Saturday, June 25, 2011

16 feared killed in West Sikkim landslides

A lady being rescued from the Khewadara landslide. While she, along with four others escaped with their lives, 14 people were killed in the house wiped out by a slide there on the intervening night of 23-24 July 2011.

NAMCHI, 24 June: ‘Monsoon activity’, which had subsided over the week, opened with ferocious intensity last night, especially over West Sikkim, where it cast a pall of gloom, hitting the Gyalshing sub-division with a heart-rending casualty list of 16 deaths, 14 of them in one home at Khewadara, about 12 kms from Gyalshing, where neighbours had gathered to escape a minor slip elsewhere in the village.
Khewadara, Ward No.5 of Lingchum -Tikjuk GPU under Yangthang Constituency, carries the most tragic tale of the night. It was here in the home of Indra Maya Gurung that 14 villagers were buried alive, with only five of the 19 who had taken shelter there escaping alive. The village has only five houses in the area, two which have been completely damaged, including the one which the casualties took place.
According to one of the survivors, at around 11.30 p.m. last night, when a minor landslide hit the village, 19 of them gathered in the house of Indra Maya Gurung believing it to be a safer alternative. Their decision proved fatal because moments after they had collected there, a landslide peeled off from about 100 meters above and pulverised the house. Of the 19 people in the house at the time, only 5, including Indra Maya Gurung, made it out alive. They have all sustained injuries.

Deputy Comptroller & AG of India visits Melli Dara GPU

GANGTOK, 24 June: Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General of India, TK Sanyal along with DAG, AF Dungdung, along with officials from RM&DD visited Melli Dara today. The purpose of the visit was to find out how Panchayati Raj Institutions were following the new accounting module initiated by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India, informs a press release.
The Dy. C & AG was warmly welcomed by the Gram Panchayat members. He inspected the VAC and appreciated the various initiatives taken by the Gram Panchayat.

Reform Tenders to End Percentage-Seeking


The Chief Minister has spoken out strongly against the obduracy of middlemen, those scavengers who swoop down on every contract awarded for public works and who pocket “percentages” in the name of party and government. The CM has called on everyone engaged in contract works to stop entertaining these bottom-feeders and has highlighted that cutting off this parasite that has attached itself to ‘development’ in Sikkim will ensure that the earmarked funds are spent better. There can be no argument against this call because there is no denying that anyone who leverages position and power [or proximity to them] to steal from public funds should receive police action and not bundles of cash. The damage this section wreaks is even more worrisome because they, because they obviously carry some influence, also compromise all projects and schemes by helping get undeserving bills processed and passed, as the CM himself noticed to be the case with some rural infrastructure projects in West Sikkim. The recent move of the State Government to award more and works to cooperative societies should help in stemming this malaise to some extent and can be doubly assured if the supervising government agencies monitor the works more closely and release payments only after confirming that quality work has been delivered. This monitoring will fix accountability at all levels and when compromises are discovered, will expose culpability in clearer detail. This will obviously require both, strong political will and judicious administrative commitment.

11 rescued child labourers placed under protection, rest returned to employers

GANGTOK: “Out of the 42 children employed as domestic help in private homes rescued by the CID branch of Sikkim Police yesterday, 11 were found to be in need of urgent help and protection and have been placed at two protection homes,” informed DIG [Range], N Sridhar Rao. While six boys have been placed under the care of local NGO Subha Laxmi Organisation, the three girls have been kept at Mamtalaya, he informed.
The remaining 31 [14 of whom are above the age of 14] have been returned to their respective employers, who have signed an undertaking that the children will be provided access to basic education and also be given vocational training with all the expenses borne by the employers. The 17 under-aged children will stay with their employers until their parents arrive to take them home. This, the DIG explained was done because there were no short stay homes in the state to house them.
Out of the 42 children rescued yesterday, 23 are girls, all aged between 10 to 17 years. All the children were medically examined after they were rescued from residential areas of Development Area, Arithang, Sichey, Chandmari, Diesel Power House, Vajra and then handed over to the two NGO’s to be looked after. While three of the children were from Sikkim, the rest were brought from West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Dooars area, the DIG further informed.
“We had information that there was rampant abuse in certain areas of the capital, and even some NGO’s had made complaints regarding the matter alleging that some domestic helps had been physically abused and could also have been sexually harassed and so the decision to raid the areas was taken,” the DIG said.

302 recruits complete IRBn training

GANGTOK, 24 June [IPR]: Chief Minister Pawan Chamling was present as chief guest for the Passing-Out Parade of Recruit Constables for India Reserve Battalion (IRB) on 24 June at Paljor Stadium.
302 recruits of the 3rd India Reserve Battalion include 24 drivers and 16 constables inducted on compassionate grounds. The CM was offered the Guard of Honour and the general salute by the Parade Commander, Sonam Gyastso Bhutia.

Cabinet meets, sanctions funds for slew of projects

GANGTOK, 24 Jun [IPR]: Chief Minister Pawan Chamling chaired a Cabinet meeting at Tashiling Secretariat yesterday and passed proposals pertaining to various departments.
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY:  The Cabinet sanctioned the proposal seeking approval of the Cyber Security Policy as per the guidelines of the Government of India. The primary objectives of the policy are to effectively safeguard the computer systems in Departments from Cyber threats, train and increase the awareness of Cyber security in all Departments.
ANIMAL HUSBANDRY: Sanctioned proposal seeking approval and sanction of Rs. 44,50,000 for distribution of improved variety of piglet feed & mineral mixture to 20 piggery growers & subsidy for construction of Piggery shed.
UD&HD: Sanctioned proposal to accord approval of the Development Guide Plans (DGPs) for the sixteen towns of the state.
Sanctioned proposal seeking approval of the revised license fees structure. The revised rate of license fees are as under:
Class- I Bazaars: The rate as per the decision of the Committee and stake holders.
Class- II Bazaars: 15% less of Class-I Bazaars
Class- III Bazaars: 25% less of the Class-II Bazaars
Other towns and Bazaars: 50% or more less of the Class-I Bazaars as the quantum of business activities in OTB areas is comparatively low.
The Cabinet sanctioned the proposal seeking approval of the revision of criteria for distribution of funds between the Urban Local Bodies on the basis of population and area and approval and sanction of Rs. 200 lakhs under Plan and Rs. 272.84 lakhs under Non-Plan (includes 13th FC grants) whereby funds will be transferred to Urban Local Bodies as per the revised criteria and the respective amount as shown in the table. In order to transfer the fund, approval for inter -head adjustment of fund through re-appropriation is also solicited.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Shoddy construction leaves CCCT with crumbling campus

GANGTOK, 23 June: Arguably the best in the region [as far as academics is concerned], CCCT, the polytechnic college at Chisopani in South Sikkim is a casualty waiting to happen. The 19 acre campus housing 8 blocks to reside 235 students and 56 staff members has developed severe cracks, is held up by compromised columns and has peeling concrete in all buildings.
Precariously standing on cracked supporting posts, the buildings here are in a sad state of disrepair with no alternative at hand for the administration which was handed over the complex in 2006 by the Human Resource and Development Department. For a construction which is barely five years old, the scale at which it is crumbling away is shocking.

Efforts underway to reach regular health check-ups for all students

GANGTOK, 23 June: One of the directions under the Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation [CCE], a new education delivery system under implementation since October 2009 at all CBSE affiliated schools all over the country, states, “Healthy body is essential for the healthy growth of mind. Hence the schools are expected to get their students examined by qualified doctors twice in a session. In addition to this general information, physical disabilities and diseases such as defective vision, maintenance of teeth, deafness, long absence due to illness etc. should also be noted.”

Gyalshing’s rural house construction committee meets, approves beneficiaries, streamlines process

GYALSHING, 23 June: A Block Rural House Construction Committee (BRHCC) meeting of the BAC, Gyalshing, West Sikkim, was convened on 17 June at BAC, Gyalshing chaired by area MLA, Yangthang, PL Subba, informs a press release.
The meeting discussed the strategies to be adopted to make the ambitious, CM’s Rural Housing Scheme a success. The committee approved 300 beneficiaries from seven GPUs covering three assembly constituencies, the release informs.

Urban Inc to Rise to the Top

Robin, Tenzing, Thupden and Sunny
GANGTOK, 23 June: ‘Urban Inc.’, a Hip-Hop band of four, all in their early twenties from Sikkim [Thupden Wanchuk Bhutia, Tenzing Lekchola Dorji, Robin Rai and Sunny Norden [DJ/ Music Composer]are all set to fire up with their first album, ‘Rise to the top’. The album packed with ten tracks, features Hip-hop and R&B songs, which will have ‘variations’ of Nepali, Hindi, English and Tibetan touch to it so as to relate these songs to a maximum number of people from all walks of life, inform the group members.
 This one of a kind album, they assure, is very unique and the people, especially the youngsters, will be the focus as the songs speak about the 21st century youth, anti- drugs, tackles hard life and conveys the message to be strong and of love-hate relationships, informs the group.

PYKKA awareness to streamline organization and follow-up

GANGTOK, 23 June: A district-level workshop-cum-awareness programme on Panchayat Yuva Krida Aur Khel Abhiyan [PYKKA] was organised by the Department of Sports & Youth Affairs today at the Zilla Panchayat Bhawan here.
The programme was attended by Zilla Panchayat members along with Member Secretaries [block level] and Kridashree of east district under PYKKA scheme. 
In the technical session, the SYA Joint Director, Doma Tshering Bhutia explained the PYKKA scheme, the role and responsibilities of the PYKKA committee, role and responsibility of Zilla Panchayat, member secretary and Kridashree.

WC and MR employee assc meets CS to discuss regularisation

GANGTOK, 23 June: the Central Executive Committee of All Sikkim Government Work Charged and Muster Roll Employee’s Association, headed by its president, Pema Doma Bhutia called on the Chief Secretary, ND Chingappa yesterday.
The team drew the attention of the Chief Secretary to the need for vacant posts at various departments to be filled as underlined in the notification [7302/Gen/Dop/Dated: 31/05/2011]. However, due to budgetary limitations, things have not been worked out fully, informs a press release issued by the publicity secretary, ASWC&MREA, Deepa Rai.

Electricity and internet connectivity woes at Rangpo

RANGPO, 23 June: Rangpo, an upcoming educational and industrial hub, has been facing regular power cuts and internet connectivity problems for a while now. The power cuts are affecting the industries as well as local residents, entrepreneurs and students.
Half-yearly examinations have begun and hence it is the students who are bearing the brunt of the frequent power cuts. 

The Chief Minister Leads the Way

KC PRADHAN on the CM’s Sikkim Bhraman, how it has drawn remote areas into the development and empowerment process and how the people at large at the civil society should respond to the CM’s call to cleanse Sikkim of corruption and denial…

I am closely following the Chief Minister’s 40-day village-to-village grassroot level public interaction tour through all corners of Sikkim both, on the local TV channel and the dailies, with considerable interest and delight. Meeting people from far corners of the State like Dhupidara, Labdang, Karchi, which I consider the most neglected, and making the Heads of Departments see the ground reality has gladdened my heart. I had occasion to see their plight and have often hoped that development start from such far away corners. It has been a good 50 years since I saw them literally in rags and to see them in pictures now, well dressed, empowered and articulate enough to demand their rights, I say to myself, “Yes, Sikkim has really changed and changed for the better. All other sentiments set aside.”

VCDs of JCS’ play to be released soon

GANGTOK, 23 June: The Journalist Club of Sikkim has announced that the video CD of the play “Pratishod” staged by it on 18 and 19 December last year was ready to hit the markets.
This was shared at a meeting convened today under the chairmanship of its president, Mingma Shrepa.
The meeting also resolved to establish a new office and take the association’s works forward “in the interest and for the welfare of all the journalists of Sikkim”.
It was also decided that till the registration is done, which is under process, the ad hoc committee will shoulder the responsibilities, informs a press release issued by the publicity secretary, Bishal Gurung.

Administration takes up LPG supply requirements with IOC

GANGTOK, 23 June [IPR]: In view of the media report on the hue and cry of the public over the inadequate LPG cylinders in the last few months, a series of meetings have been held by the Secretary, Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Department both with the LPG distributors and IOC officials from Siliguri, Kolkata and Mumbai to address the problem.
A meeting was also held in the chamber of the Chief Secretary on 19 May with the Executive Director, IOCL, Mumbai and Deputy General Manager of the IOCL, Kolkata. A number of issues were raised namely the requirement of refilled LPG cylinder in the State both domestic as well as commercial, storage of buffer stock at the plant and immediate commissioning of the enhanced capacity of 200 MTs at the Bagey Khola refilling Plant.

Cong team arrives to explain Lokpal and Black Money issues to partymen

GANGTOK, 23 June: A seven-member team of the Congress high-command is in the State to address a party members here on issues like the Lokpal Bill, corruption and black money.
The AICC secretary, K. Jayakumar, who is also the Sikkim and Tripura in-charge, informed newspersons here at a press conference that the meeting is scheduled for Saturday and that it is being held on directions from the AICC to hold such meetings in all State capitals to “dispel rumours that the Congress party was opposed to addressing the people’s concern over these issues”. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

DoNER sanctions Rs. 78.50 crores for projects in Sikkim

GANGTOK, 21 June: The Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region [DoNER] has approved projects to the tune of Rs. 78.50 crore in the sectors of education, power and water resources in the state of Sikkim. The costs of the projects will be met from the Non Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) fund administered by the Ministry, a DoNER Press release informs.
At the 94th Meeting of the NLCPR Committee held in New Delhi recently, Rs. 65 Crores was recommended for sanction of Augmentation of Namchi Water Supply in South Sikkim, Rs. 5.50 Crores for Providing toilets for Girls/Boys and School Staffs to 44 Nos. of School at the rate of Rs.2.60 lacs each and Rs.8 Crores for Modernization and Beautification of Distribution System with conversion of overhead transmission line with underground cable system in Jorethang Town, South Sikkim.
Minister of DoNER, BK Handique, said that steps were being taken to hasten the process of sanction to facilitate the early execution of projects under NLCPR.

First batch dispatched, SICB readies next set for trainees at Speciality Restaurant chain

GANGTOK, 21 June: A batch of 42 trainees from the State Institute of Capacity Building (SICB) on Hospitality Services reached Kolkata on 20 June to join the Speciality Restaurant Pvt., Ltd., (SRPL), informs a press release.
The SICB and SRPL had entered into an agreement to train 100 boys between the ages of 18 – 23 at the Institute with 100% placement at their centres.  All the trainees are school dropouts who have passed Class V and could not clear Class VII in their formal education. 
A fresh batch of 58 boys have been selected today for undergoing the 15 days training at SICB and 30 days Industrial Training in SRPL branches in Kolkata in core modules prepared by SICB and SRPL, the release informs.

Governor seeks NEC funding for Rs. 1,000 crore Pakyong-Ranipul Airport Road


GANGTOK, 21 June: Governor Balmiki Prasad Singh led the Sikkim representation to the 60th North Eastern Council meeting held in New Delhi on 16 and 17 June. The Governor was accompanied by HRD Minister NK Pradhan, Development Commissioner, Rinchen Ongmu and Commissioner-cum-Secretary to the Governor, KN Bhutia. The meet was chaired by the DoNER Minister, BK Handique, who is also the Chairman, NEC.
In his address, the Governor expressed his disappointment on the slow work by BSNL in its efforts to improve connectivity, an official press release informs. He stressed that in today’s world, internet was crucial in bringing about national and regional integration.

Socio-cultural Impact in Times of CSR

A public hearing has been called for another hydel project [Teesta Stage-IV], and recently the Chief Minister pulled up the wilful disregard of the socio-cultural sensitivities of the people by project [hydel and industrial] developers. There is no denying that development always comes at a cost, but what needs to be reiterated for the present scenario in Sikkim is that when “development” earns more profits [material] for the developer than the host society, stricter guidelines need to be framed to ensure that the socio-cultural intrusions are minimised. The Chief Minister was speaking of the manner in which local names have been mangled by developers, and in some instances, nouns alien to Sikkim used to name new localities.

Gangtok celebrates World Music Day

GANGTOK, 21 June: World Music Day, or “Fête de la Musique” as it was originally named when it was first held in 1982 in France, was celebrated here in the capital today at MG Marg.
The purpose behind celebrating this day is to promote music in two ways. First, to encourage amateur and professional musicians to perform on the streets and second, to organise free concerts, making all genres of music accessible to the public.
The Cultural Affairs and Heritage Department along with the North-East Zonal Cultural Centre, Guwahati organised a programme coinciding with this theme to celebrate World Music Day in Sikkim.
With the aim to promote Sikkimese music, local artists as well as providing platform for them, artists from the Culture department as well as independent artists were brought together on the occasion, informed Culture Officer, Lata Rajalim.

Nomination process begins 21 June for PCS elections

GANGTOK, 21 June: Elections for the new executive body of Press Club of Sikkim are scheduled for 29 June. This was decided at a meeting held on 18 June where the former body was dissolved and a resolution to form a new executive body passed.
The filing of the nomination starts from 23 June, the last day of the filing nominations is 25 June and the last date for the withdrawal of nominations is 27 June.
“The out-of-station eligible voters can obtain permission from the Election Commission of PCS to cast their vote through SMS from their pre-intimidated phone numbers within the stipulated voting time,” details Notification-2 issued by the Press Club of Sikkim. However, a “proper discretion has to be submitted in writing to the Election Commission before 4pm of 27 June. It is the discretion of the Election Committee to allow or reject request for such voting”, the notification adds.

5th edition of SAATO magazine released

GANGTOK, 21 June [IPR]: Chief Secretary ND Chingapa, who is also an Advisor to Sikkim Association of Adventure Tour Operators [SAATO], released the fifth edition of the SAATO magazine, “North East India: Paradise Unexplored”, at function held in his office today.
The 34-page magazine includes updates, glimpses and activities of SAATO along with various highlights of North East India.
The Chief Secretary, while releasing the magazine, appreciated the works being done by SAATO towards boosting the tourism industry in the State.

Prof Lama represents SU at Global Studies Consortium meet in Shanghai

GANGTOK, 21 June: The Fourth Global Studies Consortium consisting of universities spread across the continents ended in Shanghai yesterday with a call to make the global studies programme “widely prevalent and also inter-disciplinary”, informs a press communiqué received from Sikkim University today.
Sikkim University is in the steering committee of this consortium which seeks to facilitate collaboration in teaching, research and student and faculty exchange. SU was represented at the meet by its Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Mahendra P Lama.


I would like to raise concern among tourism entrepreneurs and other tourism stakeholders of Sikkim regarding the handling of tourists by taxi drivers ferrying them from Siliguri to Sikkim. Let me narrate an unfortunate incident I witnessed along NH 31A on 20 June 2011.
I boarded a share taxi, a maroon colored Spacio vehicle No. WB-73B-8095, at NJP bound for Gangtok. Other passengers in the vehicle were tourists visiting Sikkim. The vehicle started at around 4 a.m. in the morning. When we reached Birik Dara near Rambi, there was a landslide. After stopping the vehicle for around five minutes, the driver said that the road was not going to clear the whole day. Hence, he informed the passengers either to get down, cross the landslide zone on foot and walk till they get another taxi on the other side of the slide or travel via Darjeeling by paying Rs 400 extra per head. Or else he will drop everyone at Siliguri so that they can return to their home places. The tourists were helpless and did not know what would be the better option.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Precarious perched, but still awaiting the axe

GANGTOK, 20 June: The district-level meeting on “Disaster Management and Pre-Monsoon Preparedness” convened by the District Collectorate [East] on 26 May had “strictly” directed the Forest Department that, “trees that are located precariously and are likely to fall during the monsoon shall be identified and be removed at the earliest.”
Despite this direction, no such tree has been felled thus far, and a vehicle was severely damaged by a tree which fell on the NH31A near Indira Bye Pass on the intervening night of 17 & 18 June. Of course, it is entirely plausible that this was freak incident and the tree might not have featured in the list of “precariously perched”.

CM orders enquiry into litter of unfinished works in Chota-Samdong

JORETHANG, 20 June: Chief Minister Pawan Chamling today commented that developmental works sanctioned in the area still remained incomplete even though 90% of the bills have been cleared. Taking serious note of the issue, he directed the concerned department to enquire into the matter thoroughly and suspend all officers found to be involved in sanctioning “false bills” against works which had been sanctioned for the people, but not delivered on ground.
He was speaking to the people of Chota-Samdong under Soreng-Chakung constituency on his first halt of the 19th day of his village-to-village tour today.

Labourer crushed to death Stage VI project site, in-charge charged with causing death by negligence

GANGTOK, 20 June: A case under section 304 A [causing death by negligence] was registered on 19 June at Namchi Police Station against the In-Charge of a crusher plant of the Hindustan Construction Company Limited engaged at Teesta Stage VI hydel project site, situated at Mamring, South Sikkim on a written report from SN Roy [Personal Manager] of the same company.
The report stated that at around 1 PM, workers were cleaning hoppers of the crusher plant near Adit II, when one part of the crusher plant [machine] called ‘fidding hopper’ detached from its welding and crushed one of the workers, Kumar Sheikh [24 years], son of Daulat Sheikh, a resident of Palashipur, Nadia, West Bengal, killing him on the spot.

Foresters from Sikkim and Nepal meet, agree to share info and work on trans-boundary Peace Park

GANGTOK, 20 June: WWF, in collaboration with the Forest Department, organized a regional-level Trans-boundary Meeting between India (Sikkim) and Nepal on “Enhancing Cooperation for Biodiversity Conservation across the Khangchendzonga Landscape” today. This is the second such meeting, with the first one being held at Kathmandu and Ilam in August last year, an official communiqué informs.
A delegation of 12 officers from Nepal, including Braj Kishor Yadav, the Regional Director from the Nepal Ministry of Forests, and Yam Bahadur Thapa, Deputy Director General from Department of Forests [Nepal], field level DFOs, Chairman of the Khangchendzonga Conservation Area and representatives from WWF (Nepal) attended the meeting.

GJM awareness campaign reaches Ranipool

GANGTOK, 20 June: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s Sikkim-unit convened a meeting at Ranipool today in accordance with the party’s ongoing awareness campaign to explain the arrangement arrived at between GJM and the West Bengal Government during talks held on 06-07 June which have led to much speculation and rumours.
The meeting was presided over by the Sikkim-GJM vice president, BB Thapa, a press release informs.
The Sikkim-GJM president, Bhawani Pradhan, highlighted that the new government in West Bengal has shown some understanding of the 34-year-old statehood demand of the hill people and now appears ready to accept the proposals made by GJM. 

5hr power-cut to facilitate maintenance work at Topakhani switchyard

GANGTOK, 20 June: The 66 /11 KV “switching sub-station” at Topakhani in East Sikkim will be undergoing maintenance of the switchyard on 22 June from 12 pm to 5 pm, informs a press communiqué received from the Power Department.
This shut down will affect power supply to - Singtam Bazaar to 32 No. (Middle Camp), Sirwani, Lower & Upper Khamdong, Sumik-Lingzey, Tumin, Rakdong-Tintek, etc.

Painting Scarlet Letters

That there are sex workers in Gangtok should not have surprised anyone. Absurdly though, when news of a pimp’s arrest and rescue of two girls from a rented apartment here made headlines, it appears to have shocked many. Unfortunately, instead of concern over the social condition which is snaring more victims, the news has had the opposite effect and is colouring perceptions offensively. On Sunday, an example of such over-reaction was displayed by suspicious neighbours who called up the cops casting aspersions on a person who had lady guests at home. The cops responded and took in the “accused” for questioning. No case was registered and the youth returned home.

Hometown felicitates Aparajita on UPSC success

JORETHANG, 20 June: Aprajita Rai was felicitated by the people of Zoom, where she hails from, for having made the area proud by clearing the UPSC exams for the civil services in her first attempt itself.
Since Ms. Rai is away in New Delhi, the felicitation was received by her uncle, Pawan Rai, on her behalf. The memento was handed over by the former Chairman, Rastaman Rai, today at Zoom Secondary School premises, in the presence of Zoom-Salghari MLA, Madan Cintury.
Speakers on the occasion highlighted that Ms. Rai’s achievement served as an inspiration for all the students across Sikkim to aim high and work hard.

Ex-servicemen counsel students to join the armed forces

NAMCHI, 20 June: With the aim to provide more employment opportunities to the local educated unemployed youth, the Akhil Sikkim Ex-Servicemen Welfare Sangh’s Namchi wing has begun approaching principals at senior secondary school in the district to motivate students to consider joining the armed forces, recruitments for which are scheduled to be held soon.
Members of the Sangh visited two senior secondary schools of South Sikkim recently and organized counselling programmes there in this regard recently.

SU organizes workshop on gender sensitization

GANGTOK, 20 June: A two-day workshop on gender sensitization was organized by the Gender Sensitisation Unit (GSU) of Sikkim University on 11 and 12 June at the Library Seminar Hall of the university here, a press release informs.
The workshop was organized to “create sensitivity and awareness regarding sexual harassment, intimidation, discrimination or exploitation” in the work place, the release explains.
The resource persons for the workshop were Chief Judicial Magistrate-cum-Civil Judge, East and North Sikkim, Prajwal Khatiwada, and Advocate, Dr Doma Bhutia. Member Secretary, GSU Dr Bimala Singh, gave an introduction to the Gender Sensitisation Unit.

STTA and SVTTA felicitates paddlers Kritika Rai and Siddharth Bhujel

GANGTOK, 20 June: Kritika Rai and Siddharth Bhujel were felicitated by the Sikkim Table Tennis Association [STTA] and Sikkim Veteran Table Tennis Association (SVTTA) here in the capital on 18 June, informs a press release.
The Petroleum Sports Promotion Board selection trials were held on 04 -05 June at Ajmer, Rajasthan where Rai qualified in the Sub-junior category while Bhujel in the Cadet category, informed STTA President , CK Basnet at the programme.

Limboo association to acquire additional land for the construction of Chemjong Memorial Hall

GANGTOK, 20 June: A meeting of Yakthung Sapsok Saplon Chumbho [Limboo Literary Publication Association], was held at Kyongsa Girls Sec. School, Auditorium Hall yesterday under the chairmanship of Headmaster, Darap Sec. School, PL Limboo, informs a press release.
At the outset, the Executive Committee of YSSC felicitated and congratulated HM Darap Sec. School, PL Limboo, for receiving the “Best Educationist Award” for his selfless contribution in the field of education from the International Education and Management, New Delhi.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Slums of Gangtok and Ranipool notified

GANGTOK, 19 June: With the intention to implement the Slum Free City Planning Scheme under Rajiv Awas Yojana [RAY] and other allied programmes, the Urban Development & Housing Department, through a new notification, has made amendments in the descriptive boundaries of the earlier notified slums of Gangtok and Ranipool.
The latest notification of the Department has distributed Gangtok into eight locations, whereas, slum areas of Ranipool has been divided in three locations.
The details of the boundaries of Gangtok slum areas are as follows:
Munshi Colony below Development Area
North: Bounded by the two northern end points of East & West sides i.e. intersection of TNSSS road and B.B. Lohar Jhora & intersection  of B.R. Ambedkar Road & B.B. Lohar jhora in front of Tamang Gumpa.
East: From the intersection of TNSSS road and B.B. Lohar Jhora the boundary runs south all along the TNSSS road till the Shopping Complex presently Science & Technology Office.


CM urges people to leverage empowerment, stand up against cheats and instigators
JORETHANG, 19 June: A heavy downpour notwithstanding, people turned up in strong numbers and Chief Minister Pawan Chamling held extensive interactions with the people of Daramdin and Soreng-Chakung constituencies which he toured yesterday and today [the 18th day] as part of his village-to-village tour of the State. Through his interactions with the people over the weekend, the CM stressed that his ongoing tour accompanied by his Ministers and Heads of Departments was an effort to underline that governments in a democracy were for the people.

In Jorethang, litter freely

JORETHANG, 19 June: Garbage disposal has grown into one of the more vexed challenges facing the towns and villages of Sikkim. So vexed that despite all the announcements and awareness meets, images like this – of a pile of garbage across the road from the Jorethang Nagar Panchayat office – have come to embarrass. Even as the residents complain of the stink and the filth, the urban local body here is obviously still struggling with the issue. Such filth is always unsightly, but given Jorethang’s notoriety of attracting disease outbreaks during monsoons, is also a health hazard which should not be ignored so off-handedly as is obviously being done in this South district town.

Circle Level Committee formed for Green Mission awareness in Namthang

RANGPO, 19 June: A co-ordination meeting on the Green Mission 2011 was organised by South District Forest Territorial at Namthang BAC hall today.
All Panchayat vice presidents, secretaries, members, delegates from NGOs and clubs, SHGs along with senior citizens and youth attended the meeting. The meeting began with a welcome address by Range Officer (T) Forest department, BS Tamang.

Pillion rider killed in scooter accident

GANGTOK, 19 June: Eighteen-year-old Phoongnam Subba of Sardong died on the spot in a road accident yesterday.
According to the police sources, the deceased was the pillion rider on scooter being driven by one Aita Hang Subba which met with an accident on Sardong-Dentam Road. The driver of scooter also sustained injuries and is receiving treatment at Gyalshing District Hospital at present.

Toddler crushed by boulder in Gyalshing

GANGTOK, 19 June: A five-year-old was killed when a boulder rolled down and hit her at Kyongsa Road in West Sikkim yesterday.
As per Police records, the child was with her mother, who was working on the roadside, at the time of the incident. The boulder rolled down from a landslide zone and crushed both her legs. She was immediately rushed to Gyalshing District Hospital but her injuries were too grievous and she succumbed on the way.
A case of unnatural death has been lodged with the Gyalshing PS, the official informed.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Jhora floods NH31A with debris at Rambi, traffic disrupted

GANGTOK, 17 June: Traffic along NH-31A came to a halt for more than 12 hours starting last night when vehicles on either side of the highway were stranded near Rambi on the West Bengal side after a jhora there broke its banks and brought down water, slush and debris. This is the first NH 31A disruption this monsoon.
The Janmukti Chalak Mahasangh president, Milan Pradhan, informs that heavy rains along the highway on the West Bengal side last night triggered a flash flood in the jhora which flows down from the lower reaches of Darjeeling at 27th Mile, near the NHPC dam site, where it meets the Teesta.

Depression over Bay of Bengal brings down season’s first Monsoon showers over Sikkim

GANGTOK, 17 June: The South-West Monsoon finally set over Gangtok on 11 June and had enveloped the state by 14 June. It still took till Thursday, 16 June, for rain to come down with any substantial intensity and the drizzle has stayed since then. This year the monsoon reached Sikkim seven days late. The south-west monsoon entered India through Kerala on 01 June.
A massive low pressure formed over Bay of Bengal on 14 June and due to this deep depression near Kolkata there was a heavy rainfall over Kolkata and Sub-Himalayan West Bengal. This has caused flooding in Kolkata, brought heavier rainfall over the lower hills of Darjeeling district and brought down precipitation over Sikkim.

Forest stakeholders train for biodiversity conservation and forest management

GANGTOK, 17 June: ¬A total of 105 forest stakeholders attended a two-day training on the management of JFMCs and EDCs of the east and north districts which ended today at the Forest conference hall.
The training was conducted by the JICA-assisted Sikkim Biodiversity Conservation and Forest Management project for members of JFMCs and EDCs, Range Officers, Community Organisers and Panchayat members.
The first day of the training covered the theoretical part of biodiversity conservation, while today, the participants received practical sessions.

Yes, But Why?

The chain letters that make it to the inbox can sometimes share interesting trivia. One such mail speaks of how a citizen of United Kingdom, as per a survey, asks an average, 300 questions everyday! This gets one thinking on why even grown-ups need to make so many questions a day. Think harder and it becomes apparent that it is this inquisitiveness that led humanity out of the cave and into the world of microchips; developed language from monosyllables to discourses and epics and communication from shouted greetings to mobile phones and now a whole sms language. It is curiosity that provides the spur for all inventors and ground-breakers. Among the lay people, an inquisitive mind strengthens democracy, reinforces accountability and substantiates public opinion. Stop being inquisitive, give up asking questions and we are back to the stone ages when everything happened because it was destined to and no one was wiser.

Sayapatri Samaj hosts “environment and pollution control” prog at Namcheybong

GANGTOK, 17 June [IPR]: The Sayapatri Samaj Sudhar Sangha of Middle Namchebong, Pakyong, East Sikkim organised an awareness programme, sponsored by the State Pollution Control Board and the Forest Department, on “Environment and Pollution  Control” on 15 June at the Sayapatri Kunj.
The programme was presided over by Devendra Chettri, ACF, BAC Rhenock as the chief guest and SP Bhutia R.O (T), Pakyong along with HC Pradhan, Joint Director, Horticulture, PK Subba, Deputy Director, Horticulture, Thom Tsh. Bhutia, BO (T) Ranipol as special guest and was attended by the local gentry and members of the Sangh.