BSNL to improve the state of affairs.
Principal Director/IT, Member Secretary then gave an overview of the telecommunication connectivity and highlighted salient features of the recently notified Right Of Way policy such as allowing Internet Service Providers to dig roads provided they restore the roads back to their original state, the ISP to provide a separate 8 Mbps leased line to the Government of Sikkim for the District Headquarters and the state government be allowed to use mobile towers to set up RF Antennae, the release informs.

Serve Us Right

The wall to wall coverage and extensive paeans being offered to him [on his death], will have us believe that MF Husain was an Indian citizen. Fact is that India refused to allow him his artistic expression and sent him into exile with its disregard. Our collective failure in even tolerating, leave alone celebrate, the art of MF Husain, an artist celebrated as the ‘Indian Picasso’, is another embarrassment we collectively shoulder as a people. He died in London, an Indian-origin citizen of Qatar who could not be guaranteed safety by the country which is trying hard to claim him in his death. We do not deserve to claim that his death is a ‘great loss to India art’; Indian art lost him the year 2006, when MF, unable to find a studio in India to exhibit his work or security for himself, went into a self-imposed exile. One should bear in mind that he was targeted for a full decade before he gave up on us.

Highway drains receive official inspection

GANGTOK, 10 June: The East District Administration, in a follow up to the co-ordination meeting convened by District Collectorate with all the line departments including BRO on 08 June, took a team comprising of SDM, Gangtok, Dr. AB Karki, Deputy Mayor, Shakti Singh, Daragaon Councillor, Bhashker Basnet, senior officials of BRO, PHE, UD & HD departments and various others, and inspected all the trouble points along the National Highway upto Ranipool, Indira Byepass and areas above Gangtok today.
The team found most of the drains clogged and water supply pipes and even electric cables hanging in and over the jhoras. In some places, they even found fresh lots of garbage packed into cement bags and dumped in the jhoras.

Folk artists complete workshop on AIDS awareness

GANGTOK, 10 June:  The valedictory function of the State-level workshop for folk artists, “Standardizing Script, folk programmes and developing state/ district resources” was held here at Janta Bhawan this morning. The workshop had started on 07 June and received a massive participation with only nine NGOs qualifying for the final round of performances which was held here today.
Former Sikkim State AIDS Control Society [SSACS] Director, Dr. V Singhi, was present as the chief guest for the function which was also attended by Consultant, IEC, Sanchali Roy, from NACO, Delhi.