Thursday, August 4, 2011

Yuksam Secondary School celebrates ‘Spirit of August of India’

GANGTOK, 03 Aug: ‘Spirit of August of India’, a fortnight long celebration commemorating the 155th anniversary of the end of East India Company rule in India following the Sepoy Mutiny – the first war for Independence - of 1857, began at the Yuksam Secondary School yesterday. Hosted at Yuksam SS in West Sikkim, with participation from all the feeder-cum-private schools under Yuksam-Dubdi GPU, the celebration was flagged off by West Zilla Adhakshya, Karma Choki Bhutia, and Budha Hang Subba, ex-Zilla Upadhakshya, both of whom are alumni of Yuksam Secondary School.

Lee-Aal thanks well-wishers for support towards Old Age Home

GANGTOK, 03 Aug: Twenty-one ladies from Mamring in South Sikkim donated essentials items to the old age home, Lee Aal, at Turung Kasur, South Sikkim on 31 July. During their visit to the old-age home, the ladies also interacted with the senior citizens there and appealed to the public, NGOs, companies and associations to support this home.
Likewise, the SIECB of the Health Department has also extended help to this home by donating necessary goods, informs a press release. 

Central Dojang emerges champion at State Jr Taekwondo Kheorugi tourney

GANGTOK, 03 Aug: Central Dojang [Paljor Stadium] has emerged the champion, leaving MCM Dojang [White Hall] on the second place of the 14th State Junior Taekwondo Kheorugi Championship – 2011 held today here at Paljor Stadium gymnasium hall.
Gold medalists in different weight categories have automatically earned the chance to represent Sikkim in the forthcoming Junior Nationals Taekwondo Kheorugi Championship scheduled to be held in Ranchi, Jharkhand, later this year.

Pabong-Daring gets the buzz on beekeeping potential

NAMCHI, 03 Aug: Him Tar Farmers Club of South Sikkim organised a daylong awareness cum training programme in beekeeping for farmers at their village today here at Pabong-Daring Government Junior High School premises. The programme was organized with assistance from the Horticulture Department.
Deputy Director, Horticulture, Sonam Bhutia, while addressing the programme, pointed out that Sikkim is on course of becoming an Organic State and stressed that bee-keeping was an important component of organic farming.

Commission Expert Studies and Heed Their Advice

Riffling through back issues of newspapers can be an interesting exercise, which, apart from from bringing back memories like photo-album do, also serve as a reminder to unlearned lessons. Today, 04 August, for example, is a good day to remind those who make the final call on “developmental” projects, that listening to experts is always a better option. On this day in the year 2004, a landslide brought down tonnes of debris from the VIP road and dumped it at the gates of the State’s only public school, Tashi Namgyal Academy, ringing home a reminder of not only the fragility of Gangtok’s soil, but also the continued refusal of concerned authorities to heed reason. The diversion road which triggered the landslide was thumbed down by geological experts back in 1998 when it was first mooted.

TYC and Denzong Boys Jr register wins


GANGTOK, 03 Aug: After a string of losses, Tibetan Youth Club and Denzong Boys’ [Junior] registered victories today displaying good comeback in the second division Sikkim-League underway here at Paljor Stadium today.
In the first match, Tibetan YC thrashed Lower Arithang 4-0, while in the second match Denzong Boys’ outplayed Tathangchen Football Association by 3 goals to 2.

NSD conducts workshop for students

GYALSHING, 03 August: A month-long theater workshop for children organized by the National School of Drama and Srijana Sewa Samiti of Sakyong concluded yesterday at the Pelling Senior Secondary School auditorium.
The main theme of the workshop, which had begun on 03 July at Upper Baluthang Primary School, was to spread awareness on sanitation and environmental issues.

Have not diluted the significance of Bhum-Chu, PT Gyamtso clarifies

Apropos the new item published in your paper of 1st August 2011 under the caption “Tashiding Duchi condemn misinformed write up on Bhum Chu in new book”, I may mention here that the sentence of comparison of the holy water in a sacred urn to that of water contained in a copper vase has been quoted out of context in isolation to give a tangential view and convey a message that I had deliberately diluted the significance of the ritual and hurt the sentiments of Duchi. This is not true.
I am a true Vajrayana Buddhist and I have always held the view that Tashiding Monastery as the most sacred religious institution in Sikkim. It is for this strong belief and reason I had performed weekly death rituals of my late mother and sister in law in Tashiding Monastery in 2003 and 2009 by burning 1000 butter lamps, hoisting 108 prayer flags and daylong feeding of the lamas. I have always held the Duchi and lamas of Sikkim in highest esteem and I personally know the Head Lama of Tashiding monastery and therefore to think that I would sully the name of the monastery and the ritual which I always hold to the core of my hearts is simply preposterous.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Change of guard at administrative top-spot

GANGTOK, 01 Aug [IPR]: The State Government organized a special function to bid farewell to the outgoing Chief Secretary, ND Chingapa, and welcome the new Chief Secretary of the State, Karma Gyatso, at a local hotel here in the capital yesterday. The function was also attended by Chief Minister Pawan Chamling.
At the outset the Chief Minister offered Khadas with warmth and affection to both officers.
Addressing the function, the Chief Minister said that he had a very good working experience with Mr. Chingapa. Terming Mr. Chingapa as an able administrator, honest and hardworking person, the Chief Minister said that his relationship with Mr. Chingapa was very comfortable and cordial and the he saw Mr. Chingapa always committed towards the welfare of the people.

9 injured as speeding jeep collides with truck on NH31A

GANGTOK, 01 Aug: A head-on collision between a Mahindra Savari taxi and a truck at the turning near Orange Villa here at 7th Mile below Gangtok on NH 31-A this afternoon has left nine persons, including the driver, injured.
The taxi [SK-04-8816] driven by Durga Bahadur Lohar was on its way to Sang from Gangtok and was over-speeding when it hit the truck [SK-03-1423] coming up from Ranipool. The taxi over-turned after hitting the truck, causing injuries to the eight passengers inside.

Sikkim’s final Livelihood School opened

GANGTOK, 01 Aug: A livelihood school for security guards under Geyzing-Bermiok constituency in West Sikkim was formally inaugurated by the Zilla Upadhyaksha [West], BB Bista at Bermiok Bazaar today. The school has total 44 trainees.
In his inaugural address, Mr Bista highlighted that the unique initiative of Livelihood Schools at all territorial constituencies was to lead the youth here on a constructive and positive path by making them equipped for self-reliance.

Save the Passengers

A speeding passenger jeep moving downhill slammed into a truck groaning on its way up. It is not difficult to figure out who was at fault. A loaded truck moving uphill on Gangtok roads can only move slow, not run rash. Passenger jeeps and taxis, along with VIP vehicles, almost invariably dash reckless. The speed at which the vehicle in question was scurrying can be gauged from the fact that it arched too wide on the curve, struck the truck headlong and then turned turtle. Everyone inside was injured, the nature of injuries worsened by the fact that the passenger vehicle was a soft top. Nine people are in hospital. Anyone who has negotiated Sikkim roads would have definitely had a close shave with the impetuous hands which sit on most wheels.

Culture becomes first Deptt to submit ATR on 100-day tasks

GANGTOK, 01 August: The Cultural Affairs & Heritage Department has become the first Department to submit the action taken report to the Chief Minister’s Office on the 100 days tasks assigned to it by the Chief Minister. The 100 days ended on 18 July.
The Department submitted the report as well as proposal to the CMO on 06 July, around 12 days ahead of the 100 days deadline. The Department was also the first to constitute a Monitoring Committee headed by its Secretary through a Notification to initiate activities undertaken as part of the 100 day programme.

Final-8 announced for Chogyal Sir Tashi Namgyal Memorial Cup

GANGTOK, 01 Aug: A total of eight teams will compete in the Independence Day Football Tournament for Chogyal Sir Tashi Namgyal Memorial Cup here at Paljor Stadium. The tournament is scheduled to begin either on 07 or 08 August.
This time around, the tournament has I-League teams, including Sikkim’s own United Sikkim Football Club, in the fray along with Langshing SC from Shillong.
The tournament is being organized by the Sikkim Football Association under the aegis of Home Department.
Other participating teams are Boys’ Club, Sikkim Police Football Club, Dzongri Club, State Sports Academy, UKFC from Kurseong and PCM [Mohan Bagan Academy] from Kolkata.
The final match of the tournament, which will be played on knock-out basis, will be played on Independence Day, 15 August.

Joint delegation calls on Governor to scrap hydel projects on Rathong Chu

GANGTOK, 01 August: A delegation of monks representing the Degoen Jinkyong Tsogchen [All Sikkim Monasteries Association] accompanied by the SIBLAC convenor, Tseten Tashi Bhutia, NASBO president, Sonam Kaleon, and president, Denjong Chyarig Tsogpo, SD Denjongpa, called on the Governor today with regard to the proposed Ting Ting Hydel project on the Rathong Chu.
The delegation submitted a memorandum to the Governor urging him to invoke the special discretionary powers under Article 371 F (g) and “immediately scrap all power projects or any such other activities that pollute the sanctity of Rathongchu or tampers with our religious sentiments”.
 “We would not hesitate to approach any forum, both national and international to achieve our objective for the benefit of all sentient beings if justice is denied by and from constitutional frameworks,” the letter states.

Plan with the People, Not For Them

Last Friday, a child on her way to school was swept away by a mountain brook which flows over the footpath she and her friends take to school. For most part of the year, this kholcha can be easily hopped across, the villagers of Shamshee-Sokpey in remote South Sikkim inform, but the monsoon has been intense this year and the brook flows furious. The child, 15-year-old Binita Gurung, was on her way to Sokpey Junior High School where she studies in class VI. This is not the first case of poor infrastructure in rural Sikkim claiming a life. The rural folk learn to be careful, but fatalities resulting from slips and falls from unreliable infrastructure are reported often. Reports of people being swept away by kholchas which cut through footpaths are rarer, but do take place.

Tashiding Duchi condemns ‘misinformed’ write-up on Bhum-Chu in new book

GANGTOK, 31 July: A joint-meeting of the monk body and residents and their representative organisations here at Tashiding Monastery in West Sikkim on 29 July, Friday, resolved to condemn a section of the book, “The History, Religion, Culture and Traditions of Bhutia Communities” written and published by former Member of Parliament, PT Gyamtso. The section being condemned is the part which details the Bhum-Chu ritual held at the Tashiding Monastery every year. Mr. Gyamtso could not be contacted for his response.
The Tashiding Monastery Duchi, Panchayat members and locals of the constituency have come out strongly against what they allege to be “irresponsible” and “misinformed” facts on the historically significant Bhum-Chu ritual held at the monastery.

Pelling moves closer to Zero Waste status, forms ‘Friends of Green Pelling’

GANGTOK, 31 July: A workshop cum sensitization program on Solid Waste Management towards making Pelling a “Zero-Waste” town was organised at the conference room of Hotel Sonamchen in Pelling, West Sikkim on 29 July, informs a press release.
The program which was chaired by the West Zilla Adhyaksha, Karma Chuki Bhutia, was coordinated and assisted by the members of Khangchendzonga Conservation Committee [KCC], Yuksom.

“Challenges of 21st Century cannot be met with education stuck in the 20th Century”



GANGTOK, 31 July: Chief Minister Pawan Chamling stressed yesterday that one cannot cope up with the challenges of the 21st Century or measure up to its opportunities with the education of the 20th century. It was for this reason that the State government has been working diligently towards providing quality education and services to the people to the state, he explained.

Cardamom growers in North Sikkim thumb down tissue culture plants, want certified sucker nurseries instead

MANGAN, 28 July: The Panchayat and the public of Tingchim-Mangshila GPU have opposed the recent notification of the Horticulture & Cash Crops Development Department directing that new plantations of large cardamom use tissue culture plants. The people here have expressed more faith in the certified sucker nursery option offered by the Spices Board.

Teenager drowns attempting to cross mountain brook on way to school in remote South Sikkim

NAMCHI, 29 July: A teenager was swept away at Shamsee-Sokpey village in remote South Sikkim today as she attempted to ford a mountain brook on her way to school. In a disturbing example of misplaced priorities, this stream, which people of the village have to wade across on a regular basis, has not been provided with even a footbridge. While the Khapparey Khola is harmless most of the year, the continuous rainfall of the past few days has swollen it.

Chief Justice Dinakaran puts in his papers

GANGTOK, 29 July: In a development which has been on the anvil for a while now, Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court, Justice PD Dinakaran, submitted his resignation papers to the office of the President of India in New Delhi this evening.
Official sources at the High Court and a close family member of the Chief Justice, confirmed that he submitted his resignation at around 4 p.m. to the office of the President.

Karma Gyatso to take charge as Chief Secretary on Monday

GANGTOK, 29 July [IPR]: Additional Chief Secretary Karma Gyatso, an IAS officer of the 1977 batch, has been promoted as Chief Secretary to the Government of Sikkim. His promotion will come into effect from 01 August 2011. He will also hold additional charge of Finance, Revenue and Expenditure Department.
Mr. Gyatso started his career with the State Government in 1975 and held many key portfolios such as Department of Tourism, Department of Planning, Economic Reforms and North Eastern Council Affairs, Finance, Animal Husbandry Livestock and Veterinary Services, Land Revenue and Department of Personnel.
An experienced administrator, he is widely travelled both within and outside the country and has done a stint on Economic Reforms in Sydney, Australia and Auckland New Zealand. He was also a signatory of the MoU for the Nathula Border Trade and was instrumental in the opening of the Border Trade at Nathula during his tenure as Principal Secretary, Commerce and Industries.

25% of Sikkim now resides in urban areas

GANGTOK, 29 July: 4.55 lakh of Sikkim’s population of 6,07,688 resides in rural areas and 24.97 per cent in urban areas. This, as per the latest ‘Provisional Population Totals’ [paper 2, volume 2 of 2011] Rural-Urban Distribution of Population Sikkim [series 12] released today by the Directorate of Census Operations, Sikkim. The data is on the basis of enumerators abstract and is subject to change, it was clarified. Sikkim has eight statutory and one Census [urban] town with 1,51,726 people [24.97% of the total population].

Rainwater Harvesting in Drought Prone Areas

The villages in the lower belt of South and West District located in the Rangit river valley receive less than half the rainfall that Gangtok receives. The mean annual rainfall here is less than 150cm and is concentrated during the monsoon months followed by a long winter drought. The only water available is rainwater which due to the steep terrain is mostly lost as surface runoff with less than 15% water percolating and recharging the groundwater.
RM&DD jointly with SIRD has initiated a pilot rainwater harvesting experiment for groundwater recharge in the villages of Sadam Suntaley, Turuk Ramabung and Lungchok Kamarey. Thousands of staggered contour trenches and percolation ponds have been dug up in about 80 ha of reserve forests above these villages over the last 3 months. It is estimated that 15 lakh litres of groundwater recharge will take place annually from one ha of recharge works. This recharge will help to replenish and recharge the springs and streams like Khani khola and Rolu khola.