Saturday, May 31, 2014

TOUGHENING UP, ONE STEP AT A TIME: Young adventurers participating in the 2nd Basic Mountaineering Course conducted at IHCAE Chemchey in South Sikkim from 02 to 29 May.

2nd Basic Mountaineering Course at IHCAE Chemchey



GANGTOK, 30 May: Indian Himalayan Center for Adventure and Ecotourism, Chemchey, South Sikkim conducted the 2nd Basic Mountaineering Course from 02 to 29 May. 28 participants (12 girls/16 boys) passed out having completed the Basic Mountaineering Course which was conducted at a glacier in West Sikkim, informs a press release.
The course was sponsored by the Government of Sikkim with the objective of inculcating a sense of adventure and to promote ecotourism. The Institute will be conducting an Advance Mountaineering Course sometime at the end of this year, the release mentions.
Conducting Basic Mountaineering Course (BMC) and Advance Mountaineering Course (AMC) is a pre requisite for any Mountaineering Institute to get full fledged recognition and support from the IMF (Indian Mountaineering Federation), the release adds.

Students paint and pledge for a litter- free Sikkim


GANGTOK, 30 May: As part of World Environment Day celebration, Tsomgo Pokhari Sanrakshan Samitee (TPSS) organised a painting and slogan contest for students of Gangtok schools at Hotel Tara Palace in collaboration with the Forests, Environment and Wildlife Management Department and WWF - India.
A press release informs that the contest organised in 3categories for Primary, Secondary and Senior Secondary students had the participation of more than 60 students from 18 schools from within Gangtok. The judges for the contest were Usha Lachungpa [Principal Research Officer, FEWMD], NT Bhutia [DFO Territorial Division for East District, FEWMD] and Priyadarshinee Shrestha [Landscape Coordinator, WWF India].
The theme for the painting and slogan contest was ‘Litter Free Sikkim’. TPSS has been working for conservation and management of the Tsomgo Lake which is the most visited tourist spot in Sikkim, and garbage is one of the key concerns for this high altitude wetland, the release mentions.
With over 3,00,000 tourists flocking to the lakeside very year, the amount of garbage generated is extraordinarily huge. Not only that, the entire highway leading up to the lake is also subjected to rampant littering by tourists who do not think twice about throwing garbage from the vehicle windows. All these areas are important wildlife habitats of some of the most interesting species of the state such as red panda, goral, serow, black bear and many beautiful pheasants.
Therefore the painting and slogan contest was organised by TPSS with an objective of sensitizing the tourists through these paintings made by the children of Gangtok Schools. Before the contest began, the children were also sensitized that the forests through which the highway passes by are home for many animals and that by throwing garbage people were disturbing their habitats.
The winning entries of the contest shall be prominently displayed along the Gangtok - Tsomgo highway to catch the attention of tourists travelling along this route to make them aware about the ill effects of littering, it is informed.
Speaking during the occasion, NT Bhutia who is also Chairperson for TPSS gave a short history of Tsomgo Lake and how tourism was initiated for improving the livelihood of the people, and how it has transformed over the years. Ms. Lachungpa addressed the students and encouraged them to practicethe habit of not littering and to have the courage to teach those who did not follow these habits.
At the end of the programme, all students signed with their handprints on a cloth banner to join hands for a litter free Sikkim, pledging not to litter and to make others aware about the same. Being part of the Zero Waste Himalaya, the entire event was organisedby TPSS following zero waste protocols, with no use of bottled water, disposable cupsor flex material.
The winners shall be announced and awarded during the World Environment Day program organised by FEWMD at Namchi on 05 June, 2014 and the paintings also displayed during the occasion. All participating students shall be taken on an educational tour of Tsomgo Lake sponsored by TPSS, FEWMD and WWF- India, wherein they will learn about the importance of the wetland, its biodiversity values as well as the functions of TPSS, the release further adds.

SDF Traders Cell welcomes pro-Sikkimese initiatives

GANGTOK, 30 May: The Vyapari Morcha (Traders Cell) of the Sikkim Democratic Front party has congratulated the Chief Minister, Pawan Chamling and the SDF government for coming to power for the record fifth term.
In a press release, SDF Traders Cell CEC member, Sajan Kumar Agarwal has extended best wishes to the CM on taking up pro-Sikkimese initiatives. The Vyapari Morcha has welcomed the decision of the Chief Minister and the ruling SDF government to protect old settlers of Sikkim, contractors and businessmen.
The release also welcomes the assurance that those already provided with trade licences will not be affected by the new policy of issuing licences and enlistments only to Sikkim Subject Holders and COI holders.
“We welcome this bold decision and would like to fully endorse and support this policy wholeheartedly”, the release adds.

UD&HD Minister chairs departmental meeting

GANGTOK, 30 May: A meeting of Urban Development and Housing Department chaired by Minister UD&HD, F&CS, Narendra Kumar Subba was held at Chintan Bhawan today. The meeting was attended by Commissioner-cum-Secretary T Dorji, PCE/Secretary WS&PHED, G Sharma, Senior Officials of UD&HD and WS&PHED.
A press release informs that in the meeting the programmes and activities of the UD&HD was presented to the Minister. The rules covering issue of Trade, License, Sanitation, Amusement Tax, housing was covered in the meeting.
The Minister was apprised of the present status of infrastructure projects covered by central schemes. Mr Subba directed the officials to submit a report on the reasons for delay in completion of some ongoing projects and emphasized on timely completion of projects.
The reform under JNNURM/ADB was also discussed in the meeting. The planning section gave a presentation on its activities including the plan for the new mountain city of Pakyong. The programme of RAY, National Urban Livelihood Mission was also covered in the meeting.
The Minister while speaking on the occasion spoke on the need to review the trade licensing norms in line with the new policy directives of the Government and use of information technology to increase efficiency. The shops of the various Bazaars need to be planned and maintained properly to improve the brand value of the State for the tourists visiting the state, he said.
While emphasising the importance of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in the state the Minister said that the ULBs being newly established must be prepared for larger responsibilities by improving their capacity, generate revenue and work in close coordination with the State Government, the release mentions.
On Lall Bazaar Marketing Complex the Minister emphasised the need to improve its cleanliness and participation of traders by forming safai committees to monitor cleanliness.
The meeting ended with a vote of thanks by Special Secretary UD&HD, LB Chettri.

Retention of SSA teachers sanctioned by Project Approval Board

ORDER AT HAND, PROCESS TO ISSUE APPOINTMENT LETTERS BEGINS
GANGTOK, 30 May: A meeting of the Project Approval Board [PAB] of the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development held in Guwahati some time back had sanctioned the retention of all the 778 Ad-hoc teachers [teaching and non teaching staff] hired in Sikkim under Sarva Siksha Abhiyan [SSA] for the academic session 2014-15, but the state HRD Department received the official communication regarding this only on Thursday, 29 May.
Speaking to NOW! today, the Principal Secretary, HRDD, Thomas Chandy, informed that the Project Approval Board sanction had not been communicated to the department earlier, but now that the department has received it, the ‘file’ is being processed and has been forwarded to the government for approval.
“As we had not received any news from the Board, we were waiting for the sanction from the Board and now that it has come we have put it up for the approval of the government”, he stated and added that from this year onwards the budget will come under the state plan making the decision-making an implementation quicker.
Following the approval of the government, the ad-hoc teachers working in the various schools in the districts will be given their appointment orders by the respective Joint Directors [JDs], he further informed.
It may be mentioned here that earlier on 24 April, the Principal Secretary, HRDD had stated that the teachers could not be given their appointment orders because of the election code of conduct that came into effect on 05 March in Sikkim. SSA being a Centrally Sponsored Scheme [CSS] under the Ministry of HRD, the Project Approval Board meeting was held on 06 March where it was decided to approach the Election Commission for relaxation to allow issuance of the appointment orders.
“We had tried to take the approval and had also written to the Election Commission but because of the model code of conduct we were advised by the ECI that the HRDD could not be given the approval but could do it after the polls were over in the state,” he had stated at the time.
The affected SSA appointees, it may be recalled, have been distressed by the lack of communication from the Department on their status. [read news report headlined, “Wait continues for SSA staff”, published in NOW! issue dated 30 May 2014 for details]

PWD Minister chairs first departmental coordination meeting

GANGTOK, 30 May [IPR]: The first Departmental Co-ordination Meeting of Sikkim Public Works (Roads and Bridges) Department was held on 27 May at Chintan Bhawan here. The meeting was chaired by Minister, Sikkim Public Works (Roads and Bridges) Department, Garjaman Gurung and attended by Principal Chief Engineer cum Secretary, TB Rajalim and all the officers of the Department.
The meeting was convened to discuss the core issues relating to the road connectivity of the State and to familiarize the Minister about the various schemes being undertaken by the Department.
The meeting started off with the welcome speech of the PCE cum Secretary. He welcomed and congratulated the Minister for the fifth term of the SDF Government. While welcoming the Minister and officials, he urged all present to work with renewed vigour, besides shouldering the responsibilities with accountability and pro-activeness.
Mr Rajalim conveyed to the house the broad directions imparted to the Secretaries and HoDs by the Chief Minister on 21 May, 2014. Primarily it was conveyed that all were informed to be prompt in discharging their duties.
Additional Secretary (Administration), informed about the activities of the Administrative Section and Superintending Engineers, North/East, South, West, Project and Planning briefed about the projects being implemented under their jurisdiction. Project-wise discussion was held and possible lines of action were envisaged.
The Minister gave a patient hearing to the problems and issues and assured to give all possible support. He appealed to work hand in hand in the interest of the public in general. He thanked one and all for supporting the SDF party for the fifth term. He reiterated to work with dedication in a joyful environment with deep sense of responsibility and feelings of ownership.
The meeting ended with the vote of thanks by B Prasad, Additional Chief Engineer (N/E).

Co-ordination and interactive meeting convened for South District officials

NAMCHI, 30 May [IPR]: The first co-ordination and interactive meeting of the South district officials and Panchayats was held at Ravangla Community Hall for Barfung constituency today. Minister Dorjee Dazom Bhutia, who is also the area MLA, chaired the meeting as the chief guest accompanied by ADM (South) Kapil Meena; ADC (Dev) Ravangla Tashi Chopel; SP (South) Sonam Gyatso Bhutia; SDPO Ravangla, Mordent Thapa and various other nodal officers. SDM, Ravangla, BK Rai welcomed the officials and other attendees at the onset of the meeting.
A report prepared by the HoD’s of various departments of South district was laid down before the Chief Guest present on the occasion. The report included vital information about the ongoing activities and successful implementation of various developmental schemes being executed by the departments of South district. In addition, a detailed account of the benefits being tapped out of flagship programmes of the state government under departments like Forests, Environment & Wildlife Management; Health; Rural Management & Development and others were stated.
Later, the HOD’s underlined the varied initiatives which are currently operational under departments such as State Institute of Capacity Building (SICB); Human Resource Development Department (HRDD); Cooperation Department and how they work for the interest of the people of the state. They also spoke about the forthcoming projects under their respective departments and stated the reasons such as insufficient funds, limited resources, impediments affecting the land acquisition process for the various impending projects.
The area MLA, in his address, emphasized the need for officials to carry out their roles and responsibilities in an efficient and timely manner. Mr. Bhutia gave clear directives to the Zilla and Gram Panchayats to work in co-ordination with the government officials for the efficacious management of different programmes and strategies. He urged the officers to complete the pending work as per the stipulated time frame. He also took the opportunity to extend his gratitude to the officials and employees of the department for attending the meeting and assured them necessary assistance from the Government to address the problems and issues at the earliest.
Earlier prior to the Co-ordination meeting, a cleanliness drive was conducted at Ravangla bazaar on the same day.

SKM demands comprehensive Local Protection Act, questions SDF’s intentions behind current slew of policy decisions

GANGTOK, 30 May: The Sikkim KrantikariMorcha has welcomed some of the decisions taken by the state government and cabinet to protect local interests; however, at the same time the party has said that the SDF government has woken up a little too late.
Addressing a press conference today, the SKM publicity secretary Jacob Khaling said that if the SDF government was pro-Sikkimese it should have taken these decisions in its previous terms. He alleged that these decisions are ill-intentioned and have been prompted by the SDF party’s debacle in East district and win in other districts by only a slim margin in the recent elections.
He has urged the state government and SDF party to bring a comprehensive Local Protection Act on the floor of the Assembly to protect the Sikkimese people within the parameters and spirit of Article 371F of the Constitution.
This would ensure security of old settlers and left out communities of Sikkimese origin while also protecting old laws in a better way without any conflict in the long run, said Mr. Khaling. He went on to further accuse SDF of failing to fulfill its commitment made in 1994 of enacting a comprehensive Local Protection Act.
Social Media Incharge of the SKM, Navraj Gurung, said that the appointment of Lokayukta should begin afresh after consultation with the opposition in the state’s interest. He further demanded that the Justice [Rtd] R K Patra Inquiry Commission be dissolved and the CBI be allowed into the state.
Meanwhile, the SKM president, PS Tamang [Golay] is on his way to New Delhi and is expected to meet the Union Ministers including the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Sikkim MPs call on DoNER Minister Gen. VK Singh

GANGTOK, 30 May: Sikkim Parliamentarians PD Rai and HisheyLachungpa and former RajyaSabha MP, OT Lepcha called on the Minister for Development of North East Region General (Retd.) VK Singh this afternoon.
A press release informs that the Ministry for Development of North East Region (DoNER) is of premium importance to Sikkim and other northeastern states and General Singh,having served as the Chief of Army Staff, knows Sikkim like the back of his hand.
“General Singh is very enthusiastic about the alternative highway. We have apprised him about the conditions of the roads maintained by BRO. He complimented the successive Chamling-led governments for the use of development funds released by DoNER Ministry, in fact, he stated that it is quite impressive,” says PD Rai.
MrRai reminded the Minister that it was because of the leadership of the Vajpayee Government that Nathula border-trade was opened and Sikkim became a member of the NEC.
“There will be a policy in place that rewards States who deliver Good Governance. I’m sure, Sikkim will be one of the first states to be rewarded,” MrRai added.RajyaSabha MP HisheyLachungpahas invited General Singh to visit Lachung, the release mentions.
The MPs have welcomed Prime Minister NarendraModi’s instructions to the cabinet that Ministers should focus on efficient governance, delivery and implementation of programs, and give priority to the issues brought by state governments and Members of Parliament, it is added.

Sericulture Directorate meets to discuss Rs. 2.28 cr CDP

GANGTOK, 30 May: The Programme Monitoring Committee [PMC] held a meeting on Catalytic Development Programme [CDP] of Sikkim at the Sericulture Directorate, Forest Secretariat, Deorali on 27 May.
A press release informs that the meeting, chaired by Additional Director Sericulture, HP Rai, approved the CDP Action Plan 2014-15 at the cost of Rs. 2.28 crore.
CDP is the flagship scheme of the Ministry of Textiles for development of sericulture and silk industry consisting various components and sub-components for promotion of all varieties of silk in India. It has been an important tool for transfer and adoption of improved technology packages developed by the research institutes of Central Silk Board.
The components under the CDP scheme envisage the following major areas:
(a) Development and expansion of silkworm host plants,
(b) Strengthening and creation of silkworm seed multiplication infrastructure,
(c) Development of farm and post-cocoon infrastructure,
(d) Upgradation of reeling and processing technologies in silk,
(e) Skill development / Enterprise Development Program (EDP), and
(f) Support for publicity, study/consultancy, crop insurance, health insurance etc
The meeting on Tuesday was attended by all members of the Programme Monitoring Committee. The Chairman, HP Rai, in his welcome address, stressed on quality progress within the given time frame which was followed by a power point presentation on Sericulture activities being carried out by the Directorate in Sikkim.
During the meeting, the committee thoroughly reviewed the CDP particularly the progress and output of the state in the past one year. Lengthy discussion took place regarding the lack of progress and irregularity in providing feedback to the Ministry, the release mentions.
However, the meeting ended on a positive note with the approval of the Rs 2.28 crore CDP Action Plan 2014-15.Prior to discussions on the meeting’s agenda, "Annual Action Plan-2014 (Part-I)onCDP backlog programmes" was released jointly by Dr. C Maji and Dr. A Bhattacharji, it is added.

Samay Dainik driver assaulted, vehicle vandalised

GANGTOK, 30 May: A vehicle belonging to Nepali daily Samay Dainik published from Gangtok which was on its way to Siliguri was attacked near 27th Mile early this morning.
The vehicle, it is informed, was on its way to Siliguri with a load of newspapers. At 27th Mile under Kalimpong sub-division in West Bengal, the driver, Bigendra Lama, was assaulted by a group of truck drivers.
It is learnt that near 27th Mile, one truck had broken down and its load was being transferred to a second one. This had obstructed the road and an altercation ensued wherein the drivers of the two trucks along with some others assaulted Bigendra and vandalized the vehicle.
The accused truck drivers - Krishna Gurung [SK 09D0303] and Damber Rai [SK 04D0576] have been arrested by Rambi Police. The driver Bigendra has sustained injuries on his legs and face.

The Press Club of Sikkim has strongly condemned the attack and demanded immediate action against the culprits along with arrangements for the safety and security of media personnel.

Retired govt employees congratulates CM

GANGTOK, 30 May: The Sikkim Government Retired Employees Welfare Association has congratulated Chief Minister Pawan Chamling on forming the government for the fifth consecutive term and for achieving majority mandate in the recently held elections.
A press release informs that the central executive committee of the association held a meeting today wherein the meeting passed a resolution to congratulate the CM. The meeting also resolved to generate awareness in the state on different issues of concern.

The roadmap for generating awareness will be finalized in the next meeting to be held in the second week of June this year, the release mentions. The meeting was chaired by president, Dorjee Tshering Bhutia while it was also attended by general secretary, Pushpalal Sharma and other CEC members. 

NHPC hosts 27th TCC/ ERPC meeting

GANGTOK, 30 May: The 27th Technical Coordination Committee (TCC) meeting was held at Mayfair Resorts, Gangtok on Friday under the aegis of NHPC Limited.
A press release informs that the TCC meeting was inaugurated by NT Bhutia [Chairperson, TCC and Principal Chief Engineer Energy & Power Department, Govt. of Sikkim]. A large number of delegates from various constituents of ERPC namely, NHPC Ltd, NTPC, PGCIL, DVC, PTC and state as well as private power utilities of Sikkim, Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal are participating in the meeting.
The Eastern Regional Power Committee (ERPC) meeting will be held on 31 May and it will be chaired by PB Subba [Principal Chief Engineer cum Secretary, Energy & Power Department, Govt. of Sikkim]. Bhutan is also participating in this meeting as a special invitee, the release mentions.
During the meeting, various technical issues were identified and discussed for smooth operation of eastern region power grid by maintaining strict grid discipline and compliance of statutory orders and regulations by all the constituents. Measures to be taken by all the constituents to avoid recurrence of grid failure of eastern region were also discussed and decisions were taken accordingly.
Incidentally, Teesta V Power Station (510 MW), located in Sikkim, is playing a significant role in maintaining stability of eastern grid and it has also been identified as one of the power stations for Black Start in case of eastern grid failure, the release adds.

East panchayats welcome CM’s directions to strengthen PRIs

GANGTOK, 30 May [IPR]: During the state-level coordination meeting held on 29 May here at Samman Bhawan the Chief Minister reiterated the strengthening of Panchayati Raj Institutions in Sikkim. This, he said would be achieved by transferring all 29 subjects to the Panchayati Raj Institutions. The Zilla Adhakshaya, Upa Adhakshya, Zilla Panchayat and Gram Panchayat of East district have expressed sincere thanks and gratitude to the CM. 

SLYA welcomes CoI for businesses

GANGTOK, 30 May: Sikkim Limboo Youth Association has also welcomed the state government’s decision to make Sikkim Subject Certificate or Certificate of Identification a mandatory document while obtaining license for trade, taxi permit and enlistment for contract works.

In a press release, the association has welcomed the state government’s move to protect the interests of the Sikkimese while safeguarding the future and security of people at large. The association has also congratulated the Chief Minister Pawan Chamling on forming government for the record fifth term and expressed gratitude for including two Limboo MLAs in his cabinet of ministers.   

Health staff trained on disabilities

GYALSHING, 30 May [IPR]: A team of professionals from National Institute for the Mentally Handicapped, Secunderabad visited Gyalshing on 29 May. The team conducted a sensitization and training programme on Prevention, Early Identification & Early Intervention of Disabilities for doctors, Ayush doctors, ASHA workers, ANM and MPHW at the Community Hall, Gyalshing.
Resource person Dr. Rishkas gave a power-point presentation to the trainees regarding the identification of disabilities at an early stage. He informed that treatment after 5 years of age can be difficult and therefore, urged the gathering to keep an eye out for symptoms and refer such children to the district hospital for treatment.
Awareness kits were also distributed to the grassroots level workers during the programme which was attended by166 participants. It is also informed that a similar programme shall be conducted at Soreng on 31 May and in Singtam on 02 June.

Training on Disaster Management concludes

GANGTOK, 30 May [IPR]: Five-day training programme on Disaster Management Course concluded this afternoon with the valedictory address of Relief Commissioner cum Secretary Land Revenue & Disaster Management Department, CT Wangdi at the training hall of Accounts & Administrative Training Institute, Gangtok.
The programme was organized by Accounts & Administrative Training Institute in coordination with the Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority under Department of Land Revenue & Disaster Management from 26-30 May. Altogether 25 State Nodal Officers from various departments took part in the training programme.
Addressing the programme, Relief Commissioner CT Wangdi urged all the Nodal Officers to constitute a prepared system within each department for immediate response to any disaster. Highlighting on Disaster Risk Reduction he stated “having better preparedness can save human lives”.
Emphasizing on general awareness, the Relief Commissioner urged all the participants to share what they have learnt in the training during gram sabhas. He also handed over certificates of participation to all the participants. While interacting with the trainees, Principal Director, Deepak Darnal said, “If we motivate ourselves we can motivate others towards Disaster Management”.
Topics like ‘Role of Govt. in Disaster Management’,  Act & Rules, Preparation of plan, Vulnerability of Sikkim to Disaster, Role of Society & SDRF, UNDP Programme on Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, Incident Response System, etc were discussed during the training.
The participants also thanked organizers for providing them such informative and educative training.

Canon interacts with customers and prospective clients

GANGTOK, 30 May: Canon India held an ‘Anubhav’ meet at Hotel Denzong Regency on 29 May to interact and understand how the customers and would-be users feel about the products of the Canon company. Present for the interaction were Gautam Deb [Senior Manager, Eastern Zone], Shreeniwas Shastri [Regional Service Manager], Gurupada Biswas [Business Manager, West Bengal & Sikkim], Ajeet Oberoi [Proprietor, Innovations & the premium partner of Canon in Gangtok], Canon copier users and local gentries.
Speaking to NOW! earlier, the Regional Service Manager informed that this was being done specially to know the feelings, experience and to interact and thank the customers who are using Canon products in Sikkim. This meeting is being held to update the customers about the products and reach out to them, he added.
Canon has completed more than 17 years in India and its products are now available in every nook and corner of the country, including Sikkim. “In Sikkim we have tied up as premium corporate partner with Innovations, the proprietor of which is Mr Ajeet Oberoi”, informed Mr Shastri.

Bojoghari Bazaar Development Committee welcomes CoI condition for businesses

GANGTOK, 30 May: Bojoghari Bazaar Development Committee has welcomed the government decision to protect Sikkimese people’s interests and has asked the state agencies to implement the same with an iron hand.
Speaking to NOW!, president of the committee, ST Sherpa, welcomed the state government’s  decision and appealed to the masses to support the government decision for the welfare of the state and its citizens.
He said that the government has acted on this long pending issue of protection of local people which it should have done much earlier.
Bojoghari Bazaar Development Committee has extended its support to all initiatives for the protection of Sikkimese rights and also conveyed its apprehensions about the procedure adopted to enforce these laws. At the same time it has demanded firmness on the part of the state government in implementing them.

Black Cat Division undertakes cleanliness drive along JN Marg


GANGTOK, 30 May: As part of its ecological awareness campaign, troops of the Black Cat Division in collaboration with the Sikkim Tourism and voluntary assistance from schools, a massive cleaning drive was organised from Swastik to Nathu La from 28 May to 01 Jun, covering a stretch of almost 100 km.
A press release informs that the drive organised by Black Cat Division aimed at addressing the indiscriminate disposal of non bio-degradable waste primarily by tourists who are the backbone of the state’s economy.
According to an action plan worked out with the Tourism department major tourist haltsviz, Bakhtang Water Falls, Tashi View Point, Ganesh Tok, Hanuman Tok, MS 3 Check Post,Tsomgo Lake, Baba Mandir and Nathula were “activated” by a combined task force of troops of Black Cat Division, school children and the personnel of Sikkim Tourism, the release informs.
The task force, in addition to cleaning the area also approached the tourists and taxi operators to educate them about the harmful effects of throwing non bio-degradable waste.
They reached out to the people through interaction, posters, banners and placards. Jute bags were also provided to tourists and taxi operators to bring back waste from tourist points. The initiatives received overwhelming response from all sections of the society, it is added.


Friday, May 30, 2014

CM CONVENES MEGA MEETING WITH CABINET AND STATE ADMINISTRATION

Chamling issues directions, wants ATRs submitted within one month
LARGESSE TO BE CURTAILED, EXECUTIVE PERFORMANCE AND DELIVERY IMPROVED
GANGTOK, 29 May [IPR]: The Chief Minister held a meeting with the Cabinet Ministers and the State Administration here at Samman Bhawan today. The mega meeting, the first since Mr. Chamling formed the government for the fifth consecutive time in Sikkim, saw some major decisions and announcements by the government.
The Chief Minister at the outset stressed on qualitative, efficient and effective delivery mechanism in the larger interest of the people of the state. He stated that emphasis on good governance, systematized administration, implementation of programs and schemes of the government on fast track mode, and importance to the demands and requirements of the people were the thrust areas of the second generation development agenda of the Government.
On his social media page, the CM wrote this about today’s meeting: “In a democratic set-up, to obey people’s mandate means to implement government’s policies and programmes by the administration. The State administration should, therefore, earnestly implement the policies and programmes focussing on good governance to fulfill high hopes and aspirations of the people. I urged upon the officials to pro-actively work to come up with ideas to deliver services to the nook and corner of the State to expand devolution and decentralization of power”.
Giving department wise directions to the heads of departments, the Chief Minister directed that all pending and ongoing schemes be completed on priority basis before initiating new projects. The Chief Minister gave a strict deadline of one month for submission of the detailed report of the pending / incomplete schemes to the government citing proper reasons for the delay.
Further, he directed the HoDs to prioritize these ongoing schemes and keep provisions for the same in the upcoming budget for speedy completion.
While talking about quality education the Chief Minister announced that henceforth, teachers will have to sit for qualifying examination/ interview for up-gradation from primary level to graduate teacher level and from graduate teacher level to post graduate level.
Talking on the Education Sector, the Chief Minister also shared the government’s desire to establish a Girls’ College and Vocational College in the state. He also announced that henceforth teachers would not be paid advance salary during vacations. The Chief Minister also directed HRDD officials to fulfill the shortage of teaching staff at remote places of the state by transferring excess teachers from schools where there are excess teachers. This should be done within one month’s time, he directed.
Talking about the protection of the Sikkim Subject Holders the Chief Minister announced to make Sikkim Subject compulsory for various licenses and permits like trade license, hawker license, driving license, excise license etc. to run business in the state.  At the same time he clarified that this is not applicable for those who already possess such license or permits. Provisions will be made for smooth transfer of license and permits from father to son.
Sikkim Subject will also be made mandatory for enlistment of contractors. Further, he announced that policy decision will be taken by the government to ensure that only Sikkim Subject Holders are recruited in all Sikkim based industries.
On the health sector, the Chief Minister announced that henceforth free medicines will be provided to Sikkim Subjects only and government employees will be given one-time medical grant of five lakhs and the family which will include the children will be provided with one time medical grant of two lakhs. Such type of files shall not have to come to the Chief Minister for sanction. The Ministers should ensure that such type of works is done at their level itself, the Chief Minister said.
The Chief Minister also directed the department to ensure that the health staff are adequately posted in remote parts of the state as well. Talking about the shortage of doctors in the state the Chief Minister directed the health department to frame policy to ensure that the doctors who have studied on state quota at the Medical Colleges remain in the state and practice here.
On tourism sector, the Chief Minister said that this is such a sector which gives employment and projects the state’s image. For this purpose the state and its people should be tourist friendly, he added. The Chief Minister at the same time directed the department to work out a way to simplify the rules to make it more tourist friendly but retaining the good image which the state has built till now.
On Rural Management and Development Department, the Chief Minister stressed on more power decentralization to the panchayat level and strengthening of the Gram Vikash Kendras. All the 29 subjects which have to be transferred to the panchayats as per the Panchayat Act should be transferred immediately, he directed.
The Chief Minister also directed the concerned department to install Weigh Bridge and CCTV Camera at the Check post. He also talked about framing a policy to either privatize or scrap all the loss making factories or industrial establishments of the state.
The Chief Minister also announced to limit the issue of display advertisements from Information & Public Relations Department to three occasions viz. Independence Day, Republic Day and State Day.
The Chief Minister made an announcement that the BPL category in the State will henceforth be provided reservation in the open category by the government. At the same time he clarified that there will be no vertical reservation in this category. He directed the Chief Secretary and concerned department to undertake a detailed re-survey of the BPL list.
The Chief Minister announced that henceforth all subsidies will be in the form of cash-grant to the Sikkim Subject Certificate holders only.
The Chief Minster also gave clear directives that the government will strictly deny the grant of taxi permits and trade license to government employees. At the same time, government employees will also not be allowed to be a member of any association. In this regard the Chief Minister directed the Chief Secretary to amend the rules as per the requirement. The Chief Minister also instructed the HoDs to ensure punctuality and attendance of the officers and staff of their department and introduce the thumb impression attendance in the offices.
The Chief Minister while addressing the heads of the department appealed to them to guide, assist and cooperate with the elected representatives in the interest of the state and its people. The people have given this government their mandate to work for them and the administration is expected to adhere to the people’s mandate, the Chief Minister said.
“My experience of 20 years in government and the experience of the state administrative machinery in the state together shall work for the betterment of the people of the state,” he said.
The Chief Minister directed the departmental heads to comply with the directives given by the government in the interest of the people of the state and immediately take actions on the decisions taken by the government. The report on the action taken should be submitted to the government within one month, he added.
Earlier the co-ordination meeting started with the welcome address by the Chief Secretary R. Ongmu, and concluded with vote of thanks proposed by Principal Secretary Home, MG Kiran.

PHE Minister chairs first coordination meet

GANGTOK, 29 May: A coordination meeting was organized by Water Security & PHE department at Nirman Bhawan, which was chaired by Minister for the department, Tulshi Devi Rai.
A press release informs that the PHE Joint Secretary, in his welcome address, congratulated the Minister on her landslide victory in the elections and formally welcomed her to the department. An introduction session followed during which all the officers and employees of the department exchanged introductions with the Minister.
The Chief Engineer placed a brief report on the activities of the department and apprised the Minister of various projects being undertaken by the department.
During the general session, officers discussed various issues related to speedy completion of projects and smooth service delivery and also many impediments affecting the same such as problems in land acquisition, insufficient maintenance fund, etc. The Minister assured them of every possible help to redress these issues at the earliest.
Addressing the meeting, the Secretary Ghanashyam Sharma opined that the department will surge ahead under the guidance of the Minister and urged all to emphasize on quality works. He also underlined the need for creating a permanent solution to providing smooth service delivery as frequent landslides and other natural forces disrupt water supply pipelines more often than not and informed the meeting that a tunneling project in this regard has already been placed before the government which is under consideration, the release mentions.
The Minister, in her address, thanked all the officers and employees of the department for attending the coordination meeting. She stressed that government servants must be committed to provide reliable service to the people. She urged the officers to conduct a detailed study before any project is sanctioned in order to turn every project into a successful one.
Ms Rai also stressed that the department should try to find some way to revive some failed projects as a lot of public money has been spent on these. She assured all the officers and employees all possible help from the government. The meeting concluded with the vote of thanks by the Special Secretary of the department.

Wait continues for SSA staff APPOINTMENT LETTERS FOR CURRENT ACADEMIC SESSION STILL AWAITED - ANAND OBEROI

GANGTOK, 29 May: No official confirmation has yet been received on the fate of the 778 teaching and non-teaching staff hired under Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) in the state. Despite assurances by the HRD Department and the State Government in the past, members of All Sikkim Sarva Siksha Abhiyan Adhoc Employees Welfare Society (ASSSAAEWS) are still ‘clueless’, and worried, with no official order/ notification issued even after the formation of the new government.
A delegation of the employees led by the organization’s president, Yogesh Gurung, and general secretary, Tenzing Chopel Bhutia, tried to meet the Chief Minister in this regard this morning but failed to lay down their grievances with the CM who is also the President, SSA Sikkim State Mission since he was occupied with other appointments and meetings.
Speaking to NOW! today, the employees highlighted their despair and frustration on the issue, underlining that it concerned their livelihood and also the future of the thousands of students in all the SSA Upgraded schools and Gram Vikas Kendras throughout the state.
“The Chief Minister is also the president of the SSASSM with the Chief Secretary as the chairperson which is why we decided to call on the CM today but were unable to since he was extremely busy with other appointments. However, we will try and meet him soon as he is the person who has understood our problems and has also assured us our dues,” stated the president, Yogesh Gurung.
He added that the association’s list of demands put up before the Principal Secretary, HRD, before the elections are still pending since the state government had not issued an office order regarding the same even after repeated verbal assurances.
“We are a disturbed lot as we have no future until the office order comes. Our lives are on hold because of this. We were always assured that our demands would be fulfilled which is why we waited peacefully till the model code of conduct was lifted and refrained from making our issue a political one,” explains  the general secretary, Tenzing Chopel.
He added here that the meeting of the Project Approval Board (PAB), Government of India held on 06 March 2014 at Guwahati had also decided in their favor and as per the minutes of the meeting, it had been approved by the central government that all 778 existing employees be retained for the academic year 2014-15.
“However, we waited in anticipation for the new government to be formed so that our office orders are issued but that has not happened till now. Throughout we were assured by the government that as soon as the model code of conduct is lifted and the new government takes charge our demands would be fulfilled but we are still uncertain about our future,” said the general secretary.
The employees in the meantime have requested the CM to carry out all necessary positive actions since the future of the employees and students in schools still running without adequate staff is at stake.

Sikkim Liberation Party reiterates need for stronger protections for Sikkimese

GANGTOK, 29 May: Sikkim Liberation Party has stated that the security of Sikkimese people, who, the party insists, were “deceitfully” merged with India, must be ensured in constitutional, moral and ethical manner. The party has further said that the opposition parties should desist from supporting “anti-Sikkimese” people for their petty political interests.
In a press release, chairman of the party, Duk Nath Nepal has condemned the recent “act of vengeance” by members of the municipalities. “We support anyone whose act is in the larger interest of the Sikkimese people duly recognised by the Constitution of India, but if the act is being perpetuated as an instrument of vendetta, Sikkim Liberation Party will and cannot support such act”, he has said.
In a recent incident, Gangtok Municipal Corporation Deputy Mayor Shakti Singh along with councilor Udai Lama and some others are accused of misbehaving with hawkers at Lall Bazaar. Following this three GMC councilors had said that they were only trying to ensure that hawkers from “outside” do not encroach upon the space allotted for Sikkimese hawkers.
On the current debate on repealing Article 370 which allots special status to the State of Jammu & Kashmir, the party states that Sikkim and Nagaland also enjoy similar constitutional sanctity and warns both the State and the Centre not to play with such a sensitive issue. Sikkim Liberation Party warns that much to the dislike and inconvenience that has been created by the Centre, it also is a Damocles sword hanging against the ethnic Sikkimese people, the release states.

SEA welcomes govt decision on CoI for businesses

GANGTOK, 29 May: Sikkim Entrepreneur Association (SEA) has welcomed the SDF government’s decision to make Sikkim Subject Certificate (SSC) or Certificate of Identification (COI) mandatory for issuance of trade license in rural areas, driving license, permits for taxi/ trucks, hawker’s license and for the enlistment of contractors.
The association has appealed to local entrepreneurs of Sikkim as well as every Sikkimese to support this initiative which seeks to protect the present as well as the future of every Sikkimese, open endless avenues for our educated unemployed Sikkimese and also help ease the growing competition in the business sector, the release mentions.
The association has also applauded the government’s decision not to allow sub-letting of any contractual work as it feels that this initiative would enhance the capabilities and resources of the local contractors which in turn would qualify them to take up numerous higher value contractual works.
SEA has further appealed to the government to implement this decision in letter and in spirit.
The association has also decided to call on the Chief Minister to reiterate the various demands and difficulties faced by the local entrepreneurs.

Chamling appoints six office bearers for SDF

GANGTOK, 29 May: Sikkim Democratic Front president, Pawan Chamling, has appointed six new office bearers for smooth functioning of the party. All SDF party organizations and posts, it may be recalled, had been dissolved recently.
Former MLA SK Pradhan has again been appointed general secretary-I [Administration] while former MLA Nimthit Lepcha is general secretary-II in the party administration.
Appointments in the party’s publicity wing are Amber Rai as publicity secretary along with Churamani Mishra, Krishna Lepcha and Robin Sangpang.

SCF condemns talk of repealing Article 370

GANGTOK, 29 May: Sikkim Citizen Forum [SCF] president, Thukchuk Lachungpa, has strongly condemned the statement of the Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, Jitendra Singh on repealing Article 370 which accords special status to Jammu & Kashmir. Mr. Lachungpa has said that this could also mean trouble for the old laws of Sikkim protected under Article 371F.
Addressing a press conference today, Mr. Lachungpa stated that it is a sensitive issue and the fact that RSS is supporting it is even more dangerous. SCF has decided to write the President of India, Prime Minister, Home Minister, MoS, Mr Singh and others concerned on this issue.
Mr Lachungpa further said that SCF will also stage a dharna in New Delhi if the issue is not resolved.
Meanwhile, congratulating Narendra Modi on forming his government with absolute majority, he said that Mr Modi should work at fulfilling other commitments instead of taking up such controversial issues.
He congratulated Pawan Chamling and members of the opposition as well. Mr Lachungpa also welcomed the state government’s recent decisions for local protection.

SATA martial artists win bronze in Uzbekistan

GANGTOK, 29 May: Trilok Subba and his team won a bronze medal in Taekwondo Poomsae Free Style Mixed Team event at the 3rd Asian Poomsae & 21st Senior Asian Taekwondo Championship which was held at Tashkent, Uzbekistan from 25 to 28 May 2014.
A press release informs that the team comprised of Trilok Subba, Sabitri Pradhan, Linda, Amit Pradhan and Gangaram Pradhan. Vietnam won the gold medal while Philippines won the silver medal.
President and all the members of Sikkim Amateur Taekwondo Association has congratulated them for their achievement, the release adds.

Italian Consul General calls on Governor

GANGTOK, 29 May: Consul General of Italy, Kolkata,Cesare Bieller who is on an official visit to Sikkim, called on the Governor of Sikkim,Shriniwas Patil todayat Raj Bhavan.
A Raj Bhavan release informs that the Governor extended his warm greetings to the Consul General and welcomed him with a traditional scarf.During interaction,the Governor talked about the topographical uniqueness of the State of Sikkim with various scope for adventure tourism such as river rafting, rock climbing, trekking, paragliding etc. He sought the help of Consul General in disseminating the information so that the State could secure more tourists from Italy.
The Governor further expressed that there is a need to simplify the process of obtaining visa for prospective Sikkimese desiring to visit Italy. He suggested that a helpdesk be opened at Sikkim for fast tracking and facilitating the process of obtaining visa for which a staff to man the helpdesk be deputed on a regular date once or twice a month from the Italian Consulate Office, Kolkata.
Wider publicity detailing the list of documents required for obtaining visa may also prove to be fruitful so that it would be collected in the helpdesk and processed accordingly in a time bound manner, the Governor added.
The Consul General on his behalf assured all possible help from his office to facilitate the process of obtaining visa and simplifying it in the interest of Sikkimese applicants, the release mentions.

SUNNY DAY: After an entire day lost to a persistent drizzle on Wednesday, and the week having seen only ‘inclement’ weather so far, Gangtok was treated to a blazing hot day Thursday, today. Tourists enjoyed the thaw in the weather as much a locals and the pleasant evening drew both in huge numbers to pack MG Marg to the brim. Before that, however, the hot day boosted softy at MG Marg. Here’s to hoping that the open skies hold fast at least through the weekend…

Ad hoc and officiating promotions to end

GANGTOK, 29 May: With the Cabinet having approved the end of ad hoc and officiating promotions in government services, the Department of Personnel is now preparing to issue relevant notification.
Officiating promotions, as officials explain, is when an employee is promoted to a senior post in order to fill up the vacancy existing there without the due process of recruitment as per Sikkim Public Service Commission. While the ‘promoted’ employee will enjoy enhanced pay package and perks relevant to the post, his /her promotion is only temporary till the SPSC ratifies it.
Officials inform that the rationale behind such a decision of the state government is to cut down on unnecessary expenditure as any employee accorded promotion in officiating capacity is given salary and other monetary benefits befitting the post to which he or she has been promoted. On the other hand, officials inform that there is also a drawback to this as it will create a backlog of pending files.
Presently there are many employees holding posts on officiating capacity. This is due to the fact that these posts have been lying vacant and also because the SPSC has not conducted the required process. The recruitment process is itself time consuming and till then if such posts continue to lie vacant then they are likely to cause administrative bottlenecks. However, now that the Cabinet decision has been taken it remains to be seen how the bureaucracy copes with this.
It is informed that the Cabinet has also directed the Department of Personnel to observe the Reservation Policy of the state government in all matters relating to appointment and promotions. This directive is believed to be an affirmation of the existing reservation policy of the state government. On the other hand the cabinet directive on ad hoc promotions seems confusing as there is no such terminology or practice.

Sikkim MPs call on MoS Rijuju

GANGTOK, 29 May: Lok Sabha MP, PD Rai, along with Rajya Sabha MP, Hissey Lachungpa, and former Rajya Sabha MP, OT Lepcha, made a courtesy call on Minister of State, Home Affairs, Kiren Rijuju, last evening.
Hailing from Arunachal Pradesh, Mr. Rijuju is one of the two Ministers from the North-East Region in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Council of Ministers.
During the meeting, Mr. Rai reiterated the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front’s support to the NDA at the Centre. He apprised the Minister of State that the Sikkim Chief Minister, Pawan Chamling, had briefly met the Prime Minister and also written to him regarding cooperation and support to the National Democratic Alliance.
The MPs also extended an invitation to Mr. Rijuju to visit Sikkim, which the latter accepted. Mr. Rijuju expressed his desire to visit Sikkim at the earliest and added that he is especially keen to visit North Sikkim.
During the meeting, the MPs recalled the Vajpayee-led-NDA government under which relations with China had improved leading to the historic re-opening of Nathula for trade.
The Sikkim MPs believe that there is fresh energy in New Delhi under PM Modi’s leadership and that fresh thinking at the center will be extremely beneficial to Sikkim to resolve pending contentious issues and develop at an unprecedented rate.

TNSSS student tops Govt schools

GANGTOK, 29 May: 18-year-old Rabi Ranjan Prasad of Sir Tashi Namgyal Senior Secondary School has become the class XII state topper among government schools, securing 92.6% in Bio-Science [additional Maths]. His report card read: Biology- 95, Physics- 95, Mathematics- 95, Chemistry- 93 and English- 85.
Speaking to the media today, he informed that he has scored the highest amongst government school students in all streams in the state. Rabi has already appeared for the All India Pre Medical Test [AIPMT] on 02 May from Patna and is waiting for the results which will be declared in the first week of June.
He informed that he did not take any coaching classes or extra classes to prepare for the boards and has credited his parents and school teachers for his success. “I would like to thank my sirs MN Singh [Chemistry], PN Singh [Maths], Anupurna Saha [Physics] Binod Pokhrel [Biology] for their guidance at school,” said Rabi. His ambition is to become a cardiologist in the future.

DC West inspects EMRS Gangyap


YALSHING, 29 May [IPR]: DC West, Tshewang Gyachho, along with the Joint Director, HRDD, SDM, Yoksum, Welfare Officer and officers concerned inspected Eklavya Model Residential School, (EMRS) Gangyap in West Sikkim on Wednesday.
A meeting with the SMC members, principal and staff was also held to discuss the problems of the school. Issues like lack of class rooms, drinking water facility, lack of proper hostel for boys and girls, insufficient teachers and improper mess were brought before the meeting by the Principal, S. Yonzone. He also mentioned that due to the lack of class rooms, the new batch of class VI students have not yet started and two sections of class VII and VIII students are put together in one class. Further, he said that the students are collecting drinking water for the hostel from nearby streams.
The DC said that he would take up all these matters positively and find out ways to solve the problems as early as possible. He also assured to extend support from the available resources. He directed the engineering cell to complete the temporary boys’ hostel in 15 days time.
Further, he assured to appoint additional teachers by 14 June after conducting interviews. He also said that he would reform the District level Committee for EMRS and collectively work for the welfare of the school.
The DC earlier visited the under construction boys’ hostel, conference hall, class rooms and had an interaction with the students.

Zero Waste clean-up cum awareness drive at SGC Tadong

GANGTOK, 29 May: “Zero Waste Clean-up cum Awareness Drive” was organized at the Sikkim Government College, Tadong by the Zero Waste Himalaya Group Sikkim along with Zero Waste Volunteers from the College.
A press release informs that the event aimed at creating awareness and sensitization among the students and staff on having a proper and responsible waste management mechanism set up within the college.
Despite the inclement weather with continuous drizzle and most of the classes being suspended due to their upcoming semester exams, the programme was attendedby a good number of enthused volunteers from the college, the release informs.
The programme started with a campus cleaning session wherein the Zero Waste Youth Volunteers participatedactively. After almost three hours of intensive cleaning, the group was able to gather two sacks full of pet bottles; two sacks of plastics; one sack full of tetra packs and two sacks of paper (wet and dry separately).
Thereafter, posters were set up in front of the main office along with the sacks full of garbage for display. The posters carried strong messages on waste segregation and its value, on stopping littering within the campus, the do’s and don’ts in the campus, on responsible consumerism, resource management, etc.and were meant to carry the message of responsible waste management to all the students and staff of the college.
It is hoped that this first step would be the beginning of a series of activities in the campus by the Zero Waste Volunteers that would ultimately lead to the transformation of the Sikkim Government College, Tadonginto a Zero Waste Campus, the release adds.

Man falls to death

GANGTOK, 29 May: A 31-year-old man of Lower Boomtar, Namchi died after falling from Tangsang Bhir, South Sikkim. The dead body of the deceased was forwarded to Namchi District Hospital for post mortem. A case of unnatural death has been registered at Namchi Police Station. 

DDMA-East meets to ensure Monsoon Preparedness

GANGTOK, 29 May [IPR]: District Disaster Management Authority East organized a meeting of Nodal Officers from various line departments on Monsoon Preparedness at the conference hall of District Collectorate, East here in the capital Gangtok, today. The meeting was organized to develop a proper mechanism in order to deliver immediate response against natural calamities.
The meeting was chaired by District Collector (East), AK Singh and attended by ADC (R), Karma Bonpo, ADC (E) Aishwarya Singh, ADC-HQ, ND Bhutia, ADC Pakyong, SDM from Gangtok, Rongli, Pakyong & Rangpo, GVAs,  representatives from Departments of UDHD, Forest, Police, Irrigation & Flood Control, RMDD, BSNL, Food & Civil Supplies, Health & Family Welfare, Agriculture & Horticulture, Labor, Army,  IPR and other officials.
Addressing the gathering, District Collector, East, who is also the chairman of District Disaster Management Authority, said that this meeting has been organized to establish an effective system within a team to respond instantly on occurrence of any type of disaster during this monsoon season and future as well.
Highlighting the roles and responsibilities of line departments, he urged all the representatives to contribute with complete coordination in exchanging information during any crisis. He further suggested to focus on strengthening the system with a proper mechanism which can be geared up at the time of disaster.
He also informed that the website of Disaster Management has been created wherein each department has to update details of activities undertaken. He also spoke on the importance of documentation of performed activities and resource management for the situation. He further urged the participants to prepare resource mapping and Standard Operating Procedure to cope with the future crisis.
ADC Karma Bonpo spoke about the roles and responsibilities of line departments wherein he focused on identification and cleaning-up of jhoras, drains in coordination with UDHD Department. He stressed on formation of workforce within the department to remove blockage in and around Gangtok.
Forest Department also informed that a well equipped Civil Rescue Committee is formed to carry out activities during the time of Disaster in East District. Responsibilities of various other departments were also discussed in the meeting.
ADC (E) Aishwarya Singh explained about Standard Operating Procedure as incident command system. It is a chain of command or the protocol which we follow when a disaster occurs, she added.
ADC ND Bhutia briefed about the draft evacuation plan for Gangtok city and also asked representatives for the feedback and valuable inputs.
ADC AB Karki highlighted on different steps involved in Relief Camp Establishment and Rehabilitation process.

Awareness on ‘Certified Seed Production for Agricultural Crops’

GANGTOK, 29 May: A two-day State Level Awareness Programme on ‘Certified Seed Production for Agricultural Crops’ was organized by Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA-East) here at the SAMETI Hall, ICAR Complex, Tadong on 27 May.
As per a press release, more than 70 Progressive Farmers cum Certified Seed Growers and Field Functionaries were invited for the said training progarmme.The Director, State Agricultural Management Extension and Training Institute, (SAMETI), SL Dorjee was the chief guest and the Resource Person for the training programme.
The other Resource Persons were Asha Lama [Joint Director,ATMA East], MK Pradhan [Joint Director,Sikkim Organic Mission], Norbu Tshering Gensapa [Joint Director,Field Crops] and Jagat Subba [Store Keeper, Seed Processing Unit, Mazitar].
The training started with the welcome address by Asha Lama where she apprised the gathering that the main objective of the training is to have Seed village for Agricultural Cropsin East District and identification of area in coordination with Sikkim Organic Mission.
Resource Person, MK Pradhaninformed the gathering on production of seed production in phase I and phase II stages of organic certified areas and further spoke about certification and marketing.
Norbu Tshering Gensapa spoke on the Role and Duties of Seed Inspector, Procedure to be followed by Seed Inspector. He also highlighted on the notified varieties of seeds like Paddy, Rajma, Buckwheat, Finger Millet, Soybean and Urad, etc for seed production and government rates.
Jagat Subba, Store Keeper, [Seed Processing Unit, Mazitar] highlighted on the problems faced while processing the seed received from the farmers. He explained to the farmers in detail about proper drying and cleaning of grains before submitting to SPU Mazitar in order to reduce% (percentage)loss in drying & grading.
The chief guest, SL Dorjee informed the participants on the activities of ATMA and the SAMETI as well as disease & pest management.
During the interaction session, the farmers requested the department to hand over the residues of their produce (after grading and cleaning), so that they can use the residues as feed. They also requested revision of the rates.
C Upreti [Deputy Director] also shared his experience as Seed Inspector and explained in detail about the importance of isolation distance to have pure seeds.
The Joint Director East has requested the field functionaries and farmers to submit the cost of cultivation of agricultural crops. After receiving the cost of cultivation the District will forward the revised rates to the higher authority.
A field visit to SPU Mazitar was also arranged for the farmers & field functionaries.

Black Cat Cycling cum Trekking Ecological Awareness Expedition reaches West Sikkim

GANGTOK, 29 May: Black Cat Cycling cum Trekking Ecological Awareness Expedition has reached Yuksom in West Sikkim. Members of the team interacted with Kanchenjunga Conservation Committee including the Director and numerous other officials, informs a press release.
The expedition was flagged off from Penangla on 21 May as part of ‘Eco Awareness and Perception Management’.
The team gained brief insight regarding the activities of Kanchenjunga Conservation Committee in preserving ecology in the vicinity of the world’s third highest peak. The team collected non-biodegradable waste from the segregation centre being maintained by Kanchenjunga Conservation Committee which had accumulated over a period of timeand dumped the waste at the dumping yard at Martam.
This initiative taken by the expedition team is a testimony of the commitment of Black Cat Division in preserving the ecology of the Sikkim State alongwith the state administration, the release adds.





Thursday, May 29, 2014

Will work with opposition for Sikkim’s prosperity: Chamling

GANGTOK, 28 May: Chief Minister Pawan Chamling today took oath as member of Sikkim Legislative Assembly for a record seventh consecutive time. He has been an MLA since 1984. In his vote of thanks, he assured the house that being the senior-most member of the house he would guide the house in proper manner in the interest of the public without any bias.
In his address, the Chief Minister said that his party has been voted to office for the fifth term and peace, security and development are his top priorities in this term. He assured to do everything possible to transform Sikkim into the best state of the country.
He urged all the legislators to respect the mandate given by the public of Sikkim and work towards preserving peaceful and tranquil environment of the state which is ushering the state towards the path of prosperity.
 “My government will do its best to promote and protect its people irrespective of their allegiance to any party and will join hands with the opposition to work for the prosperity of the state,” he stated. He also expressed hope that the opposition will play a constructive role in the interest of the state and help fulfill the people’s hopes and aspirations.
The CM stressed that elections are over and with it should also end the blame-game and that it was now the duty of the public representatives to deliver on responsibilities cast upon them for welfare of the public at large. He also called upon the members of the legislative assembly from both the ruling and opposition bench to essay a sincere and constructive role, participation and deliver on their responsibilities with utmost dedication.
He thanked the people of Sikkim for bringing his party back to power for a record fifth term and also for electing representatives from the Opposition party for a healthy democracy.
Mr Chamling urged members of the Sikkim Legislative Assembly to rise above personal interests and ego differences to deliver on their duties as public representatives.

New legislators sworn in, KN Rai elected Speaker

GANGTOK, 28 May: Poklok-Kamrang MLA, KN Rai, was elected the Speaker of the Sikkim Legislative Assembly today while pro-tem Speaker, Sonam Gyatso Lepcha, has been elected Deputy Speaker.
The first session of the Ninth Legislative Assembly began at 11 AM this morning and lasted for one hour following the election of the Speaker of the house.
To begin with, the pro-tem Speaker administered the oath of affirmation to the newly elected members of Sikkim Legislative Assembly. Dr. Mechung Bhutia of Sikkim Krantikari Morcha who is the Martam Rumtek MLA was absent and will take oath later.
The oath was administered by the pro tem Speaker to the Leader of the House Pawan Chamling followed by other members.
The Ninth Legislative Assembly unanimously elected Poklok-Kamrang MLA Kedarnath Rai as Speaker and Dzongu MLA Sonam Gyatso Lepcha as Deputy Speaker of the house. Both the names were proposed by Minister Ugen Gyatso Bhutia and seconded by DT Lepcha.
After being elected Speaker of the House, Mr. Rai expressed his gratitude to members of the house for unanimously electing him as Speaker and assured that he will uphold the dignity and integrity of the Chair of Speaker without any bias. He added that he will take both the treasury bench and opposition together for smooth functioning of the house in the next five years.
Similarly, Deputy Speaker, Mr Lepcha also thanked members of the Legislative Assembly and said that he will perform his duties with utmost dignity and integrity upholding the dignity of the chair in the absence of the Speaker of the house.
The Speaker also announced the election and nomination of the following assembly committees for 2014-15. The Public Accounts Committee has Bek Bahadur Rai as Chairman and Chandra Maya Subba as Member while the Estimates Committee has Ms Subba as Chairperson and Mr. BB Rai as Member.
Committee on Government Assurance has Sonam Dadul Bhutia as Chairman with KS Lepcha and Tilu Gurung as Members. House Committee has KS Lepcha as Chairman with DN Sherpa and Chandra Maya Subba as Members. Library Committee has the Dy. Speaker as Ex-officio Chairman with KS Lepcha and Chandra Maya Subba as Members. Committee on Rules has the Speaker as Ex-officio Chairman with Tilu Gurung and DN Sherpa as Members.
The Speaker nominated Ugen N Bhutia, Sonam Lama and Shyam Pradhan as panel of Chairman for the year 2014-2015.
Later, after the Assembly was adjourned by the Speaker the Chief Minister, in a simple function organized at the Assembly premises administered the oath of Office to the four Parliamentary Secretaries viz. Tilu Gurung for Energy & Power Department, Sonam Dadul Bhutia for Rural Management and Development Department, DN Sherpa for Tourism and Civil Aviation Department and KS Lepcha for Roads and Bridges Department.

Service regularisation process currently in abeyance

GANGTOK, 28 May: Fresh processing of files for service regularization of temporary employees of the State Government has been kept in abeyance, senior officials of the Department of Personnel inform.
In fact, as recently as on 26 May, the Secretary, DoP, in a circular marked to all Heads of Departments, conveyed that the “regularization process of temporary employees which has been kept in abeyance shall continue to remain so until further orders”.
This circular has interesting antecedents, coming as it does, in continuation of a DoP circular of 19 April 2014. This circular, officials inform, was necessitated when complaints were lodged alleging that service regularizations were continuing despite the model code of conduct having been in force. The 19 April circular from the DoP to the departments was a reminder that service regularizations could not be undertaken while the code was in force. Departments were reportedly informed that the regularization process was to remain in abeyance until “further orders”.
The 26 May circular reminds departments that the these “further orders” have still not been issued.
Officials inform that the recent Cabinet meeting had also discussed the regularisation process and underlined that the process be made foolproof. The process, they inform, will resume once the procedure and processes have been reinforced and finalized.

SDF extends unconditional support to NDA

GANGTOK, 28 May: Sikkim Democratic Front has extended unconditional support to the National Democratic Alliance [NDA] at the Centre, informed the SDF president, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, today in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly while addressing the oath taking ceremony of newly elected members of Sikkim Legislative Assembly for 2014-19. Mr. Chamling also conveyed his best wishes to Narendra Modi on being elected the Prime Minister of the country.

3 tourists die in North road mishap

MANGAN, 28 May: A tourist vehicle plying to North Sikkim met with a fatal accident this afternoon killing three tourists on the spot. While one of the occupants is reported to have fallen into the river, five others have been injured in the accident and sent to the District Hospital at Mangan.
The accident occurred at Toong Naga killing Ritesh Pankaj Kapadia [39], Neena Ritesh Kapadia [30] and Raj Ritesh [10] on the spot. Other occupants were Yashdi Ritesh Kapadia [07], Kavish Naresh Bhai Choksi [39], Lima Naresh Bhai Choksi [35], Bhumi Kavish Choksi [13], Bharad Kavish Choksi [10] and driver LD Sharma [41]. All the occupants are from Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

Manjushri School team visits Sakyong Chisopani JHS

SINGTAM, 28 May: Fifth grade students along with two escort teachers from Manjushri Public School, Temi, South Sikkim visited Sakyong Chisopani JHS, East Sikkim on 27 May. The group visited the exhibition of models and activity works displayed by the students of Sakyong Chisopani JHS.
Displayed materials included those made of waste materials mostly waste paper, plastic bottles, match box and others. The major highlight of the event was the activities on rain water harvesting. Exhibition of stamps and bank notes was also held on the occasion.
There were 48 students from two sections of Class V from Manjushri Public School that visited Sakyong Chisopani JHS. The students of both schools had interacted with each other. Manjushri Public School sang a Japanese song to which Sakyong Chisopani JHS students sang ‘Jaha Bagcha Tista-Rangit’ for their friends.
A friendly football match was also played. Songs and dances were also performed by students of the two schools. The students of Manjushri Public School shared their experiences and they appreciated the efforts of the students of the host school in using waste materials. They also said that they would like to replicate such activities.
Headmaster of Sakyong Chisopani JHS, Mahesh Dahal appreciated the discipline and eagerness to learn of the students of Manjushri Public School. “We are happy that the school from far south visited us. The visit has benefited the students of both schools”, he added.
Teachers from Manjushri Public School, Yozna Gurung and Kittu Rai said it was heartwarming to see students coming together to share their knowledge. “We are really grateful to Chisopani JHS for welcoming us to their school and sharing their art of recycle, reuse and rain water harvesting”, they added. [from SHITAL PRADHAN]

Italian Consul General on Sikkim visit

GANGTOK, 28 May: Italian Consul General in Kolkata, Cesare Bieller is in Gangtok and is expected to meet Tourism Minister Ugen T Gyatso on Thursday with the view to revive century old Sikkim-Italy relationship by promoting adventure tourism in Sikkim. He is here with a team of mountaineers from Italy.
Talking to media persons this afternoon after meeting the Chief Secretary, Rinchen Ongmu, he said Sikkim has a lot of potential in adventure tourism and needs more infrastructural development in this sector. Mr. Bieller informed that the Italian team scaled the Thalung peak in North Sikkim a few days ago.
Italy has taken Sikkim and Meghalaya as its priority states in Northeastern region of India since there is a lot of scope in these two states, said the Italian Consul General. Indigenous food production and habits is unique in both these states which needs to be promoted further in close coordination with the state governments in the near future, he added.
Meghalaya is going to organize the second world indigenous food festival next year to promote tourism in the state and Italy wants to take part in it to promote the food festival, he informed.
Mr. Bieller further said that he is expected to discuss possible cooperation between Sikkim and Italy for indigenous food processing, development of mountaineering and adventure tourism like climbing, trekking and expeditions in peaks of Sikkim with the Tourism Minister, Mr. Gyatso.
There is a lot of enthusiasm amongst Italian tourists to visit Sikkim and Meghalaya, he said further adding that a lot of young people of Sikkim also want to go to Italy especially for education. However, he said that there are some complications in granting visa and expressed hopes to simplify the visa procedure in the coming days.

72/80 pass class XII from Holy Cross School

GANGTOK, 28 May: Out of 80 students of Holy Cross School, Tadong who appeared for the class XII CBSE exams from Science and Commerce Streams, 72 students passed, 7 got compartments and 1 student failed.
A press release informs that CheemelaBhutia topped the school in the Science stream with 93.4% followed by ManishaAgarwal and SnehaAgarwal with 93% and 91.4% respectively. From Commerce Stream, Sanjeev Kumar Daga got 86% followed by MukulPeriwal and AyushiAgarwal with 83.8% and 83.4% respectively.
Although the result this year is not as good as last year’s results, the students managed to do their best and excelled in different subjects, the release mentions. Out of all the successful students, 3 students managed to achieve above 90% marks in aggregate, 13 students achieved 80% and above, 48 students achieved above 60% marks in aggregate; 8 students got above 50% marks.
The Principal of the School,Sr. Celine Antony has congratulated the students, parents and teachers, the release adds.

Pendam FC and JVC FA qualify for 2nd Division S-League

GANGTOK, 28 May: Pendam Football Club and JVC Football Academy have qualified for the Second Division Sikkim-League 2014 here at Paljor Stadium. Pendam FC topped the final league of the qualifying round with 9 points from 4 games while JVC FA Singtam finished second with 8 points.
The last match in the final league of the Second Division Sikkim-League qualifying round played today between JVC Singtam and Brotherhood FC ended in 3-3 draw. Both teams shared a point each from this draw match.
After playing four matches each in the final league, Sikkim Royal Sports Academy finished in third position with 6 points followed by Brotherhood FC with 4 points and Tadong United FC with just 1 point.
However, Sikkim Football Association has informed that the third team may get a chance if any of the 6 clubs already in the Second Division fail to confirm their participation by 31 May.
The six clubs already in the Second Division are FC United of Jorethang, Dalom Sports Association Sombaria, Howlers SC Singtam, Aakraman XI along with two clubs who were relegated from the First Division Boys Club-A and Friends Football Club (NHPC) Singtam.
The Premier League or First Division has United Sikkim FC, Sikkim Police FC, Boys Club, Sikkim State Sports Academy, Siniolchu Club Namchi, SAI Namchi, Sikkim Himalayan SC (Red) (promoted from 2013 S-League) and D'zongri SC (also promoted from 2013 S-League).

Football stars visit Middle Gyalshing Secondary School

GANGTOK, 28 May: An exhibition football match was organised at Government Secondary School, Middle Gyalshing, today. The match saw the participation of 6 of the state and country’s best players. The players who participated in the match included talents like Nirmal Chettri, Sanju Pradhan, Bikash Jairu, Robin Gurung, Nim Tshering Lepcha and Sanjay Chettri.
A press release informs that this star studded bunch played a match with the students of the school, in a bid to encourage local talents and inspire rural youth who lack the required exposure and facilities. The players also very generously made a cash donation to the school for development purposes along with an autographed Sikkim United jersey.
Despite the rain, a colourful cultural programme was also presented by the students along with the school song. The school on its part presented a letter of appreciation to all the 6 players. It must also be mentioned here that two of the players, namely Bikash Jairu and Sanjay Chettri are former students of the school, the release informs.
After the match, the players provided autographs to all the students. The school authorities have thanked all the players for their valuable time and the inspiration they provided to the students. The school wishes all the players continues success in their future endeavors, it is added.

EMRS-Gangyap’s first batch aces class XII board exams

GANGTOK, 28 May: The first batch of class XII students of Eklavya Model Residential School, Gangyap appeared for the CBSE exams this year. The school has recorded 100% pass percentage with all 33 students who appeared for the exams passing. The batch comprised of 21 in Humanities, 8 in Bio Science and 4 in Pure Science streams.
A press release informs that Pem Lamu Lepcha of Karzee topped the Humanities stream scoring 95% (English 95, History 95, Pol. Sc. 95, Geography 95 and Phy. Ed. 97) while basketball star Rinchen Doma Bhutia of Mangalbarey scored 94% (English 88, History 95, Pol. Sc. 95, Geography 94 and Phy. Ed 97).
Eday Lepcha of Gangyap scored 93%, Sapana Subba of Kongri scored 93% and Lharip Lepcha also of Gangyap scored 91%. 10 other students scored between 80% - 89%, 5 of them between 70% - 79 % and the lowest score was 64%.
In Science stream, the topper was Shikum Hangma Subba of Bio Science scored 84% while the other 7 others also of Bio Science scored between 70% - 79%. Lako Doma Lepcha of Pure Science scored 79% while the other three scored percentages in the 70's.
Out of the 33 students, 20 scored 90+ in English with the rest scoring between 80% - 89% and only one scoring 72%, the release informs.
The Chairman, Chewang Gyatso Bhutia who is also DC West along with Joint Director HRDD (West) congratulated the students and the entire team of staff for the excellent results, it adds.

Fraud

GANGTOK, 28 May: A case of fraud has been registered with the CID Gangtok against unknown persons on 26 May. As per the police, an employee at a bank along with some others have been accused of fraudulently withdrawing cash from the bank account of a customer. The case is under investigation.

Tourist dies in fall in West Sikkim

GANGTOK, 28 May: A tourist lost his life after falling from a height in West Sikkim on 26 May.
As per the Sikkim Police social media page, the tourist had come with his family to Pelling in West Sikkim on 26 May from Maharashtra and had gone to visit Kanchenjunga Falls. At around 11 a.m. when the said tourist was trying to board the taxi parked on the edge of the road he slipped and fell almost 50 feet down the road. The dead body has been handed over to the family members after inquest and post mortem. A case of unnatural death has been registered at Gyalshing Police Station.

Two injured in accident

GANGTOK, 28 May: A taxi vehicle (Alto 800) met with an accident and fell about 60 feet below the road while plying from Dikling to Lossing, East Sikkim. The driver and one other occupant were taken to Pakyong PHC for medical treatment. The driver was further referred to CRH Tadong. A criminal case has been registered against the driver at Pakyong Police Station.

Plantation drive by Dalapchand School students

RONGLI, 28 May: A plantation drive of fruits and vegetables saplings in the reserve forest of Baklakha was organized by the Scouts & Guides Unit and Generous Students of Dalapchand SS on 25 May. The plantation was conducted in the presence of Scout Master, School teachers, S.M.C, Panchayat (GPU, Dalapchand), members of local NGOs and guardians.
As per a press release, the idea sprung from the need to address the issue of man-animal conflict in the area. The main objective was to provide sufficient food for animals in the forest so that they do not invade human habitation.
Around 70 students including Scouts & Guides Unit and Generous Students of Dalapchand SS from classes VI to X participated in the plantation. The program started at 10 am with brief address by SD Bhutia, GT (Bio) and Scout Master of Dalapchand SS about the day’s program. Panchayat Secretary (GPU, Dalapchand), Mani Kr.Rai also addressed the gathering.
Locally found vegetable and fruit saplings were planted in the forest. The students also interacted with SSB In-charge who appreciated the school's initiative towards such a noble cause. He also assured all possible support from their side in the days to come. [from SHITAL PRADHAN]