Friday, May 25, 2007


Ranipool, Arithang, Upper Tadong, Tashi viewpoint, Pangthang, Penlong, Nabey Sotak, Burtuk, Chanmari embraced under Gangtok Municipal Corporation

GANGTOK May 23: The Municipality demarcation for the up-coming Panchayat election, likely to be held this October, has been notified.

As per the latest notification, 10 Gram Panchayat Units has been incorporated in the Municipal Corporation. Gangtok has been identified as the only Municipal Corporation in the state as per the guidelines with its population above 70,000.

The demarcation shows Ranipool, Arithang, Upper Tadong, Tashi viewpoint, Pangthang, Penlong, Nabey Sotak, Burtuk, Chanmari under Gangtok Municipal Corporation. Altogether six-gram Panchayat units in and around Gangtok have been incorporated to Gangtok Municipal Corporation (GMC).

According to sources, the demarcation has slightly stroked some GPUs as Chanmari, Burtuk etc. Places like Pakyong, Rhenock, Rongli, Mangan, Rabong, Geyzing, Pelling, and Soreng areas are demarcated under Nagar Panchayat (being the population below 5,000, as per the Municipal Rule).

Meanwhile, Singtam, Rangpo, Namchi, Jorethang are demarcated as Municipal Council. From the existing 166 GPU’s in Sikkim now it has become 155 GPU’s with 100 Zilla Panchayats (territorial constituencies).

The RMDD has recently finished with re-organisation of affected areas and has submitted the report to the Home Department. A committee for delimitation of Municipalities and re-organisation of affected areas has been formed under the Chairmanship of CP Dewan, Chairman State Election Commission regarding re-organisation of Gram Panchayat Unit.

The RMD Department is now speedily working in the process of seat reservation. A high level committee has been formed under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary pertaining the same. A proposal has been offered by the department in its report submitted to the State Election Commission to conduct the seat reservation on the basis of population. The matter pertaining to it presently is said to be in the pipeline.

The urban areas prior to Sikkim becoming the 22nd state of India was looked after by Bazaar Department and after merger by the Gangtok Municipal Corporation Act following the latter’s enactment.

The GMC was abolished under the Sikkim (Repeal and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1985 and its power and functions were reverted to Local Self Government. Vide Notification No.7 (17)/ Home dated 28 July1990, the Local Self Government was renamed as Urban Development and Housing Department.

The Municipal Corporation Act was legislated way back in the year 1975. However, the Municipality did not function properly and the state government in the year 1985 when the Municipal Corporation Act 1975 was repealed ceased it. Since 1985, the state government, through the Local Self Government Department and later the UD&H Department has been carrying out the Municipal functions in Gangtok.

In the year 1995, a new Sikkim Municipalities Act was enacted and for the last few years, the state has been holding hearings aimed at creating an urban local body in Gangtok.