Follow Us:

Chamling begins 32-day Sikkim tour

Statesman News Service | Kabi Tindga |

Chief Minister Pawan Chamling on Monday kicked off his 32-day tour of Sikkim. He reached North Sikkim on Monday and will wrap up his visit there in three days. As he spoke in the north, the CM said that Sikkim’s first airport at Pakyong would be opened in June.

“I have come here to meet the kings and queens of Sikkim, the owners of the Sikkim government, the people of Sikkim,” Mr Chamling said in the Kabi Lingchum community hall under the Kabi Tindga constituency.

He highlighted the changes that have taken place in the state after he came to power. It may be mentioned here that the CM had undertaken such a tour for 42 days last year.

“You have given me a mandate for five terms to run your government. It has been 24 years since our government is in place. Compare Sikkim what it was before we came to power, and what it is now. You can say the SDF government was a failure if you feel that unrest has come up and people have faced hardships,” he told the gathering.

“If you feel the living standards of the people have gone up, they have become selfreliant, and development has taken place, then say that the SDF government pursued right governance,” the CM added.

On organic farming, Mr Chamling said that the ban on import of vegetables from outside the state is in place to avoid vegetables grown with chemicals to enter the state, “so that our people can eat only organic and stay healthy.”

“The markets of Sikkim are open for farmers to sell their produce and no tax is collected from them. We have made all organic bazaars tax-free. We are giving crop insurance, price support and goods compensation. If your vegetables go stale or perish, the government compensate for the losses,” he said.

He further said that the Pakyong Airport is opening in June. “Initially, flights from Pakyong will connect to Delhi, Kolkata and Guwahati. We are working hard to add flights to Bangkok, Thimphu and Kathmandu,” he said.

He also expressed his happiness on the Karmapa’s visit to Sikkim. “This is indeed happy news for the people of Sikkim and my happiness lies in your happiness,” he said.

The CM also made some announcements that included a hike in the monthly payment for Aganwadi workers (ICDS) (Rs 10000), ICDS helper (Rs 6000), and Panchayat President (9000), as per the revised 6th Pay Commission, and to be paid with effect from 1 April this year.

He also announced exgratia for drivers (Rs 5 lakh each) losing life in road accidents. The CM announced a travel allowance of Rs 500 for all state government employees working below the post of office superintendent.

He said employees on the muster roll for more than five years would be regularised. He further announced Rs 25000 as ‘travel charge’ for patients referred outside for treatment and for those belonging to the below-poverty-line category.