Friday, October 14, 2011

Rs. 1,000 crore interim relief yet to arrive from Delhi

DETAILED SUBMISSIONS FOR Rs. 7,000 CRORE RELIEF PACKAGE BEING PREPAREDGANGTOK, 13 Oct: While Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has already declared a Rs. 1,000 crore interim relief package [for damages caused by the earthquake of 18 September] for Sikkim, the process for submitting to the central government a comprehensive damage estimate for additional funds is on in full swing. The Rs. 1,000 crore package was an interim relief measure of the Centre and was announced from the central Natural Calamity Fund. This amount is yet to be received and at present, the relief compensation to victims is being disbursed from the State Natural Calamity Fund.

Bardewa withdraws court challenge against DC notice to demolish Himalchuli

GANGTOK, 13 Oct: Former vice president of the Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee and owner of Hotel Superview Himalchuli and Waterfall Resorts, Gangtok, has decided not to continue with his challenge to the notice of the East district administration ordering the demolition of hi hotel. The hotel, a multi-storeyed structure by the national highway which towers over the road to Development Area, had been issued a notice for demolition by the DC East following reports that the structure had suffered damages and could collapse following the earthquake of 18 September.

Sikkim doctor assaulted at RIMS in Manipur, colleagues go on protest strike

GANGTOK, 13 Oct: A government doctor from Sikkim pursuing post graduate specialization in paediatrics at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences [RIMS] at Imphal, Manipur, was assaulted Wednesday evening by the father of a child suffering from cancer [last stage] when the child passed away while under his care.

DC petitioned to depute security and urgent relief to Dubdi Monastery

Images of the damage suffered by Dubdi Monastery due to the 18 September Earthquake. [fotos: ST GYATSO]
GANGTOK, 13 Oct: The Duchi Committee of Dubdi Monastery, Yuksam, in a letter addressed to the District Collector, West, appraising his office of the extent of damage suffered by the monastery, has requested for immediate measures to be taken at the site.

‘Earthquake-proof’ bamboo house unveiled in Dzongu

KAYEM, Upper Dzongu, 13 Oct: A bamboo house developed by AB Composite Pvt Ltd of Kolkata was unveiled here today and presented as an earthquake-proof structure. This house, made completely from bamboo and with a plinth area measuring 20x30 feet, was handed over to Lochal Tshering Lepcha of Kayem village in Upper Dzongu today. Mr. Lepcha’s original home here had collapsed to the 18 September Earthquake. The model house has been constructed under the Reconstruction Project for Earthquake Disaster Relief, National Mission on Bamboo Application, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India. 

Centre to construct 14,000 houses in Sikkim

GANGTOK, 13 Oct: The Centre has decided to construct at least 14,000 houses as part of earthquake relief measures in Sikkim, suggest media reports coming out of New Delhi. The constructions, these reports inform, will be carried out by Hindustan Prefab Ltd, a government firm under the Ministry of Housing and Poverty Alleviation.

DESM&E bags Aadhaar Excellence Award 2011

GANGTOK, 13 Oct: On the occasion of the first anniversary of UID enrollment, the Unique Identification Authority of India set up under the National Planning Commission, felicitated a number of states and enrolment agencies for their commendable performance relating to Aadhaar or UID number. Sikkim was also one amongst the few who made the list and was awarded the Aadhaar Excellence Award 2011 by the Government of India in appreciation of its commendable performance for Aadhaar Enrolments, informs a press release.

Essential supplies to affected areas

GANGTOK, 13 Oct: The Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department since 21 Sept has supplied 2,164.41 quintals of Rice, 69.41 quintals of Dal, 26.9 quintals of Atta, 14.49 quintals of salt, 3,411 litres of Mustard Oil and 2,355 ltrs of SK Oil to the North District and to other relief camps set up in the other districts, informs a press release.
53 sorties from Mangan and 45 sorties from Libing Helipad by Defence and Pawan Hans helicopters were used to send these essential commodities, the release adds.

SYS defends govt’s relief and rehabilitation efforts as transparent and fair

GANGTOK, 13 Oct: The Sikkim Yuva Samaj has contended that the relief, rescue, restoration and rehabilitation efforts of the State Government in the wake of the 18 Sept Earthquake are being carried out in “the most transparent manner along with assessment of the damages. In a press release issued today, the organization adds that disbursement of relief funds was being made in the presence of the public, District Collectors, Block Development Officers and Panchayats.

Open TT championship next month

GANGTOK, 13 Oct: The Sikkim Table Tennis Association has announced plans to hold the 16th Open Table Tennis Championship from 04-07 November at the Paljor Stadium Gymnasium Hall.
The tournament, originally scheduled for earlier, was postponed following the 18 September earthquake. 

Palzor Lachungpa conferred Indian Leadership Award for Hospitality and Tourism

GANGTOK, 13 Oct: Former TAAS president, Palzor Lachungpa, proprietor, Blue Sky Tours and Travels, was conferred the Indian Leadership Award for Hospitality and Tourism, a category at the National Seminar on “Outstanding Contributions To National Development” organised by the All India Achiever’s Foundation at New Delhi last evening.

INTACH to survey damage to heritage monuments in Sikkim

GANGTOK, 13 Oct: Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage [INTACH] Sikkim Chapter held an emergency meeting on 27 September to express deep concern over the condition of cultural and natural heritage sites of Sikkim after the recent earthquake, informs a press release issued by the Convenor, Sikkim Chapter, PK Dong.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Collaborative effort can raise a model Sikkim from the devastation of the earthquake: CM


GANGTOK, 12 Oct: A commitment to undertake and inspire a united effort to ‘qualitatively rebuild Sikkim’ after the destruction caused by the 18 September earthquake was the main agenda of the state level coordination meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pawan Chamling here at Chintan Bhawan today.

Earthquake casualty list far from final and still with discrepancies

GANGTOK, 12 Oct: After the initial working down of the death toll due to the 18 September Earthquake from 77 to 60 by the state authorities, it appears that even this official figure, is also not all that accurate. A discrepancy has emerged in the official calculation of the total death toll which should bring the “official” death toll down by one to 59. And this is on a cursory check of the list and more detailed crosschecking throws up more confusion.

Quarrel between labourers leaves one dead near Thangu

TWO TAKEN INTO CUSTODY ON CHARGES OF MURDERGANGTOK, 12 Oct: Two people have been taken into custody on charges of having murdered a person at Samdong under Lachen Police Station on 10 October. The duo, it is informed, were friends with the victim. The accused are in judicial custody at present and have reportedly confessed to the murder.

House damage relief disbursement continues in North Sikkim

MANGAN, 12 Oct: Disbursement of relief for houses damaged in the 18 September earthquake is underway in Chungthang Sub-Division and 90% of compensation to affected families in Chungthang and Lachung has been completed while the process continues in Lachen. The disbursement for Chungthang, Pegong and Bop wards was conducted yesterday with the area MLA, TW Lepcha, in attendance along with the North Zilla Adhakshya, Khamsoong Lepcha.

SU combines quake relief with scientific study

GANGTOK, 12 Oct: Sikkim University earthquake relief teams comprising faculty members, management staff and students which went on a relief and reconnaissance mission in collaboration with the Voluntary Health Association of Sikkim (VHAS) and it sister NGOs like Navjyoti Kala Samiti, Community Health and Environment Conservation Society and Nagbeli Conservation Association have now returned from some of the worst hit areas of North, West and East Sikkim, informs a release from the University.

Chungthang-Lachen road restored, work underway to clear other tracts as well

MANGAN, 12 OCT: The Chungthang-Lachen road was restored on Tuesday in a combined effort of the army and the Border Roads Organisation. The Mangan-Chungthang road was also cleared for light vehicles Wednesday evening but traffic is not being allowed on it just yet since some of the spots along it are still considered too risky to drive through. These sections are expected to be stabilised over the next few days. Chungthang, however, can be reached through the Teesta Stage-III adit tunnel from Shipgyer to Chungthang.

Rs. 2.32 crore disbursed to cover 2,824 damaged houses

GANGTOK, 11 Oct: A total of Rs 2.32 crores in relief for house damages caused by the 18 September earthquake was disbursed, covering 2824 houses in the 15 wards of the Gangtok Municipal Corporation [GMC] here at GMC complex today.

BRO inability to give Dzongu more resilient roads blamed for current desolation

A vehicle loaded with supplies groans up the road to Shipgyer [in Dzongu] from Toong [on the North Sikkim Highway]. This road was cleared by army personnel on 29 September.
WANGCHUK BHUTIAMANGAN, 11 Oct: The road network in Dzongu has never been very sturdy and unravelled extensively in the hands of the 18 September Earthquake. With the entire focus of opening blocked roads noticeably focussed on the North Sikkim Highway [to Chungthang and beyond], the residents of Dzongu are not taking lightly to their continuing road connectivity woes and are blaming years of sidelining which passed without repairs or maintenance for the complete collapse of the road network in the area now.

CM to take final call on Tashiling complex after studying Geo-Technical Stability report

GANGTOK, 11 Oct [IPR]: Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, accompanied by the Chief Secretary and Heads of Departments, today inspected the damage caused to Tashiling Secretariat building and offices around the Secretariat by 18 September earthquake.

Collaborative efforts sustain relief camp and measures at Toong-Naga GPU

FRESH CONSIGNMENT OF ESSENTIAL COMMODITIES HANDED OVERMANGAN, 10 OCT: The earthquake relief camp at Naga in North Sikkim, which has been running since the midnight of 18 September at the Multi-Purpose playground there, was provided a fresh consignment of essential supplies yesterday.
This relief camp, as mentioned, came together hours after the earthquake which devastated the area and has been providing shelter, medical aid and provisions to affected people gathered here from the Toong-Naga GPU. Also finding shelter and assistance here are people moving onwards to Chungthang, Saffo, Shipgyer, Lachen, Lachung, Thangu, Damang and Ramom.

Sakya Trizin meets CM, discusses holding of Jensek prayers

GANGTOK, 11 Oct: The Supreme Head of the Sakyapa order of Tibetan Buddhism, Sakya Trizin, made a courtesy call on Chief Minister Pawan Chamling at his official residence, Mintokgang, here yesterday. Sakya Trizin was accompanied by Gyalyum Chenmo and Thartse Khen Rinpoche, the current throne holder of the Ngorpa sect of the Sakyapa tradition, informs a press communiqué received from the Sa-Ngor Chotshog Centre.

Communicate More in Times of Crisis

A letter published in today’s edition in response to the feeling of hurt expressed by people in Dzongu over the still-awaited arrival of Ecclesiastical Department officials to inspect the damage suffered by Tholung Monastery would not have been required if government departments had communicated more effectively with the affected people. The people are upset not because the monastery was damaged in the 18 September earthquake, but are peeved because no official word has reached them on what is being done about it.

NTPC contributes Rs. 1 Cr to CM’s Relief Fund

GANGTOK, 11 Oct [IPR]: The National Thermal Power Corporation contributed Rs. 1 crore towards the Chief Minister’s Relief fund under its corporate social responsibility initiative for the ongoing earthquake relief works in the state. The cheque was handed over to the Chief Minister by the Regional Executive Director, NTPC, Noida, NS Soin, at Mintogang, the official residence of the Chief Minister, today.

Yuksam BAC works on relief through the Dasain break

GANGTOK, 11 Oct: The Yuksam BAC remained open during the Dussehra holidays and relief work for earthquake victims continued unhindered throughout the week, an official communiqué informs. The Muster Roll payments were disbursed to the MGNREGA workers of all nine Gram Panchayats under the BAC ahead of the Dasain break, the release adds.

Nearly 70% of the house damage compensations handed over, process to be completed by 15 Oct

GANGTOK, 10 Oct: More than 70% of the compensation amount for victims of the 18 September earthquake has been disbursed all over the state. In terms of actual cash, this amount comes to approximately Rs. 33 crore for the entire state of Sikkim with East District accounting for a major share of just over Rs. 16 crore followed by South District where over Rs. 5 crore has been disbursed; in West district, the amount disbursed to victims having suffered house damages is around Rs. 3.5 crore and in North it is informed to be just over Rs. 3 crores as of now.

Lepcha Youth Assc carries out extensive survey of Dzongu, feels more needs to be done

GANGTOK, 10 Oct: A team from the Sikkim Lepcha Youth Association carried out an extensive second survey of the earthquake affected areas of North Sikkim from 02 to 08 October, a press release informs. The team toured Lingzya, Sakyong, Bey and Pentong with the prime objective of taking a comprehensive account of the devastation caused by the earthquake and landslides which inflicted severe damage to life and property, informs a release issued by Kunga Lepcha [joint secretary, SLYA] today.

Strict instructions issued on earthquake compensation disbursement process

GANGTOK, 10 Oct: The State Government has issued strict instructions as to how the compensation to people whose houses have been damaged by the 18 September Earthquake is to be distributed. The BDOs have been made responsible for the disbursement process. As per the instructions, the names of listed victims submitted by the BDOs cannot be changed or replaced under any circumstances and in case of objections on genuineness of claim, the release of compensation to such individuals is to be kept pending; these will be released only on completion of thorough enquiry.

Central Damage Assessment team tours West Sikkim

GYALSHING, 10 Oct [IPR]:  A 9-member Central Damage Assessment team headed by Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, GOI, Shambhu Singh visited earthquake affected places around West Sikkim today.
The team was divided into two groups to assess the damages caused to the houses, livestock, roads, water supply, power and agriculture in west Sikkim. One group consisting of representatives from Ministry of Health - Dr. Swasti Charan, National Disaster Response Force, CO Suk Dev Ray, Rural Management Development’s DK Singh, Ministry of Agriculture’s Mr. Barepate along with the SDM Gyalshing and district officials toured Chumbong, District Hospital, Gyalshing, Kabirthang, Tashiding monastery, Chongrang PMGSY road, Legship and Naya Bazaar.

Chungthang sub-division posts earthquake damage at 1,160 houses

MANGAN, 10 Oct: The Chungthang sub-division [comprising of Chungthang, Lachen and Lachung] which received the most devastating impact of the 18 September earthquake and where people continue to be traumatised by the experience has posted number of houses damaged by the earthquake at 1,160. As per the data put together by the SDM Chunthang’s office thus far, 270 of these 1,160 damaged houses have completely collapsed. In Lachen 56 of the 379 affected houses have suffered complete damage and in the 394 houses damaged in Lachung, 63 have suffered multiple damage.

Ecclesiastical Deptt’s inability to assess damage or even visit the damaged Tholung Monastery peeves residents

MANGAN, 10 Oct: The much-revered Tholung monastery in Upper Dzongu, which houses relics belonging to Lhatsun Chenpo [including his hand-written autobiography], has sustained extensive damage due to the 18 September Earthquake and while this itself has the people concerned, they are also upset that despite the importance of the monastery and what it houses, no one from the Ecclesiastical Department has visited the monastery thus far to assess the damage or arrange proper safekeeping of its relics. 

Helping Hands Sikkim details relief and rescue efforts

GANGTOK, 10 Oct: Helping Hands Sikkim, an organisation formed on 23 September consisting of 39 NGOs, has to reached relief materials, provided medical aid and also helped in rescue works to almost all parts of Chungthang, Lachen, Lachung and Dzongu, informed the organisation’s president Paljor Lachungpa while speaking to the media today.

Now, the Larger Challenge of Rehabilitation

The relief operations are more or less complete and now will begin the more difficult challenge of rehabilitation. Monitoring and planning, qualities which have never been Sikkim’s assets, will need to be reinforced to levels new to the administration here while also ensuring that the checks and balances do not end up slowing down the process.

Food & Civil Supplies Deptt replenishes stocks for affected areas

GANGTOK, 01 Oct: Food & Civil Supplies Department despatched 1,260 kg of rice, 400 kg of dal, 90 kg of mustard oil and 200 kg of flour to Lachen and Thangu on 30 September and 01 October.
A Food & Civil Supplies press release issued today informs that since essential commodities were being despatched to Chungthang by road [through a hydel tunnel at Shipgyer], the department has started airlifting food items directly to Lachen and Lachung from Gangtok with the help of the army helicopters since yesterday.
It further informed that there are sufficient essential commodities in east, west and south Sikkim.

Civilian choppers evacuate 66 people

GANGTOK, 01 Oct: Three civilian helicopters - 2 Pawan Hans with STDC and 1 chartered by a hydel company - still involved in relief operations in Sikkim, flew 28 sorties between them from Gangtok to Lachen, Lachung and Chungthang.
STDC’s Tejpal Pradhan informs that these helicopters evacuated 66 people from North Sikkim on their flights back on Saturday.
He informed that heli service is concentrating on relief operations and evacuations. He informed that that so far, 900 people were evacuated so far by these helicopters.

Army choppers airlift 3,500 kg rations to North Sikkim

GANGTOK, 01 Oct: Army spokesperson, Colonel Ravi Patil, informed that 3,500 kg of rations were airlifted to Lachen, Lachung and Chungthang today by Army helicopters from Gangtok. While 1,900 kg was reached to Lachen, 1,300 kg to Lachung and rest to Chungthang.

PFOE recommends formation of advisory to oversee rehabilitation

GANGTOK, 01 Sept: Raising concerns over the possible “corruption, waste, and mismanagement” of the relief fund which would undermine the rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts, the newly formed Peoples’ Forum On Earthquake [PFOE] organized a meeting of its members to address these concerns directly, informs a press release.

Chumbung’s Uttam Rai included in India U-16 soccer squad

DEBUTANT LEAVES FOR UZBEKISTAN TO PLAY AFC U-16 QUALIFIERGANGTOK, 01 Oct: Uttam Rai of Chumbung, West Sikkim, who was selected by AIFF on the recommendation of SFA to undergo a 9-month soccer training camp in the US has been selected in India U-16 team to play in the AFC U-16 Qualifier. He has left for Tashkent, Uzbekistan along with the Indian team, an SFA press release informs.