Friday, December 23, 2011

CM thanks all sections for post-earthquake assistance


ASSEMBLY MEETS FOR WINTER SESSION
GANGTOK, 21 Dec:  The one-day winter session of the Sikkim Legislative Assembly was convened here at the Legislative Assembly this morning with the House unanimously passing the Sikkim Online gaming (Regulation) Amendment Bill introduced by the Chief Minister, Pawan Chamling, who also holds the Finance portfolio.
The statements of objects and reasons for the amendment Bill explains that the Government has felt it necessary to amend the Act by inserting provisions relating to Authority for overseeing and regulating the functions of online gaming and sports gaming, and provisions relating to the Appellate Authority for making appeal against the orders of the Authorized Officer under the said Act and rules.

One dead body still untraced


RANGCHANG BRIDGE COLLAPSE UPDATE
OLD BRIDGE RESTORED, AWAITS OFFICIAL PERMISSION TO ACCEPT TRAFFIC
MANGAN, 21 Dec:  The dead body of K Srinivasan Rao, an engineer with Teesta Urja, is yet to be recovered from the debris of the Rangchang Bridge which collapsed on 19 December. Mr. Rao was on board the 48-wheeler when the bridge collapsed as the trailer was crossing it on Monday afternoon. The dead bodies of the remaining seven people, including two pedestrians, killed in the bridge collapse have been retrieved, with the seventh body pulled out late on Tuesday evening.

48-wheeler was within prescribed load limit, Teesta Urja claims


GANGTOK, 21 Dec: While most people have been pointing fingers at Teesta Urja, the company engaged in the development of the 1,200 MW Teesta Stage-III hydel project at Chungthang, for the Rangchang bridge collapse, which claimed eight lives, including 2 of its own employees, company officials have denied any liability for the accident.

The Search for More Bhaichungs begins 26 Dec


GANGTOK, 21 Dec: The selection trails for the ‘Search for More Bhaichung’ scheme for the North and East districts will be held on 26 and 27 December. Meanwhile, the Department of Sports & Youth Affairs is also conducting the selection trials for U-14 boys on 26 December and U-17 boys on 27 December. The trials are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on both days.

BRO files FIR against transporter over Rangchang Bridge collapse


SP ASSURES THOROUGH INVESTIGATION

GANGTOK, 21 Dec: The Border Roads Organisation has joined in the number of parties who have filed FIRs with the Singtam Police over the 19 December collapse of the Rangchang Bridge which resulted in the death of eight people. SP East, Dr. MS Tuli, confirmed the BRO FIR filed by its executive head which looks after the Singtam-Dikchu stretch of the highway.

Driver killed in accident near Kirney


GANGTOK, 21 Dec: One person was killed in a motor accident on National Highway 31A early this morning. According to reports, the accident occurred at around 5 a.m. this morning when a Taverra vehicle plunged about 300 feet down into the Teesta between Melli and Rangpo.

Group files complaint letter against Ravangla RO, another group defends officer


NAMCHI, 21 Dec: A section of the public of Ravangla, South Sikkim, has submitted an official complaint to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest [PCCF] against the Range Officer [RO], Territorial, Ravangla, Anup Jyoti Banya, accusing him of not working in favour of the people.

Tourism Deptt thanks stakeholders and officials for assistance rendered in handling Mangshila road mishap


GANGTOK, 21 Dec: The Tourism & Civil Aviation Department, in a press statement issued today, has thanked officials of the Sikkim Police Checkpost, North district administration, District Hospital Mangan and stakeholders for the assistance rendered by them in handling the 14 Dec road mishap at Lower Manngshila involving a tourist vehicle. Six people were killed in the accident.

Rolu Picnic marks anniversary with world peace prayers, Goley stays away


NAMCHI, 21 Dec: The second anniversary of the Rolu Picnic was observed here on a sombre note with special prayers organised in the memory of the lives lost to the 18 September Earthquake and to propitiate the Gods to avoid a repeat in the future. The Rolu event has shaped up as a gathering of groups and individuals politically opposed to the ruling front ever since the 2009 episode unveiled the dissidence of SDF MLA from Upper Burtuk, PS Tamang. In the wake of the earthquake, however, the festivities were scaled down and even Mr. Tamang stayed away today.

Soccer begins for PYKKA Games


GANGTOK, 21 Dec: The first round matches of the boys and girls football tournament were played at the ongoing 2nd edition of the state-level Panchayat Yuva Krida Aur Khel Abhiyan [PYKKA] Sports Competitions 2011-12 today.

Singtam Govt School connects with UK school as part of British Council Project

SINGTAM, 21 Dec: Government Senior Secondary School, Singtam, is one of the 16 schools selected under the British Council Project. The Project was started in 2009 as an initiative taken under the guidance of the then Secretary, HRDD, R Telang and present Secretary, HRDD, CS Rao. The programme is funded by the UK government to “strengthen the concept of global village” and connect students of various countries wherein the British Council is working as the link. The main objective of the programme is to provide an opportunity for students here to understand students of the UK better from their own class rooms and develop a good relationship between the two countries.

National Consumer Day observed at Aho Kishan


GANGTOK, 21 Dec [IPR]: The National Consumer Day 2011 was observed on 20 December at Aho Kishan Junior High School playground in East Sikkim. The programme was attended by the Minister for Food & Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department, DB Thapa, as chief guest and MLA Namcheybong constituency, BB Rai, Gangtok Mayor KN Topgay and Zilla Adhakshya (East) Bimal Dawari as special guests.

Editorial


16 Days of Activism Lost
Each year, from 25 November to 10 December, the United Nations and women’s groups around the world gather forces to organize “Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender Violence” to draw attention to the continuing violence against women, at home, out in the open and at the work-place. The dates include 25 November, designated by the UN as “Day Against Violence Against Women”; 01 December, “World AIDS Day”; 06 December, “anniversary of the Montreal Massacre” when 14 women engineering students were gunned down for being feminists and 10 December, “Human Rights Day”.

Officials inspect CMRHM and MGNREGA works in Rabong subdivision


GANGTOK, 21 Dec: A joint inspection led by the ADC Development, South, DK Pradhan and officials of the Ravangla BAC was carried out on 21 Dec in order to supervise the works being undertaken under Chief Minister’s Rural Housing Mission and MGNREGA, informs a press release.

District Level Awareness on Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Scheme held at Namchi


NAMCHI, 21 Dec: The District Level Awareness Programme on Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Scheme (DEDS) for Bankers, NGOs, Farmers Clubs and other agencies was conducted today here at Namchi by NABARD. The objective of the Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Scheme is to promote setting up of modern dairy farms for production of clean milk, to encourage heifer calf rearing thereby conserving good breeding stock, to bring structural changes in the unorganized sector so that initial processing of milk can be taken up at the village level itself, to bring about up gradation of quality and traditional technology to handle milk on a commercial scale and to generate self – employment and provide infrastructure mainly for unorganized sector.

GVS to host football coaching camp from 06 to 21 Jan


GANGTOK, 21 Dec: Gram Vikash Sangathan, a Central-Pentam based NGO, is organising the 5th Rural Football Winter Camp 2012 at Central Pendam Senior Secondary School playground from 06 to 21 January. The camp is for U-16 boys and U-15 girls.

100 pugilists in 12 weight categories box it out for PYKKA glory


GANGTOK, 21 Dec: Around 100 pugilists from all four districts are in contest at the ongoing 2nd edition of the state-level Panchayat Yuva Krida Aur Khel Abhiyan [PYKKA] Sports Competitions 2011-12. The quarter-final rounds for 12 weight categories were held today. The semi-final and final rounds are scheduled to be played on Thursday.

Basibiyalo to meet for 40th episode on 23 Dec


RANGPO, 21 Dec: The Basibiyalo monthly gathering will meet for its 40th episode here at Singtam on 23 December. Mohan  Pradhan ‘Neeraj’, the founder of Basibiyalo, informs that although the group meets on the last Sunday of every month, this time, since the last Sunday coincides with Christmas which would keep many members engaged elsewhere, they have decided to meet on the 23rd instead.

Training on bamboo and wood craft begins at Ray


GANGTOK, 21 Dec: A month-long training on design development for wood and bamboo craft carving and thanka painting is being conducted at Ray Basti in East Sikkim here under the supervision of United Progressive Organisation of Sikkim from 22 December 2011 to 21 January, 2012. The training is being funded by SIDBI, Gangtok branch, and will be taken by 25 unemployed youth.

NHPC installs computers and peripherals at EMRS-Swayem


MANGAN, 21 Dec: NHPC, as part of its corporate social responsibility initiatives for Teesta Stage-IV, today installed six computers [with UPS], two colour printers and two scanners and networked the units with LAN at the Eklavya Model Residential School at Swayem in North Sikkim.

Academic year closes with sports at Eureka School


SUMBUK, 21 Dec: Eureka English School, Sumuk, concluded its academic session on 18 December with its Annual Sports Meet which had SIMFED chairperson, Girish Chandra Rai, as chief guest.

Upreti demands harsh punishment for Rangchang Bridge collapse guilty


GANGTOK, 21 Dec: Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee senior vice-president, KN Upreti, in a press statement issued today, has condoled the deaths suffered in the recent Rangchang Bridge collapse and has demanded “harsh punishment” for those responsible for the mishap and sought that the Border Roads Organisation [under whose charge the bridge fell], compensate “heavily” for the fatalities.

Green Skills Training Centre inaugurated at Beng


GANGTOK, 21 Dec: A “Green Skills Training Centre” of Basix Academy for Building Lifelong Employability [B-ABLE] was inaugurated at Beng, Khamdong Phatak, near Makha, by the Khamdong-Singtam MLA, Am Prasad Sharma, yesterday.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fresh supplies airlifted to Dzongu


18-20 SORTIES TO BE CARRIED OUT IN THE NEXT THREE DAYS, 3 TONNES OF ESSENTIAL COMMODITIES TO REACH QUAKE AFFECTED UPPER DZONGU IN PREPARATION FOR WINTER
GANGTOK, 20 Dec: With the onset of winters, stocking of ration in earthquake hit North Sikkim has become top priority for the state government. Keeping this in mind, the Land Revenue and Disaster Management Department, in coordination with Pawan Hans helicopter service and STDC, has begun airlifting essential commodities to remote areas of Dzongu still cut off from road access.
Around 18 to 20 sorties will be flown over the next three days to air-drop over 3 tonnes of essential commodities to earthquake affected Upper Dzongu. It may be recalled that the last batch of supplies was airlifted to the area in October.

Seven bodies recovered from the Rangchang Bridge debris


The debris which has flattened a 48-wheeler and from which the trapped dead bodies are being  extracted

MANGAN, 20 Dec:  A rescue team consisting of the Sikkim Fire Service, Police Personnel, Army and Home Guard & Civil Defence (HG&CD), technical expert from Teesta Urja along with the local people were engaged in the rescue operation for the past 24 hours at the Rangchang Bridge collapse site and managed to recover 7 out of the 8 bodies. [The number of casualties in the bridge collapse stands at 8, and not 10 as reported earlier in this paper]

CM announces Rs 1 lakh ex-gratia of Rangchang Bridge victims


GANGTOK, 20 Dec [IPR]: Chief Minister Pawan Chamling is deeply saddened to know of the persons killed and injured in the collapse of the Rangchang Bridge on the Singtam–Mangan Highway on 19 December. The Chief Minister conveys his heartfelt condolences to the aggrieved families.
The Chief Minister has announced an ex-gratia of Rs.1 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs. 20,000 each to the injured persons.
He has also ordered for an immediate enquiry on the bridge which collapsed.

BRO to restore Old Rangchang Bridge for traffic


Repair work gets underway on the old Rangchang bridge


GANGTOK, 20 Dec: The top priority of the Border Roads Organisation, under which is the Garrison Reserve Engineering Force (GREF) falls, is to restore connectivity to North Sikkim though Singtam via Dikchu as it is a vital link for the locals as well as power developers and not least the army.

CM’s Merit Scholarship Scheme doubles intake, 200 students will benefit this year


GANGTOK, 20 Dec: Screening tests for the Chief Minister’s Merit Scholarship Scheme 2012-13 session will be conducted by the Human Resource Development Department on 05 January 2012. The selection test is scheduled to begin at all district headquarters simultaneously at 10:30 AM on the day.

BRO enquiry team from Delhi to investigate Rangchang Bridge collapse


NEVER SEEN SUCH HUGE VEHICLES ANYWHERE: BRO OFFICIALS ON THE 48-WHEELER THAT FELL ALONG WITH BRIDGE ON MONDAY
GANGTOK, 20 Dec: The Border Roads Organisation has initiated an inquiry into the Rangchang Bridge collapse of Monday which claimed eight lives [not 10 as reported in NOW! of 20 Dec 2011]. The bridge collapse, apart from raising concerns over quality control and maintenance, also raises pertinent questions over responsibility of power developers towards road norms and the suitability of restrictions on plying of such heavy loads reaching almost a 100 tonnes and other loads in excess of the strength of the bridge. Speaking to NOW!, BRO officials commented that the bridge buckled under, what they believe, was a substantially heavy load – a loaded 48-wheel trailer.

HRDD to conduct free winter coaching camps across the state


GANGTOK, 20 Dec: The Human Resource Development Department is organizing a free winter coaching camp for the students of class X and XII at every constituency from 02 January. The HRDD is organizing this 40-day long coaching camp for the second time after the first camp was conducted last winter.

Editorial


Learn From the EMRS Model
Basketball has never been big in Sikkim, hill-people physiques, one being constantly told as better suited for football or martial arts. And although sportspersons from Sikkim have performed consistently well in the latter two disciplines, the phenomenal Girls from Gangyap have proven that no stereotype can hold out against passion and commitment supported by the right belief and faith.

Common Platform files FIR against Teesta Urja, BRO and state authorities on Rangchang Bridge collapse


GANGTOK, 20 Dec: Members from different organizations under the banner of Common Platform for Joint Action against Ting-Ting, Tashiding and Lethang Hydro-Power Projects visited the Rangchang Bridge collapse site today. Later, the group filed a FIR against different authorities in connection with the bridge collapse at the Singtam Police Station. The FIR demands action against Teesta Urja Limited, Border Road Organisation and the related State authorities.

SDF condoles bridge collapse casualties


GANGTOK, 20 Dec: The ruling Sikkim Democratic Front has extended its deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the Rangchang Bridge collapse, informs a press release issued by the party’s publicity secretary, TN Sharma. The party prays that their souls find peace and further expresses that it stands by the bereaved families and prays that they get the strength to tide over their loss.

SHRP demands CBI enquiry into bridge collapse


GANGTOK, 20 Dec: Sikkim Himali Rajya Parishad Party, at a meeting held today under the chairmanship of its president, AD Subba, observed a two-minute silence to mourn the victims of the Rangchang Bridge mishap, informs a press release issued by the general secretary, Tara Shrestha.

State Planning Commission discusses 12th Plan and Annual Plan 2012-13


GANGTOK, 20 Dec [IPR]: Deputy Chairman, State Planning Commission, SM Limboo chaired a meeting of the State Planning Commission (SPC) in which the Development Commissioner, AK Yadav and all the Officers of the DPERNECAD were present.

North district administration conveys people’s gratitude on earthquake relief assistance


GANGTOK, 20 Dec: The North District administration, on behalf of the citizens of North Sikkim in general and earthquake affected citizens in particular, has extended its sincere appreciation to all who helped and supported them during the critical phase of recovering from the 18 September earthquake, further extending its regrets in not being able to thank individuals, companies and organizations individually.

East takes TT while South wins in volleyball at PYKKA games


GANGTOK, 20 Dec: At the ongoing PYKKA competition, Table Tennis finals were played here at Paljor Stadium with the Minister, HRDD, NK Pradhan present as the chief guest.

Kendriya Vidyalaya celebrates 36th Annual Day


GANGTOK, 20 Dec: The Kendriya Vidyalaya Gangtok celebrated its 36th Annual Day at the Defence Auditorium today. Present for the occasion were Major General, VN Prasad [SM] GOC, 17 Mountain Division as the chief guest, Accountant General, Dinesh Bhargav as the guest of honour, Principal, Kendriya Vidyalaya Gangtok, Swaminath Gupta, teachers, students, parents and locals.

CMRHM house inaugurated at Ben-Peku


GANGTOK, 20 Dec: MLA Temi-Namphing, BS Panth, inaugurated and handed over the first Pucca House constructed under the Chief Minister’s Rural Housing Mission at Peku in Ben-Namprik GPU on 19 December, informs an official press release. He also handed over the third installment cheques of Rs 90,000 each to 4 other beneficiaries whose houses were in the final stages of construction at the same village.

Turuk Ramabung GPU launches website


TURUK, 20 Dec: Turuk-Ramabung Gram Panchayat Unit set a new corner stone in the list of its achievements by launching the official website of the GPU yesterday. The website www.turukramabunggpu.net was launched by area MLA, Tulshi Devi Rai, at a special function held at Turuk.

BJP-Sikkim general secretary removed from post


GANGTOK, 20 Dec: Bharatiya Janta Party, Sikkim-unit president, Padam Bahadur Chettri removed Padam Prasad Sharma from the post of General Secretary on 18 Dec, informs a party press release. The expulsion was made as per the directions received from BJP, Sikkim Affairs In-charge, Indrasen Reddy, who was in turn informed by Mr. Sharma himself that he was no longer interested in the party, the release adds.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

10 killed in Rangchang Bridge collapse



COLLAPSED BRIDGE WAS LESS THAN 3 YEARS OLD, CONSTRUCTED BY PROJECT SWASTIK AT THE COST OF Rs 2.7 CRORE
GANGTOK, 19 Dec: In a continuing string of tragedies hitting the State, 10 people are feared killed in a bridge collapse at Rangchang Khola, about 18 kms from Singtam towards Dikchu on the Singtam-Mangan highway. The incident took place between 1 and 2 p.m. today when a 48-wheeler heavy trailer engaged by the Teesta Urja company was attempting to cross the bridge span. Just as the vehicle was at middle of the bridge, the entire span collapsed, taking along with it the vehicle and all inside it along with 4 pedestrians. The vehicle was on its way to Chungthang from Siliguri. Teesta Urja is constructing the Teesta Stage III hydel project at Chungthang. Six people are believed to have been on board the vehicle at the time. Given the size of the 48-wheeler, there were no other vehicles on the bridge at the time.

Contractor taken into custody, charged with culpable homicide and criminal conspiracy


GANGTOK, 19 Dec: Mohan Bajaj, the contractor who constructed the Rangchang Bridge which collapsed today, has been taken under custody by the police. He is lodged at the Singtam thana. According to the SP East, MS Tuli, as of now, a criminal case under sections 304 and 120B of the Indian Penal Code have been registered against the contractor. Under these sections, a person is charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder and criminal conspiracy.

Nature of collapse makes extraction of bodies difficult


This massive chunk of the 'concrete deck' of the bridge has crushed the truck under it, making extraction of dead bodies not only difficult,  but also perilous for the search and rescue personnel

GANGTOK, 19 Dec: With tons of concrete and an entire nearly 60 tonne 48-wheeler resting upon them, the dead bodies of those killed in the vehicle following the collapse of the steel girder bridge had still not been recovered till late evening today. The first to arrive on the scene were Sikkim Police personnel along with Home Guards to organize and conduct rescue operations with gas cutters etc. A team from the Singtam Fire Brigade arrived next.

District Monitoring Committee inspects CMRHM houses in Martam and Dentam blocks


GANGTOK, 19 Dec: The District Monitoring Committee [DMC] headed by the Additional District Collector (Dev), West inspected the progress of the Chief Minister’s Rural Housing Mission in Hee-Martam and Dentam Blocks on 17 Dec.

Three minor tremors felt in Sikkim this month


GANGTOK, 19 Dec: People in the capital again felt minor tremors early this morning. This is the third tremor felt by the people of Gangtok in this month so far. The website of India Meteorological Department shows that the tremor of ‘slight’ magnitude 3.7 on the Richter scale occurred at around 3:05:25 AM.

School building inaugurated at Lingee Secondary School


GANGTOK, 19 Dec: A newly constructed RMSA building was inaugurated here at Lingee Secondary School in South Sikkim by area MLA cum Chief Whip, Ugen T Gyatso Bhutia who was present as the chief guest along with Deputy Director, Ravangla, Kunzang Bhutia present as a special guest.

Prayers for earthquake victims to mark Rolu Picnic anniv


PERMISSIONS BEING PROCESSED
NAMCHI, 19 Dec: Organisers of the Rolu Picnic of 2009, the gathering which officially announced Upper Burtuk MLA, PS Tamang’s dissidence with the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front, plan to mark the anniversary of the picnic on 21 Dec with a Viswa Shanti Puja in the memory of lives lost to the 18 September Earthquake and to propitiate the Gods to prevent a repeat. A member of the organising committee, Milan Rai, when contacted, mentioned that they had informed the SP [South] about their plans to hold the prayers.

Social worker conferred Dr Ambedkar Distinguished Service National Award


GANGTOK, 19 Dec: Geeta Ruchal, a social worker from Gangtok, was conferred with the prestigious Dr Ambedkar Distinguished Service National Award- 2011 by Bharatiya Dalit Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi on the occasion of the 27th National Conference of Dalit Writers held on 11-12 December. She was conferred with this award in recognition of her commendable literary, social and cultural service. She was presented with a shawl, certificate and award.

Lee Aal old age home felicitates social-workers and litterateurs


TURUNG, 19 Dec: Eminent litterateurs and social workers from across the districts were felicitated here in a function organized by Lee Aal Old Age Home at Turung in South Sikkim yesterday.The function was attended by litterateur Mohan Pradhan Niraj, as the chief guest, while contractor and social worker Prahlad Gurung, and Member of Women Commission, Lhaki Bhutia were present as special guests.

Agri Deptt hands over work orders for sanctions cleared during CM’s village to village tour


GANGTOK, 19 Dec [IPR]: In a function organized by the Department of Food Security & Agriculture Development Department/ Horticulture Cash Crop Development Department (FS&ADD/HCCDD) at the State Institute of Capacity Building premises at Karfectar, the department distributed various sanction orders/ work orders approved during the Chief Minister’s village-to-village tour and made payments to the farmers of these districts for completion of water harvesting tank.

Aho-Kishan JHS bags 6 medals at PYKKA competition


GANGTOK, 19 Dec: Students of Aho-Kishan Junior High School, East Sikkim, bagged two gold and four silver medals in the discipline of Wushu in the state-level PYKKA competition, informs a press release.
Tulanath Sharama (class VI) and Simon Darjee (class VII) won gold medals while Sunil Lepcha (class VII), Gyan Bahadur Chettri (class VI), Man Rani Rai (class VI) and Bindu Darjee (class VI) won silver medals at the competition, the release mentions.

Simick-Lingzey convenes Gram Sabha


MANGAN, 19 Dec:   The Gram Sabha of 39-Simick-Lingzey GPU in East Sikkim was held at Pahuk School in East Sikkim yesterday, presided over by Panchayat President, Renuka Sharma.

Mamring Sr Sec school thanks CM and others for educational excursion tour


GANGTOK, 19 Dec: The Principal, staff and students of Government Sr. Sec. School, Mamring, East Sikkim, have expressed their heartfelt gratitude to the Chief Minister, Pawan Chamling for providing a sum of Rs.1 lakh as fund for an educational excursion, in a press release issued today.

Cops appeal for public alertness to keep burglaries down


RELEASE ADVISORY AHEAD OF LONG STRETCH OF HOLIDAYS
GANGTOK, 19 Dec [IPR]: Incidents of theft and burglary have been reported from some parts of the State in the recent past. The Police has been quick to respond, and, in a few cases, apprehended the accused and recovered the stolen properties. It has come to light that most break-ins occur when houses have remained locked and unoccupied for long durations, as per a press communiqué received from the Office of the Dy. Inspector General of Police/ Range, Police Headquarters, Gangtok.

Sikkim Limboo Sahityik Prakashan Samiti appeals for support for Chemjong Bhawan construction


GANGTOK, 19 Dec: A meeting of Sikkim Limboo Sahityik Prakashan Samiti was convened at Girls’ Senior Secondary School, Kyongsa, Gyalshing, West Sikkim under the chairmanship of senior Limboo litterateur, BB Muringla, informs a press release.

Pakyong Greenfield Taxi Drivers Assoc forms Taxi Stand Committee


GANGTOK, 19 Dec: The annual meeting of Pakyong Greenfield (local) Taxi Drivers Association was held on 18 Dec at the shopping complex, Pakyong Bazaar, East Sikkim. The general secretary, Andrew Syangbo briefed the gathering on the issues taken up by the Joint Action Committee and expressed his hope that all the demands placed will be fulfilled soon.

‘Kaash…!’ goes on the floors, to hit the stage on 05 Jan


GANGTOK, 19 Dec: The muhurat of a Nepali play, Kaash…!, was held at the Press Club of Sikkim here today. The play is being presented by the Sikkim Amateur Theatre and rehearsals are scheduled to begin from 05 January next year.

Govt committee endorses scrapping of 3 hydel projects in West Sikkim


REPORT YET TO BE TABLED OFFICIALLY, FINAL CALL ONLY AFTER THAT: SOURCES INFORM

GANGTOK, 18 Dec: The high-powered committee constituted by the State government to examine issues related to implementation of three hydel projects in West Sikkim [the 99 MW Ting Ting Hydro Electric Project; the 97 MW Lethang HEP and the 96 MW Tashiding HEP all on the Rathong Chu] is informed to have finalized its report. Official sources confirm that the committee, chaired by Chief Secretary Karma Gyatso, has forwarded its findings for further opinion and recommendations to the Law Department. It is also informed that the opinion of the committee is that the 3 hydel power projects in West District be ‘scrapped’. The Law Department, in turn, is informed to have returned the opinion and recommendations of the committee without much ‘input’.

Fire razes three stalls at Lall Bazaar


GANGTOK, 18 Dec: A fire broke out on the first floor of the Kanchenjunga Shopping Complex [Lall Bazaar] early morning on Saturday reducing three aloo-chewra shops to ashes. Thanks to prompt action by the Gangtok Fire Station, the fire was stopped from spreading to other shops on the first floor. As per preliminary investigation, a short circuit is being seen as the reason behind the fire.

Common Platform warns State govt and hydel developers, urges Governor to exercise special powers


GANGTOK, 18 Dec: The Sikkim Bhutia-Lepcha Apex Committee [SIBLAC] convener, Tseten Tashi Bhutia has warned the State government and the power developers here not to take the Common Platform against the Hydel Power Projects lightly. He further said that the power developers would only be wasting their money in the State if they continued pursuing their projects here.

The Girls from Gangyap are National Champs now!


EMRS GIRLS CREATE HISTORY, OUTPLAY APS NOIDA TO BECOME FIRST SCHOOL FROM REGION TO LIFT CBSE UNDER-19 NATIONAL BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP

GANGTOK, 18 Dec: The EMRS girls basketball team has created history by winning the under-19 CBSE Basketball nationals held in Chennai from 12-17 Dec. EMRS beat APS Noida in the finals on Saturday 47-30. The EMRS squad made their victory even sweeter by bouncing back strong despite being 5 points behind in the 3rd quarter.

Sub-K services sabke liye!


RESERVE BANK’S FINANCIAL INCLUSION PROGRAMME LAUNCHED IN CENTRAL PENDAM
RANGPO, 18 Dec: BASIX Sub-K itransactions Ltd, a mobile banking enablement company of the BASIX Group, launched the Reserve Bank’s Financial Inclusion programme in Sikkim at Rangpo yesterday. The company has the mandate to reach banking services [Axis Bank in the present case] to unbanked citizens by setting up micro-ATM counters at provision stores across rural and semi-urban India.

Kick-boxing in South Sikkim


NORTH EAST AND STATE AMATEUR MUAY THAI CHAMPIONSHIP GETS UNDERWAY AT JORETHANG
NAMCHI, 18 Dec: The Muay Thai Association of Sikkim is hosting the first North-East Amateur Muay Thai Championship in Sikkim and State Amateur Mauy Thai Championship here at Jorethang, South Sikkim starting today.

Gram Sabha held at Tumin GPU


MANGAN, 18 Dec: The Gram Sabha of 40-Tumin GPU was held at the Gram Prasashan Kendra at Tumin in East Sikkim on 16 Dec which was presided over by Panchayat President, Tika Devi Dhakal.
The Sabha was attended by BDO Tintek, Tenzing Dorjee Denzongpa members of respective wards, representatives of line departments, block and ward level committees and the general public, informs in a press release issued by Mani Raj Rai (RDA).

Kho-kho, Archery and Badminton on days 3 and 4


STATE LEVEL PYKKA  GAMES

GANGTOK, 18 Dec: The PYKKA sports competition in Badminton, Kho kho and Archery were held on 17 and 18 Dec at venues spread across Gangtok, with Badminton at the Paljor Stadium Gymnasium Hall, Kho-Kho at the TNA ground and Archery at the Guards Ground.

School building inaugurated at Lower Samdong Secondary school


LOWER SAMDONG, 18 Dec: Lower Samdong Secondary School in East Sikkim celebrated its annual day yesterday, a day made more special with the inauguration of a new school building by the HRDD Minister, NK Pradhan. The new building was constructed by the SMC at an estimated cost of Rs 21 lakh. Gangtok MLA, Dorjee Namgyal Bhutia and MLA Tumin-Lingee, Ugen T Gyatso Bhutia were also present as special guests.

Labourer falls to death in Mangan


MANGAN, 18 Dec: A construction worker engaged at the Mangan Senior Secondary School died in a fatal fall at the site yesterday.

Folk performances at college auditorium


GANGTOK, 18 Dec: A cultural troupe from West Bengal presents a Baul performance at the Folk Culture and Theater Festival 2011 organized by the Cultural Affairs and Heritage Department and sponsored by the Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre at the Government College auditorium here.

29 resign from SDF in Daramdin


GANGTOK, 18 Dec:  Twenty-nine SDF party members from Budiakhop GPU under Daramdin constituency have resigned from the party. “The party has become inconsiderate towards the public and we see no hope that it would ever work for the welfare of the poor,” mentions the resignation letter, copies of which were circulated among the press by Jacob Khaling currently aligned to the PS Tamang camp.
The letter alleges that the party has become undemocratic and practices dictatorship and that the people are being exploited in the name of democracy.

Rolu Picnic Organising Committee to hold peace prayers for earthquake victims this year


GANGTOK, 18 Dec: The Rolu Picnic Organizing Committee has decided to hold “Universal Prayers” at Rolu near Jorethang on 21 Dec this year. This was decided at a meeting held today under the chairmanship of RK Waling at Jorethang. A special prayer programme will be organized for the victims of the 18 Sept earthquake and for the welfare of the general public.

Goat rearing scheme launched at Karfectar, South Sikkim


NAMCHI, 18 Dec: To promote self-employment as well as commercial goat farming in the State, the Department of Animal Husbandry, Livestock, Fisheries &Veterinary Science (AH,LF&VS) launched high meat yielding variety goat development programme here at Karfectar today. This is the first such initiative for Sikkim.

SDF convenes district-level meeting in West Sikkim


GANGTOK, 18 Dec: A district-level meeting of Sikkim Democratic Front deliberated on different issues facing West Sikkim. Held at the SDF party office at Gyalshing on Saturday, the meeting was chaired by the SDF party vice-president and West District in-charge, SB Subedi.

SDF enrols new members at Maneybong-Dentam


GANGTOK, 18 Dec: The series of meetings of the Sikkim Democratic Front to reconstitute sub-committees like CLC, BLC and WLC in every block of 03 Maneybong-Dentam constituency completed its 20th day yesterday.

Trinley Thaye Dorje inaugurates Kagyu Monlam in Bodhgaya, shares stories of Sikkim’s connection with Kagyu tradition


GANGTOK, 18 Dec: Trinley Thaye Dorje, revered by many as the XVIIth Karmapa, inaugurated the annual “aspiration prayers” at the Kagyu Monlam in Bodhgaya on 14 Dec. The Monlam is scheduled to conclude on 20 Dec and is being attended by thousands of monks and devotees, informs a press release.
Trinley Thaye Dorje, the release informs, is leading many prayers at the event, in particular the Samantabhadra Wishing Prayer, known as 'King of Aspiration Prayers.' Monlam is the Tibetan word for 'aspiration' or 'good wishes'.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sikkim ranks 3rd in nation on person-days of work created under MG-NREGA


GANGTOK, 16 Dec: The State government, through the Rural Management & Development Department, is surging ahead with the implementation of the Central Government’s flagship programme, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employement Guarantee Scheme in Sikkim. Sikkim ranks third in the national list of states for maximum man-days generation of work for the year 2011-2012.

RMDD seeks Rs. 445.51 cr to rebuild 7,971 houses destroyed by 18 Sept Quake


GANGTOK, 17 Dec:  The Rural Management & Development Department [RMDD] is seeking a total of Rs. 445.51 crore to rebuild the 7,971 houses fully damaged by the 18 Sept Earthquake across the State. This demand forms part of the earthquake assistance of Rs. 7,400 crore sought by the State Government from the Centre.

Disrupted power supply holds up Khamsel Lakhang construction at Tholung



MANGAN, 16 Dec: Electricity supply to Tholung Gumpa in North Sikkim, sourced from Bey, had been installed for the first time on 09 September by the Power & Energy Department, but collapsed within 10 days in the hands of the 18 September Earthquake. The substantial loss is made worse for people here by the fact that the already delayed Khamsel Lakhang construction work at the monastery has been held up again due to the disruption in power supply.

Athletics and martial arts dominate


DAY-2 OF STATE-LEVEL PYKKA GAMES
GANGTOK, 17 Dec: Day-2 of the PYKKA sports competition was filled with energy and aspirations on the young from all over the State who are participating in this rural mega sports event. It was a day dedicated to athletes and martial artists to prove themselves today.

CJ underlines need for people to acknowledge and abide by Act for it to be meaningful


SLSA HOLDS SENSITIZATION PROGRAMME ON JUVENILE JUSTICE ACT 
GANGTOK, l6 Dec: “All declarations and laws are meaningless unless every person decides to acknowledge and abide by them,” expressed the recently appointed Chief Justice of the Sikkim High Court, Justice Permod Kohli, while addressing the first day of a sensitization programme on “Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Child) Act, 2000” organized by the Sikkim State Legal Services Authority at Chintan Bhawan.

School students arrested for assault on Head Constable


NAMCHI, 16 Dec: In a disturbing case of assault, the very guardians of law came under attack in Namchi yesterday. What is worse, the perpetrators of the violence were school students, both of whom were taken into custody today.

State Govt supports UPA’s stand on Lokpal issue


GANGTOK, 16 Dec: Lok Sabha MP, PD Rai, attended the UPA meeting and the all-party meeting, held on consecutive days the day before and yesterday, called by UPA Chairperson, Sonia Gandhi, at the Prime Minister's residence at 7 Racecourse road, informs a press release.

Cabinet defers decision on State Civilian Awards


GANGTOK, 16 Dec: Reports appearing in a section of the media concerning the State Civilian Awards have been termed as incorrect by officials. Sources inform that though there is a move to organize such a programme to honor eminent citizens of the State, no decision on it has been yet by the state government. Neither has there been any date fixed for the programme nor have the names of personalities been shortlisted for conferment of the award.

Bhasmey mishap claims one


GANGTOK, 16 Dec: One person was killed in a car mishap at Pakyong the day before. According to reports, the deceased, Purna Bahadur Tamang, was returning from Pachak after dropping off passengers there. The accident took place at Bhasmey along the Padamchey-Pacheykhani Road at around 8 p.m. on 14 December. The vehicle is said to have gone off the road about 150 feet down. The driver was the sole occupant of the vehicle at the time of the accident.

House Rent and Ration allowances fixed for police personnel serving outside Sikkim


GANGTOK, 16 Dec: The state government has now fixed the House Rent Allowance at 30 % of Basic Pay for the personnel of India Reserve Battalions, Sikkim Police at New Delhi. Further, it is informed that the personnel of India Reserve Battalions, Sikkim Police posted anywhere in India outside the State shall be granted House Rent Allowance at rates equivalent to the rate approved by the Central Government for the Central Para Military Forces at the place of posting subject to a minimum of 20% of Basic Pay.

LIC employees reach earthquake relief to Dzongu


MANGAN 16 Dec: The Divisional Insurance Employees Association, Jalpaiguri, and its Gangtok branch reached relief items for earthquake victims of Bring Katam Ravong village of Hee Gyathang GPU of Lower Dzongu today.

State Board of Livelihood School meets to strengthen skill development initiative


GANGTOK, 16 Dec: The second meeting of State Board of Livelihood School was held today at the conference hall of the Directorate of Capacity Building, Khadi Bhavan, Gangtok. The meeting was presided over by Minister of Human Resource Development Department, NK Pradhan, who is also the chairperson of the State Board of Livelihood School.

1,250 sportspersons descend on Gangtok for 9-day event


STATE-LEVEL PYKKA GAMES BEGIN
GANGTOK, 15 Dec: Around 1,250 athletes from across the state are participating in the 2nd edition of the state-level Panchayat Yuva Krida Aur Khel Abhiyan [PYKKA] Sports Competitions 2011-12 which was inaugurated here at the Tashi Namgyal Academy playground today.

Winter chill sets in early


GANGTOK, 14 Dec: It is not just the bone-chilling flow from the taps, but even weather statistics bear out that the winter chill has made its presence felt a little earlier than usual this year, with the town already starting to experience its severity.

Sikkim to host National Veterans TT Championship from 20-24 Feb


GANGTOK, 15 Dec: Sikkim Veterans Table Tennis Association [SVTTA] has received the privilege to host the 19th edition of the National Veterans Table Tennis Championship from 20 to 24 February here at Paljor Stadium. Sikkim is the first North-eastern state to be selected to host this championship.

SDF rallies against Goley across South Sikkim


NAMCHI, 15 Dec: The ruling Sikkim Democratic Front today launched a series of rallies across South District to approach the general public and the youth with the party’s stand against the dissident Upper Burtuk MLA, PS Tamang, and his supporters, alleging that the dissident camp was misleading the people and trying to disturb the prevalent peace of the state.

Earthquake wakes up Wednesday night


GANGTOK, 15 Dec: A minor earthquake rolled through Sikkim on Wednesday night, measured at 4.5 on the Richter Scale and with its epicentre recorded on the Sikkim-Nepal border.
As per the India Meteorological Department website, the quake [epicentre at latitude 27.9 degrees North and longitude 88 degrees East], occurred at 0151 hours today at a depth of 50 km. There are no reports of this temblor causing any damage in the State.

Anand Lama seeks to move petition against hydel projects to Supreme Court


GANGTOK, 15 Dec: Anand Lama of Pani House, Deorali, has taken his petition against all hydro power projects in the State awarded to private developers, to the Supreme Court. The petition was initially filed in the High Court of Sikkim, but the petitioner has now got it transferred to the apex court. The tentative date for the admission hearing of the petition in apex court is scheduled for 03 February next.

Official team inspects CMRHM works in South


NAMCHI, 15 Dec: A team of officials headed by Additional District Collector (Development) today inspected ongoing and completed works under the Chief Minister’s Rural Housing Mission at Namthang Block and Assangthang Gram Panchayat under Namchi Block.

Sikkim Auto Expo announced for Feb 2012


GANGTOK, 15 Dec: The 1st Sikkim Auto Expo was announced today at Hotel Mayur with Transport Minister, TT Bhutia, as chief guest accompanied by the Gangtok Deputy Mayor, Shakti Singh, Transport Deptt officials, various stakeholders of the auto industry and the local public.

Common Platform welcomes Governor’s observations on hydel projects


GANGTOK, 15 Dec: “We believe that the ruling SDF Government does not have any long-term vision in the development of hydro-power projects in Sikkim,” contends a press release issued by Convenor, Platform for Joint Action against West Sikkim power projects, the SIBLAC convenor Tseten Tashi Bhutia.

Anjali Pradhan Lucksom’s ‘Akanksha’ released


GANGTOK, 15 Dec: A music album, “Akanksha”, by Anjali Pradhan Lucksom was released at a special function held at Nepali Parisad Bhawan here today. The album was released by the chief guest, respected artist Shanti Thatal with Jemima Pradhan and Duk Tshering Lepcha present as the guests of honour.

UCO Bank opens branch in Rangpo


RANGPO, 15 Dec: UCO Bank opened its fourth branch in the State here at Rangpo today. The bank was inaugurated by General Manager, RBI, Gangtok Zone, EE Karthok.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Tourist vehicle mishap claims seven at Lower Mangshila, 4 injured



MANGAN, 14 Dec: A fatal accident in North Sikkim has claimed seven lives leaving four others grievously injured. The tragic accident occurred here at 5th Mile Lower Mangshila on the Mangan-Dikchu road in North Sikkim, 6 kms short of Rang-Rang towards Dikchu, last evening at around 8.30 p.m. The Mahindra (Bolero Plus) bearing registration [SK-04-2943] owned by a resident of Lachung, which was plying tourists from Lachung to Gangtok careened off the road around 1,500 feet into the ravine.

Goley “anti-social element” alleges SDF


GANGTOK, 14 Dec: The ruling SDF party has condemned, what it calls, the “motorcade stunt” pulled off by supporters of party dissident, Upper Burtuk MLA, PS Tamang, at Khola Ghari, Assam Lingzey under Namcheybong constituency on the night of 13 Dec.

Complaints lodged against BB Rai; PS Tamang at Ranipool police station


GOLEY-SDF CONFRONTATION AT KHOLA GHARI
GANGTOK, 14 Dec: Following the tense situation which developed at Khola Gari [Assam Lingzey], where SDF supporters and supporters of dissident Upper Burtuk MLA, PS Tamang, had an eyeball to eyeball confrontation with some serious damage to vehicles on both sides, police cases have been registered at the Ranipool thana by both groups. Interestingly, both sides have filed FIRs against each other and as sources inform both PS Tamang and Beg Bahadur Rai have been named in the FIRs.

Documentation and assessment of local health traditions of Sikkim initiated


TRAINING FOR FIELD INVESTIGATORS AND FOLK HEALERS FROM ALL FOUR DISTRICTS BEGINS

GANGTOK, 14 Dec: Ayurveda Regional Research Institute [ARRI], Tadong, has decided to document and assess local health traditions of Sikkim in collaboration with North Eastern Institute of Folk Medicine [NEIFM], Pashighat, Arunachal Pradesh.

Rs. 50 lakh Nishani Devi Kali Bhawani project cleared for Pendam Gadi


GANGTOK, 14 Dec: The State government has approved the construction of Nishani Devi Kali Bhawani at Pendam Gadi in Central Pendam, East Sikkim. The Cultural Affairs & Heritage Department will be undertaking this project sanctioned for Rs. 50 lakh.

EMRS Girls sail into pre-quarters at CBSE Nationals tourney


GANGTOK, 14 Dec: Continuing their victorious run at the CBSE Nationals, Eklavya Model Residential School [EMRS] of Gangyap in West Sikkim girl’s basketball team has entered the pre-quarters in the Championship going on at the Vellamai International School, Chennai.

Editorial


A Temblor Ignored
A tremor rolled through Gangtok at around seven on Tuesday morning. It was not intense enough to cause any major damage, but rattled strong enough to wake people up from their sleep and leave those already awake, slightly out of breath. It was not long enough to trigger any panic, but the continuing lack of information [or information sharing] is worrying. At the official level, it was almost as if the earthquake had not occurred at all.

Rajya Sabha MP places demand of Rs 7000 crore as financial assistance from the Centre


GANGTOK, 14 Dec: Rajya Sabha MP, OT Lepcha, placed the demand for financial assistance of Rs 7000 crore from the Centre in the rebuilding of Sikkim post the 18 Sept earthquake today in the Parliament.
Making a ‘Special Mention’ [Notice under Rule 180 [A] for mentioning a matter of urgent public importance in the House], the MP stated that the earthquake has put the state 5 years behind and a rough estimate of the total loss to the state is around Rs 10,000 crore.

SLSA to conduct sensitization on Juvenile Justice Act


GANGTOK, 14 Dec: Sikkim State Legal Services Authority [SSLSA] is organizing a sensitizing programme on ‘The Juvenile Justice [Care and Protection of Children] Act, 2000’ on 16 and 17 December at Chintan Bhawan.
The programme is scheduled to be inaugurated by the Chief Justice, High Court of Sikkim, Justice Permod Kohli, who is also the Patron-in-Chief of SSLSA, and will be attended by High Court Judge SP Wangdi, who is also the Executive Chairman of SSLSA.

SDF convenes meeting at Daramdin


GANGTOK, 14 Dec: A meeting of the SDF party was convened at Buriakhop Gram Prasashan Kendra complex under Daramdin constituency to discuss the reconstitution of the block and constituency level committee, informs a press release issued by the general secretary, TN Sharma.
The meeting convened under the chairmanship of Minister Roads and Bridges, RB Subba was attended by the area MLA, Tenzi Sherpa, all levels of party workers and the general public, the release adds.

Intl Conference on Globalisation and Mountain Culture closes with ‘Gangtok Declaration’ seeking Right Policies and Institutional Reforms


ANUSHA GURUNG
GANGTOK, 14 Dec:  The 10th International Conference on ‘Globalisation and Cultural Practices in Mountain Areas: Dynamics, Dimensions and Implications’ organized by the Sikkim University in collaboration with the Japan Foundation concluded today with the adoption of “Gangtok Declaration” encapsulating the endorsement the academia on issues related to Globalisation and Mountain Culture.

CM greetings on Barahimizong


GANGTOK, 14 Dec [IPR]: On the auspicious occasion of Barahimizong, the Chief Minister, Pawan Chamling and Mrs Tika Maya Chamling have extended their warm greetings and best wishes to the people of Sikkim.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Coordination committee formed after Power Minister meets Tashiding HEP affected


NO PROTEST FROM AFFECTED LAND OWNERS, INSISTS PANCHAYAT PRESIDENT
GANGTOK, 13 Dec: Coordination committees were formed today to take up matters of general public interest and for the proper implementation of the Tashiding Hydroelectric Project, West Sikkim. The Power Minister, Sonam Gyatso Lepcha, along with the area MLA, Yuksom-Tashiding constituency, Dawcho Lepcha, are reported to have toured the area and met with the affected people there today.

PS Tamang continues East tour; Situation gets tense in Assam Lingzey


GOLAY MOTORCADE MEETS BARRICADE AT ASSAM-LINGZEY ‘ZERO’, MOVES THROUGH AFTER MINOR CONFRONTATION; S.A.P. DESPATCHED 
GANGTOK, 13 Dec: Continuing his East Sikkim tour “on the people’s request”, Upper Burtuk MLA, PS Tamang, toured different places of Khamdong-Singtam, West Pendam and Namcheybong constituencies on Tuesday, inform a press release issued by Jacob Khaling.

International Conference on Globalization and Cultural Practices in Mountain Areas begins at Chintan Bhawan


GANGTOK, 13 Dec: The 10th International Conference on “Globalization and Cultural Practices in Mountain Areas: Dynamic, Dimensions and Implications”, organized by Sikkim University in collaboration with the Japan Foundation, began today at Chintan Bhawan.

Nepal national caught in Delhi for trafficking Sikkim woman Nepal national caught in Delhi for trafficking Sikkim woman


GANGTOK, 13 Dec: Delhi police have arrested Narain Thapa, a resident of Satasi Dham village in Jhapa district of Nepal, for allegedly running a trafficking racket. Cops have also rescued a 29-year-old lady from the accused person’s wrongful confinement, states a press release issued by Delhi police here today.

Nuance Globalisation With Judicious Choices


INAUGURAL ADDRESS OF GOVERNOR, BP SINGH, FOR THE 10TH INTL CONFERENCE ON “GLOBALIZATION CULTURAL PRACTICES IN MOUNTAIN AREAS”, GANGTOK, 13 DEC 2011
Thank you, Mr. Vice Chancellor for inviting me to inaugurate this International meet on the subject of Globalization and Cultural Practices in Mountain Areas: Dynamics, Dimensions and Implications. I feel honoured for this is an area which is both relevant and important to our society, economy, polity and culture. I am also happy that this conclave is taking place in Gangtok – a familiar hill centre on the global map.
Broadly speaking, ‘globalization’ denotes integration of economies and societies through cross border flows of information, ideas, technologies, goods, services, capital, finance and people.

Minor tremors felt in Gangtok


GANGTOK, 13 Dec: The capital was shaken awake by an earthquake this morning. The reasonably strong, but extremely short, temblor was felt at around 8 this morning. There no updates available on earthquake monitoring agencies on the Sikkim temblor till the time of going to print. Another minor quake was also felt around 12:30 in the afternoon here in Gangtok. No details are available on this one either.

2 hostels sanctioned for Govt college, Tadong


GANGTOK, 13 Dec: The Human Resource Development Department is constructing student hostels at the Sikkim Government College, Tadong. The estimated cost of construction of two hostels at the government college has been pegged at Rs. 70 lakhs. It is informed that the hostels to be constructed will be catering to students belonging to the Scheduled Tribe community.

New Raj Bhawan to now cost Rs. 39 crore


GANGTOK, 13 Dec: It is informed that the State government has approved of the enhanced projections for construction of a new Raj Bhawan in Gangtok. For this purpose, an amount of Rs. 39 crore has been sanctioned by the government to the Buildings & Housing Department which is undertaking the construction of the new structure. It is informed that the earlier estimate for the construction was Rs. 15 crore.

Zilla Panchayats allocated funds under District Innovation Fund


GANGTOK, 13 Dec: The State government has sanctioned a total of Rs. 184.50 lakhs to the four Zilla Panchayats under the District Innovation Fund. This amount has been disbursed through the Rural Management and Development Department as grant-in-aid under the 13th Finance Commission grants. While the East District Zilla Panchayat has been allocated Rs. 49.50 lakh, the Zilla Panchayats of the other three districts have been allocated Rs. 45 lakh each.

Peddler uses 12 year old to mule drugs


GANGTOK, 13 Dec: A new aspect of the villainy of those dealing in the already immoral peddling of substance of abuse came to light yesterday when a drug bust at Melli check-post revealed that peddlers were no using minors as ‘mules’ to smuggle contraband into Sikkim.

Suicide in Pakyong


GANGTOK, 13 Dec: Another suicide has been reported, this time from Pakyong, where a 36 year old woman is reported to have committed suicide by hanging in the wee hours of 12 December. A resident of Karthok, East Sikkim, the deceased is reported to have committed suicide in the jungles by hanging herself from a tree with her chunni.

Editorial


Young and Vulnerable
A 12-year-old was intercepted at the Melli Check-Post with a consignment of prescription drugs of abuse on Monday night. The volume of ‘drugs’ was substantial, not something that could be explained away to a prescription. The pre-teen was obviously being used as a ‘mule’ because his age would not rouse suspicion among the personnel manning the check-posts who have become rather effective interceptors of substances of abuse.

Sikkim to host 5th North East FIDE Rating Chess Tournament in Jan 2012


GANGTOK, 13 Dec: Sikkim Chess Association [SCA] is organizing the 5th edition of North East FIDE Rating Chess Tournament- 2012 from 04 to 10 January here at the Paljor Stadium gymnasium hall.
SCA has received this golden opportunity to host this tournament for the first time after the association was formed in 2009 and affiliated with the All India Chess Federation [AICF] in 2010. The prize money of Rs 1 Lakh in the tournament is being sponsored by AICF.

Rakdong Tintek holds Gram Sabha


RENEWAL AND ISSUE OF TRADE LICENSES TO BEGIN 19 DEC
LOWER RAKDONG, 13 Dec: The renewal and issue of new trade licenses for rural areas under Rakdong-Tintek GPU will start from 19 December from the Gram Prashasan Kendra at Lower Rakdong as per the new notification of the government.

Sikkim Karatekas to participate in Senior Nationals


GANGTOK, 13 Dec: A ten-member team of the Sikkim State Karate Do Association, accompanied by coach Bidhan Bhallav Subba and team manager, Hiyahang Subba, will be leaving on 16 Dec for the 24th National Senior Karate Championship 2011 to be held at Talkatora Indoor Stadium, New Delhi from 20 to 21 December, informs a press release.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

CM congratulates people, expresses satisfaction with achievements recorded thus far


SDF GOVT COMPLETE 17 YEARS IN OFFICE
GANGTOK, 12 Dec: The Sikkim Democratic Front Government completed 17 years in office today. Addressing a function held here at Chintan Bhawan to celebrate the government formation anniversary, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling shared his satisfaction with the scale and nature of development achieved in Sikkim under his watch over the past 17 years.
On the occasion, he also released an illustrative book published by the IPR Department on the 18 September Earthquake and a Report by the Labour Department on the activities of Capacity Building and Livelihood Schools.

‘Common Platform’ against hydel projects condemns arrest of faith healers in Tashiding


…REITERATES CALL FOR THE CM’S PERSONAL INTERVENTION TO RESOLVE HYDEL DILEMMA
GANGTOK, 12 Dec: Responding to the Sunday incident in which 7 faith healers were arrested by the West Sikkim police from the Tashiding hydel project site, the Common Platform against Hydel Power Projects today requested the Chief Minister to personally intervene on the West Sikkim hydel projects issue.

Justice Kohli takes oath of office as Chief Justice


GANGTOK, 12 Dec [IPR]: Justice Permod Kohli was formally sworn in as the Chief Justice of the High Court of Sikkim today. The Oath of Office was administered by Governor Balmiki Prasad Singh at Ashirwad Hall, Raj Bhawan, Gangtok. The Oath Ceremony was also attended by Chief Minister Pawan Chamling along with a host of other dignitaries.

Cops evict faith-healers from Tashiding HEP tunnel site


FIRST ARRESTS IN RATHONG CHU HYDEL PROTEST
GYALSHING, 12 Dec: West District police on Sunday made the first set of arrests in connection with the protest against hydel projects on the Rathong Chu. Seven faith-healers – jhankris and matas – were picked up and placed under custody last evening on charges of creating public nuisance and disrupting work on the Tashiding hydroelectric project site. All seven were released on bail today, sources inform.

SDF celebrates 17 years in power


GANGTOK, 12 Dec: On the occasion of completing 17 years in office the ruling SDF party convened a meeting at its party office chaired by the party vice-president, KB Chamling, informs a press release issued by the publicity secretary, Prem Karki.

EMRS Girls begin CBSE Nationals on triumphant note, dunk Haryana 37-12


GANGTOK, 12 Dec:  The girls from Eklavya Model Residential School of Gangyap in West Sikkim began their CBSE nationals campaign on a triumphant note today, humbling basketball giants, Haryana, 37-12 in the tournament opener.

Sikkim artist lines up solo exhibition in Mumbai


DOMA LHAMU GYALTSEN TO UNVEIL ‘TRANSIENCE’ AT “THE ARTIST’S CENTRE” NEXT MONDAY
GANGTOK, 12 Dec: Gangtok’s Doma Lhamu Gyaltsen is striding strong in her creative pursuits and will flaunt her individuality at a solo exhibition of her ceramic sculptures at Mumbai’s prestigious “The Artist’s Centre” next week. “Transience”, an exhibition of 14 artworks crafted by Doma over three years scheduled to begin its weeklong solo run at The Artist’s Centre on 19 December, in the artist’s own words “revolves around ideas germinating from globalisation, the creation of a united atmosphere for mankind which I realised during my metamorphosis of inner self.”

Girish ’n the Chronicles dazzle at Hornbill Rock, sweep individual prizes and come in 2nd runners up


Left to right: Yogesh (Guitars), Nagen (Drums),  Suraz (Guitars), Abhishek (Vocals), Lokesh (Bass)

GANGTOK, 12 Dec: Missing their frontman, lead vocalist Girish Pradhan, away on a Hong Kong gig, Girish ‘n the Chornicles, still pulled off an impressive debut at one the country’s biggest rock competitions, “Hornbill Rock” in Nagaland recently. Apart from securing the second runners-up position, two significant individual achievements also came the band’s way when Suraj Karki won the Best Guitarist award and Abhishek Gurung, originally of “Cynical Recess” and with the band for Hornbill Rock, lifted the Best Vocalist honours.

Editorial


Forgotten Worries
Another year is drawing to a close and in a year where much happened by way of natural calamities and political rumblings, it is still social concerns that underline the problem areas for Sikkim. As one looks back at the year past, one cannot but replay the misgivings which had come visiting during a recap this time last year – of the society at large and the government in power not having done enough to address social challenges which amplified through 2011.

Child Rights Commission tours West Sikkim


GANGTOK, 11 Dec: A team of Sikkim Commission for Protection of Child Rights headed by the chairperson, Manita Pradhan toured West District from 05-07 Dec. Ms. Pradhan was accompanied by Yangchen Ladingpa, Nimchoki Bhutia and other staffs, informs a press release.

2 suicides


GANGTOK, 12 Dec: Two suicides have been reported in the past two days. At Lower Baluthang in West Sikkim, a 36-year-old is reported to have committed suicide by hanging herself at home on the evening of 09 December. The other suicide has been reported from Jorethang where an 18 year old boy committed suicide, also by hanging. The victim was a resident of Darap Salghari and had gone out to collect fodder at 7 a.m. on 10 December. However, when he did not return, a search party found him hanging from a tree at around 4 p.m. the same day.

Minor raped in Rongli, accused absconds


GANGTOK, 12 Dec: The rape of a minor has been reported from Rongli in East Sikkim. According to reports, the acused, Bimal Pradhan, is absconding. The incident took place on 10 December at around 11 a.m. when the girl was alone at her residence at Lingtam, East Sikkim under Rongli police jurisdiction. The accused, Bimal, also of the same area, is reported to have entered her house and sexually assaulted her. It was in the evening that the girl reported the incident to her mother.

Handloom Development Scheme launched in Central Pendam


GANGTOK, 11 Dec: A two-month long Integrated Handloom Development Scheme organized by the Sikkim Handicrafts and Handloom Development Corporation was inaugurated at Chewribotey in Central Pendam, East Sikkim by the Ward Panchayat, Lachi Maya Chettri on 10 Dec.

Annual Fest at St. Mary’s School Kitam


NAMCHI, 12 Dec: St. Mary’s School at Kitam celebrated its Annual Festival in grand manner on Sunday. The programme was chaired by Melli MLA, Tulsi Devi Rai, as chief guest accompanied by Bidhan Rai, Panchayat member of Mickhola Kitam GPU as guest of honour, inform a press communiqué received from the principal, Suresh K Subba.

Milch cows distributed in West Sikkim


GANGTOK, 11 Dec: The Animal Husbandry Livestock and Veterinary Department, West District, on on 08 Dec distributed milching cows to beneficiaries selected from Maneybong-Dentam and Yuksom-Tashiding constituencies at a special function organized at the Kyongsa Veterinary Complex. The beneficiaries were selected on need and capacity basis, informs an official press release.

Sikkim pays Rs. 4 crore more per month to stave off national power crisis from reaching here


GANGTOK, 11 Dec: The power crisis which has gripped the country has had a tremendous impact in almost all the states and Sikkim too has not remained untouched. However, with the State government willing to go the extra mile to ensure that the end consumers are not affected by the national supply crises, the people here have remained largely unaffected. The question now is for how long the government can go on cushioning the impact of the crises? It is already costing the government an extra Rs. 4 crore a month to ensure that power cuts are staved off.

USFC and Sikkim Express reach earthquake relief to Dzongu


MANGAN, 11 Dec: United Sikkim Football Club (USFC) and local English daily, Sikkim Express, in a joint-effort towards earthquake relief, distributed 300 Raymond blankets to earthquake affected people of Dzongu in a programme held at the Passingdang BAC on 08 December.

Groups protesting HEPs on Rathong Chu consider mounting larger agitation


GANGTOK, 11 Dec: The “Common Platform” against Hydel Power Projects, a coming together of various organizations to protest hydel projects on the Rathong Chu, has threatened to graduate from writing petitions and issuing press statements to launching an agitation soon if the State government does not take up their protest seriously and review the hydel projects in question in the earnest.

Mangshila hosts grand Teyongsi Sirijunga Sawan Tongnam celebrations


MANGSHILA, 11 Dec:  The 307th birth anniversary of Teyongsi Sirijunga was celebrated here at Sirijunga Mangkhim, the first Limboo place of worship constructed in Sikkim, at Mangshila in North Sikkim yesterday.

Karmapa’s Office of Administration reassures devotees


GANGTOK, 11 Dec: Following recent news reports of criminal charges filed against the 17th Karmapa, Ugyen Trinley Dorje, in connection with more than $1 million discovered from his office in Dharamshala earlier this year, the Karmapa’s Office of Administration has issued a statement informing devotees that no court orders have been received by the office so far.

Sikkim snow fest 2012


Travel Agents Association of Sikkim (TAAS) requests & invites individuals, group of individuals, clubs, society, tourism development committees, self help groups, women’s groups, hotels, and tour operators engaged in tourism activities to support the SIKKIM SNOW FEST 2012.

Tashiding youth extend support towards Common Platform against HEPs


GANGTOK, 11 Dec: Tashya Tsogpo, a youth organisation of Tashiding, West Sikkim has also extended full support towards the recently formed Common Platform of different organisations against the hydel projects in West Sikkim.

5 SPA paragliders trained on first aid


GANGTOK, 11 Dec: With ‘safe flight’ as their primary motto, the Sikkim Paragliding Association [SPA] taking a conscious step towards providing their clients with all safety measures had 5 pilots of the Association go through basic training on First Aid on 07 Dec at STNM hospital, informs a press release.

SATA begins special Taekwondo camp at White Hall


GANGTOK, 11 Dec: Sikkim Amateur Taekwondo Association (SATA) started a coaching camp for beginners and senior members at MCM Dojang, White Hall complex from 09 Dec. Students can learn self defence techniques, kicking, sparring, Poomsae techniques and aerobics from 6th Dan, Trilok Subba, Asstt. Chief Coach 4th Dan, Rajen Subba, and 3rd Dan, Ugen Gurung, informs a SATA release.

HIV/AIDS awareness for tour operators


GANGTOK, 11 Dec: An HIV/AIDS Awareness Programme for young tour operators of Sikkim and other North Eastern states was organized by an NGO, Serenity Home in association with Sikkim State AIDS Control Society [SSACS] and Travel Agent Association of Sikkim (TAAS) on 10 Dec at TAAS Office, DPH.

Milching cows distributed at Martam-Rumtek

GANGTOK, 11 Dec: Total 10 beneficiaries under Martam-Rumtek constituency received milching cows from the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Dept. yesterday at a special function held at Sang Bazaar, informs a press release. The cows were handed over by the chief guest, Chairman, Sikkim Poultry Development Board, PK Pradhan.    

International Kagyu Monlam at Bodhgaya from 14 to 20 Dec


GANGTOK, 11 Dec: International Kagyu Monlam, a mass prayer ceremony held every year in Bodh Gaya at the Mahabodhi tree is scheduled to begin on 14 Dec and conclude on 20 Dec with Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje presiding over the week-long prayer ceremony, informs a press release.
The 14th Gyalwang Shamarpa Mipham Chokyi Lodrue will also be present during the prayer ceremony, the release informs. This year, thousands of devotees, both monk and nuns, lay devotees, including a large number from Sikkim, Bhutan and Nepal are expected to attend this mega-annual Kagyu ceremony, the release adds.

Editorial


Complete 17 With Honest Appraisal
The ruling Sikkim Democratic Front Government turns seventeen today. The observance of the anniversary can be expected to be more muted than the celebrations of the past years, coming as it does in the wake of an unprecedented earthquake, the healing and repairs for which are far from over. Irrespective of the scale of celebrations, to be fair to the party, it deserves to congratulate itself. Seventeen years of peaceful reign is something that not even the monarchy enjoyed in Sikkim.

BGP, Sikkim Unit to create ‘Youth Cell’


GANGTOK, 11 Dec: A meeting of West District sub-committees of Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh [BGP], Sikkim Unit and the members of the BGP State Working Committee was convened today under the chairmanship of the president, BGP West District Committee, HB Pradhan, informs a press release.

Srijunga Teyongsi celebrations at Martam


GYALSHING, 11Dec: The 307th birth anniversary of Srijunga Teyongsi was celebrated at the Mangkhim at Martam here on Saturday with Deputy Speaker, MB Dahal, as the chief guest accompanied by STDC Chairman, NK Subba and Addl. Director, MK Subba.

SDF sponsors three patients for further treatment


GANGTOK, 11 Dec: The SDF party high command sent three patients of Khamdong-Singtam constituency suffering from acute medical complications to the country’s best hospitals for further treatment on 09 Dec.

Journos let their hair down with ‘Vichar-Kala Sangam’


GANGTOK, 11 Dec: ‘Vichar-Kala Sangam’, a monthly soiree organized by the Press Club of Sikkim for journalists allowing them the space and opportunity to let their hair down and flash talents other than those of the pen, began on an entertaining note here at the PCS hall on Saturday. The ‘Sangam’ will now be held every second Saturday with the stage left open for journalists to sing, dance, recite poems and present other performances.

Rural Sikkim begins appraising Poverty Pathways Approach towards prosperity


GANGTOK, 11 Dec [IPR]: The National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) is a program of the Ministry of Rural Development implemented by the State Rural Development Agency (SRDA), RM&DD. The program envisages reducing poverty by building “strong grassroots institutions of the poor” so that the underprivileged households have access to gainful self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities. It aims to provide meaningful livelihood opportunities so that a woman of every such household earns a minimum of Rs. 50,000 a year which will be a step towards realisation of the vision of a Poverty Free Sikkim.

South youth undertake basic training on videography


NAMCHI, 11 Dec: The South Sikkim Tourism Development Society (SSTDS) organized a weeklong basic training on videography and photography for unemployed youth here. The training, sponsored from the CRFP Fund under Tourism department, was offered to youth engaged in rural home-stay ventures and various sub-branches of the SSTDS from across the district.

12,000 farmers receive C1 Certificates attesting their produce as Organic


ORGANIC MISSION COMPLETES PHASE-1 TARGET
GANGTOK, 09 Dec: The State Government has been working on a war-footing to achieve the target of making 50,000 hectares of cultivable land fully organic in order to make Sikkim an Organic State by 2015. The State Organic Mission was officially launched by the Chief Minister on 15 August 2010.
Addressing a press conference at Chintan Bhawan today, Agriculture and Horticulture Secretary, Vishal Chauhan, informed that this week was an important milestone for the State towards achieving this target as 18,000 hectares taken up in the first phase received the C1 certificate.

Employees with 15 years of service can now withdraw up to 90% of their GPF


GANGTOK, 09 Dec: Some significant changes have been effected to the General Provident Fund (Sikkim Service) Rules 1984 recently by the State government. Those officials who have been accorded extension of service and those who have been re-employed are not eligible to subscribe to the fund as per the latest changes made to the GPF rules.

A week out of jail, ex-convict goes ransacking again


GANGTOK, 09 Dec: The Sadar police, in a particularly swift response, apprehended a culprit accused of breaking into and ransacking three shops, within hours of the incident. The accused, 27-year-old Jeeten Mangar, is an ex-convict, having been released from the State Jail, where he was lodged for the past year on similar charges, only on 02 December.

South officials discuss regulations for use of govt land as public event venues


VENUES TO BE EARMARKED FOR POLITICAL MEETINGS AND OTHER PUBLIC EVENTS
NAMCHI, 09 Dec: Following guidelines issued by the State government, the South District Administration convened a meeting at the DAC conference hall here on regulations for the use of government land as venues for different events.

Old Age Pension and other allowances enhanced


GANGTOK, 09 Dec: The existing rate of pensions offered under various schemes as well as the age criteria to qualify for these have been enhanced and revised respectively. The schemes for which the pension rate has been enhanced include the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme, Subsistence Allowance Scheme, Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme and Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme in the State.

Badhte Kadam marches to smart conclusion



9-year-old Vikram Bhattarai, felicitated along with Manish Dhakal and Bhupen Gurgain at the concluding function of the Badhte Kadam Campaign in Gangtok today, enjoys and photographs a cultural presentation by fellow differently-abled persons at MG Marg on Friday. Vikram won the National Child award for exceptional achievement on Children's Day earlier this year.

GANGTOK, 09 Dec: The flag-in ceremony of the Badhte Kadam 2011 campaign was held this afternoon at MG Marg. The campaign was organized by the Spastics Society of Sikkim in collaboration with the Sikkim Viklang Sahayata Samiti and National Association for the Blind, Sikkim unit, and was supported by Social Justice, Empowerment and Welfare Department and District Collectorates.