Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sikkim’s population has grown a slim 12% over the last 10 years

MORE GIRLS BEING BORN IN SIKKIM THAN BOYS; UNDER 6-YEAR-OLDS MAKE UP 10% OF THE POPULATION
GANGTOK: The latest Census data should spread some cheer among those who see influx as a threat to Sikkim – the decadal population growth in Sikkim from 2001 to 201 has been a 12.36%, a substantial drop from the 33.07% population growth recorded in the previous decade 1991 to 2001. The nation’s population by comparison has grown by 13.12% over this decade [2001-2011].
Of course, this revelation also pulls the rug from under the feet of those who have been flagging “influx” as a threat, specially when one considers the fact that a sizeable chunk of this population growth over the past decade has been of newborns, with children under the age of 6 making up slightly over 10% of the total population.
The largest population explosion in Sikkim was recorded in the decade of 1971-81 when the population increased by 50.77%.

Ration and House Rent allowance approved for IRBn personnel posted in Delhi

GANGTOK: Personnel of the India Reserve Battalion of Sikkim Police posted in Delhi have been granted a sum of Rs. 1,300 per month as Ration Allowance. This came into immediate effect after a Notification [No. 356/GEN/DOP] was issued by the Department of Personnel on 17 March.
Another notification [No. 357/GEN/DOP] issued the same day also granted House Rent Allowance @ 30% of the basic pay to IRBn personnel posted at Delhi.

U-18 Wushu exponent, Binita, wins Sikkim’s first medal at Senior Nationals


GANGTOK: Continuing her outstanding performance, Binita Rai bagged a silver medal in the 19th edition of Senior National Wushu Championship. The championship was held at Hardwar in Uttrakhand from 27 March to 01 April.
In her debut performance in the Senior National Championship, Binita lost her final match in the 48 kg category to Manipur.
Being a silver medalist, Binita has also qualified for the India camp for the upcoming World Wushu Championship scheduled to be held in Poland in October later this year.
This is also the first medal for the state in Wushu in the senior category.
The state was represented by a three-member team of Binita Rai, Aaron Gurung and Jigmi Bhutia, who were accompanied by Coach, OS Singh.

TT Dorji appointed Economic Advisor to State Govt


GANGTOK: Former Chief Secretary, TT Dorji, has been appointed the Economic Advisor to the Government of Sikkim. As per the Home Department Notification No. 32/Home/2011 dated 31 March, the day he retired, Mr. Dorji has been appointed as the Economic Advisor to the Government of Sikkim with the rank and status of Cabinet Minister with immediate effect.

SIBLAC supports Darj Lepchas in demand for better treatment


GANGTOK, 08 April: The Sikkim Bhutia Lepcha Apex Committee [SIBLAC] has called on leaders of political parties in the Assembly elections fray in West Bengal to “ensure” that after the elections are over, they will “endeavour necessary arrangements in ensuring that the indigenous minority Bhutia and the Lepcha languages are incorporated in the educational curriculum of the State”.
SIBLAC’s appeal comes in the wake of the Indigenous Lepcha Tribal Association of the Darjeeling hills announcing a boycott of the polls to protest their continued sidelining from all developmental and educational initiatives in West Bengal.

Raj Bhawan saves Rs. 52.16 lakh through austerity measures


GANGTOK, 08 April [IPR]: As per a letter received from Governor’s Secretariat, during the last financial year, 2010-11, the Governor’s Secretariat has made consistent efforts to enforce austerity measures. This has resulted in saving of Rs. 19.89 lakh from Governor’s Emoluments and Allowances Priviledge Rules and Rs. 32.27 lakh from other miscellaneous heads of accounts under demand number ‘Governor’ (Charged), together totalling Rs. 52.16 lakhs. This amount has been surrendered as savings to the Finance, Revenue and Expenditure Department.

Sikkim Youth rally in support of Anna’s crusade


A rally was taken out Friday starting from the Deorali local taxi stand in support of Anna Hazare’s crusade against corruption. Denzong Welfare Association, Sikkim Educated Unemployed Association, RTI activists, other social activists and youth participated in the rally organised under the banner of Sikkim Youth. 

143 Forest Guard trainees march out to new responsibilities



AMEET OBEROI
GANGTOK: “You are all responsible citizens and from today onwards you must perform your duties with full responsibility. Punctuality and discipline are most important,” said Chief Minister Pawan Chamling while addressing the passing out parade of 143 Forest Guard trainees here at the Sikkim Armed Police Camp, Pangthang, organized by the Forest, Environment and Wildlife Management Department, today.
“Being a Forest Guard is not a minor task, but a starting point and you can keep climbing higher. To make this come true never lose hope, aim high and above all work hard,” he said and added that the duty of a Forest Guard was not just to guard, but also to protect the environment. He further urged the department to decide the postings of the FGs on the basis of their usefulness and knowledge.

Fighting Corruption

editorial:

Anna Hazare has brought corruption to centre-stage, forced the nation to confront an embarrassment which has become insidiously all-pervasive in our country. The passion with which the people have found common cause with the stand espoused by the 72-year-old Gandhian is indicative of a shift in how corruption is perceived. Where does the nation go from here? Media attention might start flagging after the immediacy of a fast-unto-death has played out and public attention will soon shift to other issues to light a candle for, but if the condemnation of corruption rallied from Jantar Mantar grows into a collective and instinctive revulsion towards the corrupt, a substantial victory would have been achieved.
The stand-off between Anna Hazare and the Government is over the Lokpal Bill, and now that it has garnered so much media attention, it will be resolved. Eventually, the Lokpal Bill might even be drafted afresh with suggestions from ‘India Against Corruption’ included in it. The Bill, even in its successively watered down versions, has already failed eight times to get through the Parliament, so it is unlikely that a stronger Bill will get passed any time soon. Even if it does get passed and a strong and unbiased Lokpal gets appointed, it will not root out corruption from India.

CM releases two books by Governor


GANGTOK, 08 April [IPR]: Chief Minister Pawan Chamling released two books by the Governor, Balmiki Prasad Singh, at a function held at Raj Bhawan here on Friday.
The book, “Speeches and Messages of Balmiki Prasad Singh, Governor of Sikkim” not only brings out ideas and concerns that Mr. Singh has about Sikkim, but also goes beyond that to cover issues of culture, religion, world peace, ecology, education, arts, science, poetry and governance.
Another book entitled, “Repositioning a Heritage: Raj Bhawan at Gangtok” is a monograph which provides a vivid narration of what the Raj Bhawan of Sikkim stands for in terms of its architecture and its bio-diversity and the role it has played and impetus it could give in building Sikkim as a model state of India.
The book release function was attended by Mrs. Tika Maya Chamling, Speaker KT Gyaltshen, Cabinet Ministers, MLA’s, Chief Secretary and Director General of Police.
The books have been published by the Information & Public Relations Department.

Photography contest and exhibition in Gangtok


BJP’s Padam Sharma announces dharna to support Anna Hazare


GANGTOK: Padam Prasad Sharma has announced plans to sit on a dharna in front of the Gandhi Statue at MG Marg on 11 April to express solidarity with social worker, Anna Hazare, who is presently on an indefinite hunger strike in New Delhi.
In his letter to the District Collector [East], Mr. Prasad mentions that “being a concerned citizen of Sikkim”, he extends wholehearted support to the anti-corruption campaign led by Anna Hazare in “rooting out corruption from the soil of India”.
The letter further reads, “Since Anna Hazare has been working for the sense of poor and downtrodden people of this country I, in my own and personal capacity, support him in the cause that has been put forth by him following Gandhian ideology”.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Finally, Sikkim gets to watch Ray’s Sikkim


AUDIENCE STUNNED BY SIMPLICITY AND EVOCATIVE TONE OF MAESTRO’S [NO LONGER] ‘LOST’ WORK


TSHERING EDEN
GANGTOK, 07 April: Battling the hail and traffic, an eager crowd of Gangtokians made it to Vajra cinema hall for the world premiere of Satyajit Ray’s ‘Sikkim’ on Wednesday evening. The elderly, college and school students, members of the royal family, retired civil servants, in fact people from all walks of life, were present for the much awaited premiere.
Welcoming the guests, Managing Trustee of the Art and Culture Trust [ACT] of Sikkim, Ugyen Chopel, gave a brief background of the film. The chief guest for the premiere, Governor Balmiki Prasad was accompanied to the event by Justice SP Wangdi, cinematographer of the film, Soumendu Roy, and actor-director, Tinu Anand, who assisted Satyajit Ray during the making of the film, were present as special guests.

What Sikkim Was


by TENZIN C. TASHI
Rain has always cleansed. And hail has always peppered. And yet, a large-cross section of Sikkimese society braved the rain and the hailstorm on the 6th April evening of the world premiere of Satyajit Ray’s ‘Sikkim’. More than fog, Vajra Cinema was shrouded with a barely contained excitement that was as palpable as my own quickened breathing.
A trio of kho-clad musicians playing traditional instrumental music on stage set the tempo for the evening. There were traditional choktses on stage for the principal dignitaries, and practically everyone was in khos in honour of the occasion. It was easy to believe, if only ephemerally, that we had been transported back to the Sikkim of yore that was shortly going to unveil itself under the maestro’s baton.
After a brief and dignified function that incredibly included six addresses in about half an hour, the much-awaited moment arrived-the screening of ‘Sikkim’.
There has been so much hype and hoopla over this film. People claim that ‘Sikkim’ was ‘banned’, that the Chogyal was shown in bad light, and of course, we had the court step in to stay the proposed screening at a film festival in Kolkata recently. Also, there has been a lot of build-up around this film as the last unseen work of that brooding genius, Satyajit Ray. Reams of newsprint and megawatts of verbal horsepower have been exhausted over what ‘Sikkim’ is and what it is not.
If anyone expected fireworks, they were restricted to outside of this tiny gem of a film. The rolling of the simple title ‘Sikkim’ evoked a spontaneous roar from the lucky multitude in Vajra, there ‘By invitation only’ while others gate crashed, albeit electronically, by smsing and ‘facebooking’ those inside for real time updates.

RMDD sanctions Rs. 40 lakh to replace Rodong khola’s killer bridge


SUBASH RAI
GANGTOK: The Rural Management and Development Department on Thursday sanctioned around Rs. 40 lakhs for immediate construction of a steel bridge over Rodong Khola under Rey Gram Panchayat Unit in East Sikkim to replace the existing bridge there which is in a deplorable condition. [click here for background]
One of the villagers of Rodong, while speaking to NOW! on Tuesday had rightly pointed out, “Now this incident [a young boy had lost his lives after falling from the Rodong Bridge] might open the eyes of the concerned authorities.”

Rotary honours 3 for delivering earnestly on their vocations

GANGTOK: The Rotary Club of Gangtok-South, as a part of its vocational service to the community, arranged a vocational award programme on 06 April at Hotel Tashi Delek and honoured three persons who, the Club records “have been providing very high standard of professional service to the community, with a smile on their faces and without expecting any appreciation or thanks in return”.
The three persons were nominated in consultation with the Heads of their offices. They are: Sikkim Traffic Policeman Naik Hari Prasad Chettri, Postman Subash Rai and social worker Onex Lepcha.
Explaining the vocational service of Rotary, PK Dong says, “There are many persons who may not be Rotarians but display the spirit of Rotary’s motto, ‘Service above Self’. One need not be rich or holding a big post to make people happy. You have made people happy with your dedicated service to the community.”
The chief guest Dr. YogeshVerma addressed the gathering and gave away the certificates of appreciation and cash award of Rs 1000 each to the three persons felicitated. The meeting was presided over by the president of the Club, Bina Sharma, assisted the Secretary Sunila Verma.

North grows desperate as monsoons approach and road conditions refuse to improve


WANGCHUK BHUTIA
MANGAN: North Sikkim’s woes with the road conditions are already severe, and with the pre-monsoon showers having already opened up, the road users are growing panicky with what the eventual monsoon will do to the half-finished litter of cutting and scrapping that litters roads in the district. As their complaints grow, so does their criticism of the Border Roads Organisation, the obvious target since most of the roads in the district fall under their care and because most of the roads are consistently unreliable.
Apart from having to travel longer distances because of the detours road commuters are forced to take, and the attendant higher fares, the people here are also disturbed by the risk to life and limb posed by such poorly maintained roads.

Maniram invites tourists to explore rural tourism



NAMCHI: Maniram village in South Sikkim is sprucing up to tempt tourists with an invitation to “Explore Rural Tourism” with the 2nd Maniram Village Tourism Festival being organised by the South Sikkim Tourism Development Society, Maniram Branch, at the village on 09 and 10 April, this weekend. Chief Minister Pawan Chamling is scheduled to inaugurate the festival on Saturday.
The village is giving the finishing touches to its preparation for the mega-event with the residents chipping in energetically. The festival has Namchi-Singithang MLA, Binod Rai, is the chief patron, while Himal Tamang, Zilla Upadhyaksha South is the patron.
The festival will feature stalls for horticulture, agriculture, handloom and handicrafts displaying the respective items and products along with traditional cultural presentations.

Departments Should Step Out of the Way


and allow rural folk to streamline their development
editorial:
It is rare for auditors from the CAG office to record praise for constituents of the State machinery, their job after all is to help streamline financial propriety and this they do by needling out examples of embezzlement and misappropriation. Yet, hidden in the data and figures of a Technical Inspection Report conducted by the office of the Accountant General of Sikkim, is strong praise for the Lunchok-Kamarey Gram Panchayat of South Sikkim. In a section highlighting how gram panchayats in Sikkim have not levied taxes, rates and fees even though they are authorised to do so, the Auditors mention Lunchok-Kamarey GP which had levied such fees and taxes “and realised revenue meriting appreciation”. Interestingly, the failure of the remaining GPs was not due to their failing, but because the control mechanism for levy and its collection by the Panchayati Raj Institutions was not prescribed despite the accepted recommendation of the Second State Finance Commission. Also ignored was the commitment to transfer 1% of tax revenue to PRIs. The Audit also discovered that release of funds by various departments to the panchayats was “not based on sound rationale” but as per their own discretion.

South District Collectorate awarded ISO certification



PURAN TAMANG
NAMCHI: The South District Collectorate has become the first government department in the State to be awarded with an ISO certificate (ISO 9001: 2008).
Addressing a press conference here today, the DC [South], AK Singh, said that the certification was a result of the kind of work carried out by the administration and the transparency and people-centric work-culture adopted in the public delivery system.
He added that they planned to institutionalise similar functioning and services at all offices of the district and informed that an independent website has also been developed and that the collectorate will soon be publishing a magazine as well.

Slack in planning, eager to compromise, uncaring about delivery


CAG AUDITS IMPLEMENTATION OF NEC-FUNDED PROJECTS
GANGTOK: In February 2007, the North East Council approved Rs. 4.26 crore for the “design, supply, erection, testing and commissioning” of 2x2.5 MVA 3.3/66 KV switchyard-cum-substation at Rongli hydel project along with the construction of a 66 KV line bay at Rongli. For those confused with the technical terms, the fund was sanctioned to transport the power generated by the 2x2.5 MW Rongli hydel project. The funds were tied to the stipulation that the work be completed within 10 months of the first instalment [of Rs. 90 lakh transferred in Feb 2007] being received.
This is what happened-

BRO Director General calls on Governor and CM


GANGTOK, 07 April [IPR]: Director General, Border Roads Organisation, Lt. Gen S. Ravi Shankar, accompanied by Brig. Rajiv Sawhney, Chief Engineer, Project Swastik, called on Governor BP Singh at Raj Bhawan and Chief Minister Pawan Chamling at Mintokgang yesterday.
During his meeting, the Governor asked the Director General to restore the “region’s pride” in NH 31A and connecting roads to North Sikkim. He further requested the BRO authorities to get in touch with locals to understand problems faced by them and their requirements while working on roads in the State, a press communiqué received from the PRO to the Governor informs.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Moving towards school safety



GANGTOK, 06 April: No task is as important as creating a safe learning environment for the children. Recent reports of casualties due to earthquake, fire and stampede bring to light the need to be continually vigilant to ensure safety of students and staff in schools. Hence, schools need to address the issue of safety on top priority.
Considering the safety of students and staff as a priority, the Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority (SSDMA) conducted a training-cum-mock exercise on school earthquake safety at Thumi Sambhota Tibetan School at Upper Sichey, Gangtok, on Wednesday.

Crores wasted on factories constructed without electricity and toilets opened without water supply


CRUNCHED FROM 
THE CAG REPORT
GANGTOK: The department with a long, very elaborate name – Development Planning, Economic Reforms and North East Council Affairs Department [DPERNECAD] – has come up short in the performance review carried out on its functioning [in the implementation of projects funded by the NEC] by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India’s office. The audit unveils a familiar desolation of lack of transparency, planning and disinterest. 
Sikkim joined the NEC in the year 2002 and NEC-funded projects started coming in from 2003 onwards. A total of 97 such schemes to be implemented by 18 departments were sanctioned between 2003 to 2009-10. The total funds sanctioned in this period stand at Rs. 328.64 crore, of which Rs. 215.51 crore were actually released.
A “finance inverse tree” included in the CAG Report reveals that of the Rs. 215.51 crore released, Rs. 172.04 crore has been spent. The performance review test-checked the spending of Rs. 58.27 crore and within this sample size, noticed “irregularities” to the tune of Rs. 18.10 crore [31% of the finances checked]. Of this, expenditure which did not deliver on projected benefits, ranked the highest with Rs. 6.87 crore wasted on such works and infructuous expenditure, ranked second at Rs. 5.81 crore of the “irregular” expenses. Interestingly, both qualify as wasted expenditure and hence the total amount of wasteful expenditure [out of the Rs. 58.27 crore tested], stands at Rs. 12.68 crore.

Leading Questions Not the Same as Follow-up

editorial:

Journalism is increasingly becoming about creating news. In a media circus of too many channels competing for easily distracted viewer attention, journalists across the board are succumbing to the pressure of creating, rather instigating, news when their essential task is to report it. The nation received one sampling of this when new channels screamed that Pakistan cricket skipper Afridi had sworn that he would not allow Sachin to score a century in their World Cup semi-final clash. What had actually happened is that he was first asked who he saw as a threat in the Indian camp. His obvious answer, to a Pakistani TV host, was Sachin Tendulkar. He had even qualified his comment further by stating that although he respected Sachin as a cricketer and wished him well, he obviously did not want Sachin to do well against Pakistan in the semi-finals and hence the team would do its best to stop him from scoring big, i.e. hitting a century. In fact, he had even admitted that a Sachin century would not really deflate the team morale since such performances by Sachin notoriously figure in matches lost by India. This was an obvious answer to a boring question, but in the hands of crafty editing, it became a declaration of war; “Sachin won’t get his 100th ton”, ran TV scrolls which aired selective excerpts from the interview and a painted a completely different picture.

North East Council selects TAAS to impart tourism training


Rs. 1.46 CRORE BUDGET SANCTIONED FOR CAPACITY BUILDING TRAINING TO BE OFFERED BY TAAS TO TOURISM STAKEHOLDERS FROM NORTH-EAST REGION
GANGTOK, 06 April: Keeping in mind the steady rise in the number of tourism-related activities prompted by the increasing number of tourist arrivals, the North Eastern Council, Ministry of DoNER, realizing the need of improved professionalism to cater to the tourists, has sanctioned a whopping Rs. 146.36 lakhs to Travel Agents Association of Sikkim [TAAS] to undertake skill- development trainings for youth from the NE region in Sikkim.
The funding has been granted under the scheme, “Skill Development and Capacity Building Training for Tour Operators and pother Tourism Stakeholders of the North East Region”, which will be implemented by TAAS and completed by end-December this year.

Performance earns Sikkim 33% hike in MGNREGA funds


GANGTOK: The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act [MGNREGA], a national flagship program has completed 5 years of implementation in Sikkim, and based on the “excellent performance” of the State [backed by the three national awards], the Ministry of Rural Development has hiked the allocation by 33% to Rs. 118.65 crore for 2011-12 to be released in instalments based on performance, informs a press communiqué received from Special Secretary, Rural Management & Development Department, Dr. Sandeep Tambe, Wednesday.
The MGNREGA scheme has been universalized and is operational in all the 165 Gram Panchayats of Sikkim. The MGNREGA, a wage employment guarantee programme has received an unparalleled public response and more than 58,000 rural households are currently participating in this programme here, the Special Secretary adds.

Total of 5 police complaints reported in connection with Sikkim Bandh


GANGTOK: The 48-hour bandh called by the Sikkim Democratic Front for 04 and 05 April, although relatively peacefully, still recorded stray incidents of violence and intimidation. A total of five police complaints were recorded in respect to incidents reported over the two days of the bandh.
A case was registered in the Ranipool PS on 05 April, the second day of the bandh, under sections dealing with causing damage to a vehicle and assault. A private Mahindra Scorpio, hired by an army Captain going towards Siliguri was stopped by 15 to 20 unknown persons at 6th Mile, Tadong. The mob damaged the vehicle [a broken rear-view mirror and deflated tyres] and roughed up the Captain and the driver of the vehicle, the police complaint records. Both of them sustained minor injuries, it is learnt.

Court stays ASGEA polls


GANGTOK, 06 April: The caretaker body of the All Sikkim Government Employees Association [ASGEA] has stopped the election process of the association following a stay order issued by the Court of Civil Judge [East] Wednesday.
The Court has also issued a show-cause notice and summons to appear in person to the caretaker chairman of ASGEA, Narsing Rai, and Chief Election Commissioner, Norbu Tamang, on 03 May in response of case filed by one of the contestants, Phurzang Lepcha.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Rodong Khola’s precarious bridge claims one


SUBASH RAI

GANGTOK: The pedestrian bridge across Rodong Khola under Rey GPU here below Gangtok, in a typically pathetic condition, claimed the life of a young boy on Sunday. This 50-metre suspension bridge is in abject disrepair, as the accompanying photograph proves, and on Sunday a young lad took a fatal fall from it. The bridge lies on a pedestrian shortcut for the villages of Rey, Mindu and Sajong to reach Adam Pool.
The condition of the bridge is so dangerous that villagers who need to use it, choose instead to ford the khola below. But now with the monsoons approaching, the Rodong khola will become impossible to walk across and the bridge will remain the only option; an option which scares everyone here, especially parents whose children need to use it on a daily basis to reach school.

Indolently Bridged

editorial:

There might be roads snaking up all the hills and dales of Sikkim now, but footpaths and traditional shortcuts remain the preferred routes for the rural folk. City-based developmental planning is already imposing too many compromises in the rural belts for the indifference to their felt-needs to be excused away to the lack of funds. It is already more than amply clear that funds are never in short-supply, but the priorities are disturbingly skewed in favour of mega-contracts. A minor repair work for the convenience of villagers elicits scant interest in the departments which are preoccupied with grander plans and projects.

USFC blanks out NISA 2-0


GANGTOK, 05 March: United Sikkim Football Club [USFC] has announced its presence in the second division I-League with a convincing win in second match in its qualifying round after drew first match. It has drawn its debut match 1-1.
USFC defeated NISA, Manipur, 2-0 today at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Guwahati.
A brace by the captain, John D Meyongr, helped USFC to come back into the tournament after the tied match against Langsing Football Club, Shillong, on 31 March.
The team also recovered a morale boosted by the presence of Indian skipper, Bhaichung Bhutia in the playing line-up, who played last 15 minutes of the match.
Playing an attacking game, John scored his first goal in the 26th minute followed by his second goal in the 52nd minute.

SIBLAC and NASBO remember Chogyal’s birth and coronation anniversary


GANGTOK, 05 Apr: SIBLAC [Sikkim Bhutia-Lepcha Apex Committee] and National Sikkimese Bhutia Organisation [NASBO 371 F], have, in separate press communiqués, extended “heartfelt congratulations and compliments” to the people of Sikkim on the occasion of the official birthday and coronation anniversary of the Late Chogyal, Palden Thondub Namgyal, which fell on 04 April.
“His Majesty Miwang Palden Thondub Namgyal shall always be held in the highest of esteem by the Sikkimese people for the principles he endeavored single-handed in his keen quest to ensure the pride and rights of the Sikkimese people. Infact, the Sikkim Assembly rightly records in its obituary to the His Majesty on his death that the posterity and his descendants would always held their head high for the entire outstanding and uncompromising stand he took against the overwhelming odds during his whole lifetime,” a SIBLAC press release states.

Sikkim Bandh concludes successful and in relative peace


PURAN TAMANG
NAMCHI, 05 April: The Sikkim Democratic Front sponsored 48-hour Sikkim Bandh for 04 and 05 April was successfully observed across the State with all business establishments, schools and banks remaining closed. Barring a few instances in which the bandh enforcers had arguments with the management at some establishments and minor stand-offs at some pockets, the bandh remained peaceful with neighbourhoods emptying out into the roads which became playgrounds for the young across the State.
Police officials confirmed that while no serious outbreak of violence was reported, there were minor incidents in which picketers deflated the tyres of some vehicles [not in the exempted category] which were found plying during the bandh.

A-Maze winners bag holiday in Bangkok


GANGTOK: The winning team of “A-Maze 2011”- Himalayan Pharmacy College [Mazitar] has received the grand prize of an all expenses paid 5 days and 4 nights holidays to Bangkok-Pattaya.
Sikkim Government College, Tadong, and ATTC, Bardang, came in the second and third positions respectively in the finals held on 02 April.
HRDD Minister, NK Pradhan, was the chief guest of the final round, gave away the trophies and certificates to the winning teams.
“A-Maze 2011”, was an state-level intra and inter-college quiz competition hosted by Q-You!, a quizzing entity of Bangalore-based firm, 24-hours Inspired, with the support of the Sikkim Youth Welfare Association.
The organisers also plan to submit a report on the event to the Chief Minister as well as to the Human Resource Development Department within the next 15 days.

Kickboxers leave for national championship


GANGTOK: A 14-member Sikkim Association of Kickboxing Organizations [SAKO] team has left to represent Sikkim at the 16th Junior & 17th Senior National Kickboxing Championship scheduled to be held from 07 to 10 April at Angul, Orissa.
The team is led by coach Navin Rai and manager, Tempa Gyatso Lepcha.

Denzong Boys go down to Ar-Hima 4-2


GANGTOK, 05 April: Denzong Boys Football Club [DBFC] lost its second game in the qualifying round of the second division I-League today at the JRD Tata Sports Complex, Jamshedpur.
Despite taking an early lead in the match, DBFC lost to Ar-Hima by 2 goals to 4 in the end.
Patrick and Abraham Fenny gave the 2-0 lead to DBFC with their goals in 12th and 23rd minutes. The team could not hold on to the lead and lost 2-4.
In its first match played on 02 April, a contesting match concluded level with Kerala's Josco Football Club 3-3. In the game, the striker Abraham Fenny struck a hat-trick for DBFC.
DBFC will now play its third match in the qualifying round against Md Sporting on 08 April.

Marwari ladies celebrate Gangaur


GANGTOK, 05 Apr: The Marwari womenfolk of the capital celebrated Gangaur here at the Deorali Shiv Mandir on 02 April, last Saturday.
Gangaur is one of the most important festivals of Marwari community and marks the worship of Gauri, Lord Shiva’s consort. It is the celebration of Spring. Gana is a synonym for Lord Shiva and Gaur stands for Gauri [also, Parvati] who symbolizes “Saubhagya” [marital bliss]. The unmarried women worship her to pray for a good husband, while married women do so for the welfare, health and long life of their husbands and a happy married life.

Pratibha Manch held in Rhenock


RHENOCK: The 7th Pratibha Manch was held at the Rhenock BAC multipurpose hall on 03 April, Sunday. A book of poems by Chandra Prakash Rizal ‘Yatre’, of Pakyong-Namcheybong, “Bibek ka Zilka Hary”, was released on the day, a press release informs.
PGT Nepali at Chujachen Senior Secondary School, Dilli Prasad Adhikari, presented an introduction to the poet at the meet.

Monday, April 4, 2011

More scenes from Sikkim Bandh Day-01

Bandh supporters at the inter-state check-post at Melli

Locked NHPC Stage V dam-site at Dikchu with IRBn security personnel on duty

Bandh picket at the Rangpo, the gateway to Sikkim

Singtam streets empty of traffic and taken over by kids

Tumin-Lingee marches in support of Sikkim Bandh

WANGCHUK BHUTIA

DIKCHU, 04 APRIL:  A 5 km rally was taken out from Dikchu bazaar to Marchak Lower Tintek today by residents of Lower Rakdong and Lower Tintek in support of the Sikkim Bandh called by the Sikkim Democratic Front.

North shuts down for SDF Sikkim Bandh


MANGAN, 04 April: The various wards and the GPUs of North district took out rallies in their respective areas today in support of the SDF-sponsored 2-day Sikkim Bandh to press for local employment in private establishments in Sikkim, including hydel projects, and to reiterate support for Sikkim’s demands still pending with the Centre.
The people of Tingchim-Mangshila, for example, took out a rally from Mangshila to Tingchim Zero [for upper belt] covering about 7 kms and from 4th Mile to Tingchim Zero for Lower belt which is around 5 kms long.
The rally was led by Zilla panchayat member Zomin Limboo and was joined by youth and senior citizens of the area.

Bandh absolute and peaceful thus far

Police personnel stand guard at Central Referral Hospital in Gangtok where an argument had broken
out earlier between the VC, Sikkim-Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences, and SDF supporters

An SDF rally in support of the bandh at 6th Mile
[Tadong], Gangtok

GANGTOK, 04 April:
Day-01 of the Sikkim Democratic Front sponsored 48-hour Sikkim Bandh was successfully observed across the State with all business establishments, schools and banks remaining closed. Bar a few instances in which the bandh enforcers had arguments with the management at some establishments, the day remained peaceful with neighbourhoods emptying out into the roads which became playgrounds for the young across the State.
Police sources confirmed that while no outbreak of violence was reported from East district, arguments resulting from “miscommunication” broke out at the Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences [Gangtok] and a pharmaceutical unit near Rangpo. None was however serious enough to have resulted in a formal police complaint.

Possible only during a bandh

Ranipool, East Sikkim, 04 April 2011

Kids get right of way for once. 6th Mile, Tadong, East Sikkim, 04 April 2011 

The Bandh Begins, Gangtok 04 April 2011



Cabinet meets, sanctions projects and records “deep appreciation” of TT Dorji’s service to State


GANGTOK, 04 Apr [IPR]: A Cabinet Meeting was held on 28 March at Mintogang here and approved various proposals of departments:
IRRIGATION AND FLOOD CONTROL: The Cabinet approved the proposal seeking administrative and financial approval to take up the construction of MIC at Turung, South Sikkim and construction of MIC from Ribdi Khola to Changba Gaon, Middle  Okhrey GPU under Daramdin Constituency.
HEALTH CARE, HUMAN SERVICES & FAMILY WELFARE: The Cabinet approved the proposal seeking approval to enter into Comprehensive Annual Maintenance Contract (CAMC) amounting to Rs. 59,96,345 in respect of medical equipments procured under NRHM for STNM Hospital, Gangtok during 2008-09.
HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT: The Cabinet approved the proposal seeking approval and sanction of Rs. 57,60,000 for construction of kitchen-cum-store during 2010-2011 under Mid Day Meal Scheme.
The Cabinet approved the proposal seeking approval and sanction of Rs. 30 lakhs as payment to schools where the students selected have been admitted under Chief Minister’s Merit Scholarship Scheme.
The Cabinet approved the proposal seeking post facto approval and sanction of Rs. l,61,00,000 as reimbursement of expenditure incurred on North Sikkim students studying in Tashi Namgyal Academy.
The Cabinet approved the proposal seeking approval and sanction of Rs.20 lakhs as State Share as grant -in-aid under Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan for 2010-11.
The Cabinet approved the proposal seeking approval and sanction of Rs. 88.55 as additional State Share as grant -in-aid under Sarva Siksha Abhiyan for 2010-11.
The proposal seeking approval and sanction of Rs. 70 lakhs as grant -in-aid for ATTC and CCCT at Chisopani (Rupees thirty five lakhs each).
UD&HD: The Cabinet approved the proposal seeking approval and revised sanction of Rs. 125.45 lakhs against the original sanction of Rs. 164.58 lakhs for Up-gradation and extension of 1.11 km road from ICAR gate to NHPC turning.

OTHER BUSINESS
T.T Dorji, IAS, Chief Secretary to the Government of Sikkim on retirement would be demitting office on 31st March, 2011 after serving the State Government for about 38 years in various capacities. The Cabinet on its own initiative was pleased to put on record its deepest appreciation of the outstanding performance of Shri T.T Dorji, as Chief Secretary to the Government of Sikkim. The Cabinet also appreciated the financial and administrative ability of Shri Dorji in helping the Cabinet and the State Government in running the affairs of the State Government. The Cabinet wished Shri T.T Dorji sound health and a happy retired life. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Still Waters release their new album

Nepali Music Director Suresh Rai releases the new album

video
Still Waters performing the song 'Priyasi' from their latest album 'Starting from Scratch' at Flamboyance, Amdo Golai, today.