Writings of Sikkim since 2007

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Shri Sathya Sai Seva organization Sikkim observed grand Saga Dawa



Shri Sathya Sai Seva organization Sikkim observed grand Saga Dawa

Shri Sathya Sai Seva organization Sikkim observed grand Saga Dawa in a public programme at Gangtok old Children Park highlighting the message and teaching of Lord Buddha. In the morning, a rally called Dhamma Yatra was taken out in the street of Gangtok, Zero point, Tibet Road and back. The life and teachings of Buddhas were display in the banner and placard. Dr. Sonam Gyamtso Bhutia, Shri Passang Sherpa and others led the march. In the day programme, Dr. Milan Sakya, Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and Aesthetics, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal delivered the keynote on the life and teaching of Buddha.
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CRACKDOWN ON MISUSE OF DOMESTIC CYLINDERS CONTINUE




GANGTOK, NAMCHI, May 30: Sikkim Police, together with personnel from Food Department are continuing with their crackdown on illegal use of domestic cylinders and unhygienic kitchens throughout the State.

There has been continual seizure of domestic cylinders from hotels and restaurants followed by arrest of its proprietors in the last few days, along with cases registered against several hotels under Section 269/ 273 of Indian Penal Code for unhygienic conditions at its food processing counters.

On May 29, the Gyalshing Police raided Hotel Newa in Lower Pelling and found domestic cylinders in use in the Hotel and also found its kitchen in unhygienic conditions. The Police thereafter seized two domestic cylinders from the Hotel and arrested A Chakraborty, the in-charge of the Hotel under Section 269 of the IPC.

The Gyalshing Police also detained the proprietor of Kanchendzonga Hotel in Pelling for using three domestic cylinders. Likewise, two domestic cylinders were seized from Swagat Hotel, three each from Hotel Phamrong, Hotel Norbugang and Hotel Karma at Lower Pelling.

Three more cylinders were seized from Hotel Yangthang at Pelling followed by detention of the proprietor of Hotel Panorama and Khanchendzonga Restaurant cum Fast Food on the same charges. All the cases were register under Section 7 of Essential Commodities Act 1955.

On May 29, the Ravangla Police seized domestic cylinders and arrested the proprietor Harka Bahadur Manger of Hotel Mt Gochala, Tshering Ongdup of Hotel Friends Corner and Tibetan Ongba of Hotel Ongba. The Ravangla Police also handed out challans to two persons under Section 19 of Sikkim Trade Rule 1985.

The South District in the last couple of days also saw major raids in hotels and fast food centres at Namchi and Jorethang. The Namchi Police seized 11 domestic LPG cylinders and 8 LPG stoves from the various hotels in Namchi till today evening. Meanwhile Hotel Tenzing at Jorethang road was sealed down after it was found operating without a license by the raiding team.

Speaking to SIKKIM EXPRESS, DIG Range, Akshay Sachdeva informed that a meeting was held here in Gangtok today at the conference hall of Police Head Quarters between officers of STCS and the Police.

Commercial establishments will be given one month’s time to start suing commercial cylinders after which, stringent measures will initiated against those found using domestic cylinders, Mr. Sachdeva said.

The Area Manager Siliguri of Indian Oil Corporation Limited, in a communiqué, dated July 17, 2007 to the Chief Secretary, says that the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India had issued a notification stating the purpose of subsidised domestic LPG for cooking and clarified that diversion of domestic LPG for commercial purpose is illegal and attracts penalties.

The Notification of Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas states non-domestic 19 kgs cylinders are to be used for commercial purpose. If anyone caught misusing domestic cylinders, they can be imprisoned up to 7 years together with fines under the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Control Order-2001, reads the notification.
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WANTED: A PUBLIC PARK IN SINGTAM




Sikkim is rapidly on the road to development and this is evident from the fact that there have been many positive changes in the State. The towns and villages have witnessed much infrastructural development, which is a necessity in any developing State.

However, we seem to have confused development with just building huge concrete structures and buying more vehicles. The race to construct buildings is so fierce that we have forgotten that we do need open spaces and wide roads to walk and breathe.

It is rightly said that civic centres and public places like parks and gardens are the lifeline of any town or city. It gives the residents a place to get away from the humdrum of urban existence and relax with family and friends.

Singtam is one such town that lacks any form of public parks or civil centres. This town may have been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately but we must not forget that it is an important and rapidly growing town that connects the Capital with three Districts of the State.

Over a few years, there has been a rapid change in character of the town, with much increase in the number of vehicles, hotels, shopping complex, and even in the lifestyle of the people. But this town lacks a public place where the residents can relax in the evenings or during holidays. There are many taxi stands in the town, but not a single public place like a garden or a park where the children can play and others can exercise or relax.

I feel the concerned authorities should seriously consider a park or a garden in Singtam for the well being of the people, both physical as well as mental.
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MG MARG MAKEOVER IN PROGRESS


GANGTOK, May 30: Finally, MG Marg gets the much-needed face lift. After years of neglect and little attention by the concerned authorities, this commercial hub of the Capital is currently under extensive repairs and alterations.

The State Government has drawn up impressive plans to spruce up Gangtok’s main thoroughfare, keeping up with the vision of the Chief Minister, Pawan Chamling to convert the State into another Singapore. To begin with, the MG Marg is being widened to make more space for parking.

Accordingly, the green divider running across the length of the Marg is being cut to size to make the roads on its both sides wider. The existing 7 metre width of the divider will now be reduced to just 1 ½ metre obviously to accommodate more vehicles. The first phase of the project has begun from the Tourism Information Centre upto Star Hall point. The total area covered will be 10,000 square meter and the fund allocated for the first phase is Rs 53 Lakhs.

The MG Marg beautification project also comprises of systematising the network of wires and cables that run along the length of the Marg. All hanging electricity wires and telephone cables, and water pipes will be sorted and properly organised. The green divider will continue to exist, albeit narrower and flowering plants will be planted on it. There are plans to create small parks in some spots along the green divider. The entire MG Marg development and beautification is expected to take 44 months (3 years 8 months).
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A short introduction to the holy event of Saga Dawa



Saga Dawa (Tibetan) or Vesak (Pali) is one of the most significant Dharma events observed worldwide by the entire Buddhist community. Three of the most important events in Buddha’s life took place on the full moon day of that month.

As it is generally known Buddha performed three important deeds on that day, namely his birth, enlightenment and passing into Parinirvana. To be more precise, there exist slightly different view points concerning the dates. However, according to the scriptures it is not the day of Buddha’s conventional birth or delivery but his entering the womb of the mother – in other words the day of his conception. According to Buddhism the first coming into contact of the consciousness of a being with the cells of the parents in the womb of the mother is considered to be the actual birth, the very starting point of this life or rebirth. In the same way Buddha’s entering the womb of Queen Mahamaya of the Shakya Royal Family on the full moon day of the Vesak month is regarded as Buddha Shakyamuni’s birth. Buddha’s conventional birth in Lumbini Grove took place on the 15th day of the month of Magha (Sanskrit) or Chu Dawa (Tibetan).


At the age of 35 Buddha showed his attainment of enlightenment under the Bodhi tree in Vajraasana or Bodhgaya and at the age of 80 he performed his last deed of entering into Parinirvana in Kushinagar, both events also taking place on that same day. Therefore this month is regarded as the holiest time of the year. It is also known as bum gyur dawa in Tibetan, meaning “the month which multiplies by 100’000.” Whatever wholesome or unwholesome action is performed during this month has a 100’000 times stronger effect than at other times.

In countries where the holy Dharma flourishes, this event is celebrated with great importance. In Tibet for instance most people used to engage for the entire month in particularly intensive wholesome actions such as making prostrations, circumambulations, and offerings to the Buddhas, giving alms to the poor, fasting and reciting prayers, abandoning negative actions, feeding animals and saving their lives, observing vegetarian diet etc.

In other Buddhist countries like Sri Lanka the temples, towns and villages are beautifully decorated with colorful dazzling garlands of light in the midst of which the stories of Buddha’s life are portrayed. On the full moon day of this month holy representations of Buddha such as the relics are carried in a long procession on magnificently ornamented elephants and chariots together with offerings, music and dance performances. The venerable monks engage in intensive practices of prayer and rituals and the lay devotees also engage in various Dharma activities such as veneration of the representations of the Buddha as well as the Sangha, taking vows etc.

In the Indian tradition this month is called Vaishakha, a Sanskrit word which in Pali changed into Vesaka, which is how it is commonly known. Internationally it was set to be celebrated in May.

In many countries including India the full moon day of this month is also an official holiday called Budhpoornima or Buddha’s full moon. In Tibet and Mongolia the fourth month of the lunar year is considered as Vaishakha month and celebrated then.

A short introduction to the holy event of Saga Dawa or Vesak

Once in a while, due to the discrepancy between lunar and solar year, the dates for the celebration of Saga Dawa or Vesak can differ as much as one month which is the case this year. So in the Tibetan and Mongolian tradition it is celebrated one month later in June.

Considering the extraordinary effect, if everybody could use this time for the purpose of enhancing the strength and power of the wholesome thoughts and actions instead of multiplying one’s unwholesome deeds, it would be extremely advantageous.

It is also the best occasion to make this precious human existence and having encountered the teaching of the Buddha worthwhile and meaningful.
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SHINDE EXTENDED HIS ASSURANCE FOR FUTURE POWER VENTURE IN SIKKIM


SHINDE EXTENDED HIS ASSURANCE FOR FUTURE POWER VENTURE IN SIKKIM
Namchi(SKM)/Siliguri(WB), May 31: The Union Minister for Power, Government of India, Sushil Kumar Shinde was received at the Namchi Helipad by the Chief Minister, Pawan Chamling. The Union Minister had come to inspect the Nation Power Grid Corporation's new 400/220 kv power sub-station, about 12 km from Siliguri and the construction of '400 KV Teesta Stage-V HEP-New Siliguri Double Circuit Transmission Line' at Phongla, a village situated 20 Kms away from Namchi in South Sikkim. He expressed confidence that all villages in the country would be electrified by the end of 2009 as per the programme of the UPA government.
Shinde along with Chamling visited the site and Deputy General Manager, Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd, P.G. Singh, presented a brief report on the Transmission Line Construction. Thereafter, they inspected the site of Transmission Line site whereby officials of the Power Grid Corporation assisted them with the necessary information.
During the inspection, Chamling informed Shinde about the Power generating potential in Sikkim, pending Power works and also requested the Union Minister to consider Sikkim for future Central schemes on Power. Shinde extended his assurance and said that Sikkim will definitely be seen as a prospective place for future Power ventures. He further said his ministry was giving adequate stress on controlling power theft and conservation while trying to bring every household within the power supply network. He said there was scope for production of more nuclear power in the country which at present was only three per cent of the total power generation. After surveying the project site at Pongla, Shinde left for Bagdogra, the South District DC said
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WIDENING ROAD: PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES FOR TSHONGU LAKE


WIDENING ROAD: PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES FOR TSHONGU LAKE
Gangtok, May 31: Keeping in view the apprehension expressed by the Chief Minister, Pawan Chamling a few day back, regarding the disposal of excavated soil during the widening of the Gangtok Nathula Road which is likely to damage the Tshongu Lake. Tshongu being a sacred lake is very important not only from the "sentiment" point of view but it is also a hot spot tourist destination which needs to be conserved and protected by all means. Therefore, to access on the spot assessment and initiate precautionary measures, a team of officials led by Minister Commerce & Industries, R.B. Subba, Minister Roads & Bridges, D.T. Lepcha, Secretary Commerce & Industries, Roads & Bridges and other Senior Govt. Officials visited Tshongu Lake today i.e. on 30th May, 2007. During the inspection, officials from B.R.O. & ITBP were also present.
Commanding Officer 87 RCC apprised the team about the expansion and widening of the Nathula Road which has recently started. He said that necessary steps to avoid environmental degradation have been taken. Regarding the excavated soil he said that two dumping sites have been chosen duly approved by the Forest Department is Sherathang Helipad and Harayana Bend.
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HIGH RISK OF EXPERIENCING TREMORS FREQUENTLY


HIGH RISK OF EXPERIENCING TREMORS FREQUENTLY
Ravangla, May 31: District Collector, D. Anandan convened an emergency meeting regarding Disaster Management especially earthquake at Community Hall, Ravangla on 28th, May, 2007. The main aim of this meeting was to generate preparedness at every level among the people to combat future disaster. It has been noted here that the people of some part of the state faced seismic tremor since 18th, May to 26th May continuously. According to seismographic cal report 4.5 Richter scale on May 18th, 5 Richter scale on 20th, 3.5 on 23rd and 3.3 Richter scale on 26th May have been measured.
Pempa Norbu Bhutia DPO, UNDP highlighted on Do's and Dont's during earthquake.
While talking about the role and responsibilities of line department, panchayats, and local NGOs the District Collector, South urged them to be serious and prepare themselves to face the disaster .He further informed them that our state lies in earthquake zone V and there is high risk of experiencing such tremors frequently .He further informed that the recent tremor has damaged 3 houses along with one ICDS centre and 2 minor damages have also been reported. Ex-gratia payments amounting to Rs 5000/ was also announced. The DC also informed that the Department has constructed temporary ICDS centre in the effected area He said that the department has also started awareness workshops in 51 schools, BACs, PHEs, PHSEs of Ralong constituency in which mock drills was also conducted. Police Personnel have been asked to remain alert and pass prompt information to District Collectorate in any incidents. Rescue, search, evacuation, first aid teams which had already formed in GPU level were also asked to be active and make necessary arrangement to mitigate disaster. He requested people not to panic and instead be prepared with preventive measures in every level.
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All villages to have power by 2009

All villages to have power by 2009
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Siliguri (WB), May 30: Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde today expressed confidence that all villages in the country would be electrified by the end of 2009 as per the programme of the UPA government.

Dedicating to the nation Power Grid Corporation's new 400/220 kv power sub-station, about 12 km from here, Shinde said his ministry was giving adequate stress on controlling power theft and conservation while trying to bring every household within the power supply network.

He said there was scope for production of more nuclear power in the country which at present was only three per cent of the total power generation.

Shinde also paid a brief visit to Pongla near Namchi in South Sikkim to assess the progress of work on the 400 kva transmission tower being put up there by PGCIL.

The powerful transmission tower, a first of its kind for the state, will be linked up with the NHPC's ambitious Teesta Stage-V hydel power project nearing completion in East Sikkim, District Collector (South) D Anandan told PTI on phone from Namchi.

Accompanied by the PGCIL Chairman R P Singh the Power Minister was received by Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling and a host of senior government officials at Assangthang near Namchi.

After surveying the project site at Pongla, Shinde left for Bagdogra, the South District DC said. (Agencies)
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Fly by night to Northeast

Fly by night to Northeast
JAYANTA ROY CHOWDHURY

New Delhi, May 30: Fliers to the Northeast need no longer worry about delayed flights getting inevitably cancelled after sundown because there are no night landing facilities in all but two airports of the region.

Delhi is planning to upgrade all airports in the region and make night landing possible in most of them. The Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi Airport in Guwahati, whose “international” status came minus the facilities, will finally undergo a makeover to match “international standards”.

Three greenfield airports will be set up in Sikkim, Itanagar and Kohima.

The government is also considering a proposal to relax norms to allow airlines operating in the Northeast to connect Guwahati to international destinations.

A senior official of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) said the main problem for airlines and passengers travelling to the region was the short window period for flight operations. Apart from Guwahati and Agartala, no airport in the seven states has instrument-guided landing facilities, which means a commercial aircraft cannot land after 4 pm.

“We will have instrument-landing systems installed at both Lilabari and Silchar, among other places,” the official said.

The plan to upgrade Guwahati airport to “international standards” will be implemented over the next five years. The airport’s only international connection, an Indian flight to and from Bangkok, was scrapped because of low seat occupancy.

“Airlines may be permitted to provide connections out of Guwahati to neighbouring countries of Southeast Asia. Besides improving connectivity, this will contribute to the viability of airline operations in the Northeast,” the AAI official said.

For Sikkim, the AAI has drafted a greenfield airport project with a budget of Rs 340 crore. The Sikkim government will contribute about Rs 100 crore and provide land at Pakyong for the airport. Sikkim’s nearest air link at present is Bagdogra airport near Siliguri.

Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland will also get greenfield airports. The AAI has selected sites at Bandardewa, near Itanagar, and Chiethu, near Kohima, for the projects. Both these projects will be taken up during the eleventh Five Year Plan period.

Delhi also intends to set up a cold storage chain for the flower, vegetable and fruit businesses.

The cold storage depots will be set up in Guwahati, Lengpui (Aizawl), Umroi (Shillong) and also at the three proposed greenfield airports.

Another plan on the drawing board is to link three tourist destinations — Tawang(Arunachal Pradesh), Kaziranga and Majuli (Assam) — by air. Four defunct airports — Rupsi, Kamalpur, Pasighat and Tezu — will soon be resurrected.
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Heartburn over debacle in CBSE Class X exam


Heartburn over debacle in CBSE Class X exam
A STAFF REPORTER

Guwahati, May 30: When students in Delhi were flashing their 90 per cents and doing their high-fives, the Central Board of Secondary Education was looking for reasons for the below-par performance of students in the Guwahati region, comprising the seven states of the Northeast and Sikkim.

Among the six regions where the board conducts Standard X examinations, Guwahati region has the lowest pass percentage — a mere 56 per cent.

Ajmer region registered a staggering 93.87 pass per cent, the highest.

A post-result analysis by the board revealed that poor performance by government schools in two states, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, pushed Guwahati to the bottom in the list.

K.K. Choudhury, the regional officer of CBSE (Guwahati), said the two states pulled down the pass percentage of the entire region.

“We have four categories of schools — government schools, independent (private) schools, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas and Kendriya Vidyalayas. The pass percentage of independent schools, Navodaya Vidyalayas and Kendriya Vidyalayas were relatively good at 85.40 per cent, 85.60 per cent and 95.50 per cent respectively,” he said.

“But the government schools performed the worst with a pass percentage of only 36 ,” Choudhury said.

And all the government schools are located at Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. Out of 306 government-run institutions affiliated to the CBSE in the Guwahati region, 180 are in Arunachal and 126 in Sikkim.

“Since Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim do not have their own education boards, all the government schools of the two states are affiliated to CBSE,” he said.

But what was the reason for the low success rate?

The official blamed everything from geographical location to socio-economic backwardness for the problem.

“In Arunachal and Sikkim, majority of the students of first generation learners. Since their parents have never studied in schools, they was no parental motivation for such students to do well in exams,” he added.

The overall pass rate was 84.44 per cent this year.

Altogether 34,384 students from 620 schools took the CBSE examination from the Guwahati region. Of them, 19,190 has passed the exam.

Aditya Kumar of Delhi Public School, Guwahati, has topped the Guwahati region with 97.2 per cent.

“We have not worked out the names the toppers as yet, but Kumar seems to be have the highest per cent,” he said.

“Our pass percentage may be the lowest but we have improved upon our last year’s performance,” Choudhury added.

“Compared to last year’s pass percentage of 49, we have a substantial increase of 7 per cent this year in the Class X exam, which is a positive sign and should not be overlooked,” he said.
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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

TITBITS

-Sintam Police arrested two persons Padam Pradhan, 30 and Saran Tamang, 36 in connection with drug trafficking. Police recovered 306 capsules of Spasmo pro. and 36 nos. of bottle containing corex.

-A business man and BJP leader denied the allegation of having made any derogatory remark against any community. A local daily had published his statement and former Minister T. Lachungpa condemned the remark in a press conference.

-Police raided a local shops quick bite Fast food at Gangtok town and sealed following the unhygienic condition and use of domestic LPG cylinders.

-Two workers died due to earth quake at Ravangla, South Sikkim.

-Road disrupted due to landslide after incessant rainfall at Rakdong-Tintek.

-Second Green Mission started from Righ constituency.

-Former Chief Minister Nar Bahadur Bhandari convicted in corruption charged by lower court, Gangtok, sentence of punishment on Monday.

-Assam blast, 7 died and 30 injured.

-A new born baby was thrown into toilet pipe at Tadong, East Sikkim in inhuman manner by an unmarried mother on early morning or May 25. The child is rescued and hospitalized in Sikkim Manipal.

-The mount Everest Climber without bottled oxyzen Nawang Gombu Sherpa visits Sikkim and encourages young mountaineers.

-Heavy down pour in Sikkim and North Eastern States during last 24 hours, Early monsoon starts.

-Congress leader T. Lachungpa expresses deep anguish and protest over the reported statement of BJP leader Jagat Singhi.

-76 % students passed in Sikkim in CBSC class XII examination, girls beat the boys.
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CBSE CLASS X RESULTS DECLARED


GANGTOK, May 29: The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) declared the Class X results for Delhi, Guwahati, Panchkula and Allahabad regions at 0800 hrs (IST) today.

Unlike earlier when students had to go to their respective schools to check their results, the process of retrieving results has now become a one-step process. They are now available through the Internet, mobile phones, land line and an interactive voice response system.

With the CBSE introducing exclusive websites such as: www.results.nic.in, www.cbseresults.nic.in, www.cbse.nic.in, http://mtnldelhi.in, http://bol.net.in, http://delhi.mtnl.net.in, to check results, the scores are merely a click away.

With the Class X student from Bangalore, Aparna Murlidhar scoring a whopping aggregate of 99 per cent, students from Delhi, Guwahati, Panchkula and Allahabad are in for tough competition. Over seven lakh students across the country and abroad had appeared for the Board exams conducted in March this year.

In the Sikkim, the CBSE Class X results are a mixed bag. Results for nine Schools in Gangtok were available till the time of going to print. Final analysis of all the Class X CBSE results for all Schools across the State is waited.



School: Deorali Girls Senior Secondary School

Total number of students appeared: 97

Passed: 39

Failed: 11

Compartmental: 47

School toppers:

1.

Karishma Nayar-87 %
2.

Sinora Dewan-86 %



School: Holy Cross School

Total number of students appeared: 107

Passed: 102 above 60 %, remaining 3 passed below 60 %

Failed: Nil

Compartmental: 2

School topper:

Akshaye Suhag-91.2 %



School: Kendriya Vidyalaya

Total number of students appeared: 61

Passed: 55

Failed: Nil

Compartmental: 6

School topper: Rahul Kumar Burman-92.4 % (Mathematics-96 %).





School: Modern Secondary School

Total number of students appeared: 95

Passed: 50

Failed: 6

Compartmental: 39

School toppers:

1.

Preeti Gupta-83.6 %
2.

Atul Rehman-82.4 %
3.

Yanku Sherpa-77.6 %



School: Mount Deepam School

Total number of students appeared: 13

Passed: 9 (2 with 1st class and 7 with 2nd class)

Failed: Nil

Compartmental: 4

School toppers:

1.

Royal Moktan-61%
2.

Thupten Ghalay-61%



School: Paljor Namgyal Girls School

Total number of students appeared: 72

Passed: 62

Failed: Nil

Compartmental: 10

School topper:

1.

Shreedhanjali Mishra-80.8 %





School: Tashi Namgyal Senior Secondary School

Total number of students appeared: 68

Passed: 50

Failed: Nil

Compartmental: 18

School toppers:

1.

Anish Kumar Mondal-76.6%
2.

Jogendra Sharma-75.6%



School: Tathangchen Secondary School

Total number of students appeared: 64

Passed: 40

Failed: 4

Compartmental: 20

School toppers:

1.

Bimila Limboo-65 %
2.

Rashmita Sarkar-65 %





School: West Point Senior Secondary School

Total number of students appeared: 75

Passed: 37

Failed: 4

Compartmental: 34

School topper: Maya Sharma-74.2 %
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RAHUL KUMAR BURMAN CBSE CLASS X TOPPER


GANGTOK, May 29: Meet Rahul Kumar Burman. A realistic intellectual at 15, Rahul has scored 92.4 percent (in aggregate) in the Class X CBSE examinations, results of which was announced through the Internet this morning across in the country.

A boy with optimal humility, Rahul a student of Kendriya Vidyalaya here, is the State topper with a score that looks very difficult to challenge. He has scored the highest 96 percent marks in Mathematics, 95 percent in Social Studies, 93 percent in Hindi, 92 percent in Science and 84 percent in the English.

Yet, this topper is not too happy with these marks! He believes that he could have scored much higher than this and even bettered his won record. “I made some silly mistakes,” he says.

For someone who studies 3-4 hours on a daily basis as a habit, aiming for the highest comes naturally. And with a solid support and motivation provided by his doting parents, good guidance from his teachers, it is not a surprise that he has topped his State.

Rahul is a great sports fanatic, with cricket and football on his favourite list. He has set himself high standards of excellence and plans to take up PCM (Pure Science) in his plus II and thereafter head to the IIT.

When asked for some tips which can help young students to achieve excellence in the board examinations, he put it down to a daily study routine, a disciplined life, proper utilization of time and obedience to the elders as some easiest steps to success.

It may be mentioned here that Rahul commutes by foot more than 10 kms downhill from his house at India Press, Burtuk to his School located at Libing, New Cantt on a daily basis due to lack of transport facilities. This shows the determination and strong-will of this boy at a time when majority of students prefer either a taxi or a private vehicles owned by their parents just to reach the doorstep of their Schools.

In spite of the tedious and frustrating lengthy walks, Rahul has always been focused on scaling great heights in everything he does. He is what true resilience and dedication is all about.
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SIKKIM POLICE ON ARREST SPREE


GANGTOK, RANGPO, May 29: Sikkim Police has begun its crackdown on illegal use of domestic cylinders in commercial establishments.

Following the recent detention of Quick Bite fast food outlet’s proprietors from Gangtok, the Police with officials from the Food Department have started conducting similar raids in all four Districts.

Five more cases were registered with the Sadar Police on May 28 against proprietors of five hotels here in Gangtok. A case against the proprietor of Wangla Restaurant and Bar, Deorali has been registered following a written complaint from GB Subedi, Senior DCSO, East, Food Department. With the confiscation of two domestic cylinders from Wangla Restaurant and Bar, the proprietor Man Bir Limboo (48), resident of Selep Tanki, Gangtok was arrested from his residence.

On the same day, two domestic cylinders were seized from Bishal Hotel at Deorali, three each from Hotel Regent at Pani House and Hotel Central on national highway 31A and another three from Hotel Blue Star at DPH Road all in Gangtok. A case was also registered against proprietor of Mayur fast food located at PS Road, Gangtok.

The SDPO Rangpo Sonam Bhutia with OC Rangpo BB Subba and OC Singtam Solomon Rai raided several hotels at Rangpo, Singtam and Mazitar arresting 8 persons and seizing 16 domestic cylinders from commercial food outlets and hotels.

The raid led to the arrest of KB Gurung, proprietor of Hotel Mangolian at Mazitar, Sashi Gurung of Hotel Oasis at Mazitar, Dilip Chettri of Hotel Hunger Spot at Mazitar, Sukhdev Subba of Hotel Basundhara at Singtam, Sukhdev Prasad proprietor of Sweet Parlour in Singtam, Hussain Ansari of a meat shop at Singtam, including three arrests from Rangpo Bazaar under Section 7 of Essential Commodities Act 1955.

The raids also revealed unhygienic conditions of kitchen areas in the hotels compelling the Police to register several cases under Section 269/ 273 of the Indian Penal Code (negligently doing any act known to be likely to spread infection of any disease dangerous to life and selling any food or drink as food as and drink knowing the same to be noxious). During the raids the Rangpo, the Police also recovered 12 bottles of Corex syrup from a hotel in Mazitar.

Raids were also conducted in West Sikkim under PI Sonam Bhutia and his team which led to the arrest of three persons. At Soreng, Dinesh Gupta, Parash Bhagat and Tendup Sherpa, proprietors of three food outlets were arrested and one domestic cylinder each seized from them. Cases has been registered against them under the same Section and Act.

At Mangan in North Sikkim, the SP North led a team for a general checking of various hotels and restaurants in the area which led to the arrest of four persons -Rajeshwar Prasad, Bharat Chaudhary, Sambhu Shah and Md Uli Alam of Mangan Bazaar.

The Mangan arrests were for operating from unhygienic kitchens. 12 more hotels and restaurants were handed challans under Section 19 of Sikkim Trade Rule 1985.
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Battle of political one-upmanship on in Sikkim

Gangtok, May 30: A battle of political one-upmanship is going on between the ruling SDF and a combined opposition in Sikkim with the state government extolling its achievements from every possible forum and the Opposition hurling charges of corruption at it in a bid to undo the hype.

Be it Ambedkar Jayanti or the state day or any other similar occasion, the Chief Minister, Pawan Kumar Chamling, doesn`t let go of the slightest opportunity to flaunt his achievements.

His speeches always revolve around a few pet topics capable of earning him brownie points with the masses such as the opening of the Nathula Pass for border trade with China last year, the empowerment of women or devolution of major powers to the Panchayati Raj institutions in the state.

After talking about the achievements of the past he moves onto disclose his plans for the future such as marketing Sikkim`s floricultural produce in the international market or putting the state on the international tourism map.

However, the opposition invariably barges in on the scene with its allegations about corruption and misrule against the government to ensure that the people don`t get carried away by the latter`s `high-flown rhetoric` on development.

An instance of this was in evidence recently when Congress, the main opposition in the state, brought out a booklet in Nepali titled `Sikkim ma Burma Loot` (Burma loot in Sikkim) in which it accused Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling of amassing wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income and his involvement in a number of scams running into crores of rupees.

The booklet was widely distributed among the people throughout the state. The state government, however, remained unfazed and went on with its declarations about how it had put the state on the high trajectory of growth in the last 13 years in office.

The Opposition on the other hand did not stop its tirade and soon after the conclusion of a regional summit on tourism and hospitality sector parties like the Congress, the BJP, the CPM and a few regional outfits jointly shot off a letter to the Governor asking him to act on the charges of corruption against the state government within 72 hours or so.

While the Governor is yet to act on the Opposition`s request the ruling SDF has chosen to remain indifferent and confine itself to talking relentlessly about development.

"It is no mean achievement of our government that today Sikkim is being held out by central leaders as a model state for the rest of the country to follow," Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling said at a function held here to celebrate 33 years of the state`s merger with the Indian union.

Chamling also sought to brush aside the opposition`s tirade against the government on this occasion saying that there are some people who cannot even be happy in heaven.

Refusing to attach much importance to the opposition`s allegations, he dwelt at length on the steps taken by his government to empower women and the panchayat bodies in the state and reminded people of the eulogies earned from the Doner minister Mani Shankar Aiyyar who said on a recent visit to the state that all the states in the country should follow the example of Sikkim as far as the functioning of the Panchayati Raj institutions was concerned.

Nathula also continues to be projected in all the Chief Minister`s speeches ever since its opening last year for border trade with China as one of the major achievements of the state government.

However, the more the state government talks about its development endeavours the louder get the opposition`s complaints about corruption in high offices and general misgovernance.

http://www.zeenews.com/znnew/articles.asp?aid=374282&sid=REG
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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

BHANDARI SENTENCED, GETS BAIL


GANGTOK, May 28: Former Chief Minister and President of State Pradesh Congress Committee, Nar Bahadur Bhandari was sentenced to one month simple imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 in the disproportionate assets case against him today.

Bhandari was present in self along with his party colleagues and supporters in the District and Sessions Court (North & East), Gangtok which also acted as the Special CBI Court.

Special CBI judge SW Lepcha, who passed the sentence also immediately granted NB Bhandari two months bail on a personal bond of Rs 25,000. He can appeal against the judgement in the High Court within next sixty days. The Special CBI Court declared Bhandari guilty under Section 5(2) 51(e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1947 on May 28.

While Nar Bahadur Bhandari has 60 day’s time to appeal to a higher Court against the verdict, his limitations will start from tomorrow. In case he decides to appeal, there can be two outcomes – either the appeal Court can set the conviction aside or it can confirm the sentence.

During the sentencing today, while the CBI counsel, ID Vaidya made an appeal to the Judge for maximum punishment to Bhandari, the defence Counsel made submission to the Court that he take a more lenient approach while passing the sentence. The defence counsel evoked a clause in the old Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947, under which Bhandari was convicted, which has a provision that allows minimum sentence of less than one year, on three grounds.

The defence counsel told the Court that due consideration be taken of NB Bhandari as a senior citizen and that he had not been keeping good health and had not been convicted in any Court of law so far. He also appealed to the Court to consider the fact that Bhandari had already suffered mental agony and harassment for 24 years fighting the particular case. It was also mentioned that the disproportionate assets case was for a small amount of Rs 15.22 lakhs.

Passing the judgement, the Judge said that the he had heard sufficient arguments from both the parties and in his opinion, the special reasons given by the Defence counsel for leniency in the sentencing sufficed.

The case relates to the alleged construction of a five-storey building by NB Bhandari during his tenure as Chief Minister in Gangtok at a cost of Rs 15.22 lakhs which is unaccounted for.
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DOMESTIC LPG CYLINDERS RAMPANT AT COMMERCIAL ESTABLISHMENTS


Police raids seize illegal cylinders from local eateries; similar raids to be conducted all over the State

GANGTOK, May 28: One big problem that the consumers are facing these days is the non availability of LPG gas cylinders for domestic use in the Capital. The acute shortage of gas cylinders has become a perennial problem, with consumers having to wait for days on end for refills.

One of the main reasons for this acute shortfall could be because of the fact that most hotels and restaurants here have been using domestic gas cylinders instead of commercial ones meant to be used in such establishments.

This illegal practice has come to light with the two raids that were conducted yesterday by the District Collector’s Office and the Food & Civil Supplies Department. Yesterday’s surprise raids on two popular eateries located at MG Marg here revealed just more than unhygienic kitchens-that the use of domestic LPG cylinders in commercials establishments is a common practice.

During the raid at the Quick Bite Fast Food, the inspection team seized a number of domestic cylinders from its premises. It also found that the eatery was running in very unhygienic conditions not conducive to human health. The husband-wife duo, who ran the eatery, were detained by the Police. The husband Sunil Singhal was arrested yesterday and today morning, his wife, Lazzu Singhal, under whose name the restaurant is registered, was also arrested. Both have been sent to the Rongyal Jail under Section 7 of Essential Commodities Act 1957, which is non-bailable section. There has been no arrest from Rasoi Restaurant, which was also raided and sealed. The owner of the restaurants is reportedly in Kolkata.

Speaking to SIKKIM EXPRESS, DIG Range Akshay Sachdeva said that the arrests were made on charges of using domestic cylinders by the restaurant. No commercial establishments like hotels or restaurants are authorized to use domestic LPG cylinders. Cylinders for domestic use come with a special subsidy from the Government of India. 19 kg commercialized cylinders cost Rs 900 whereas a domestic cylinder weighing 14 kg comes for Rs 300.

“This practice had led to a shortfall in the supply of domestic gas cylinders, unnecessarily harassing the consumers. Following this development, we have started conducting surprise checks on restaurants and hotels from yesterday. If we find any commercial establishments using domestic cylinders, we are arrested them and take necessary action against them as per law,” he said.

The Police has already started conducting raids at several eateries in the Capital and also seized a number of domestic cylinders today.

Mr. Sachdeva also revealed that a Police team has been formed consisting of the SP East, ASP East, SDOP and OCs for conducting regular checks of restaurants and hotel in the Gangtok area. “We have already sent the message to all the District Police stations to conduct similar checks on hotels and restaurants and immediately book the guilty,” he said.

He further said that it is also the collective responsibility of the State Trading Corporation of (STCS), also to ensure that such practices do not take place. He has appealed to the public to inform the Police if they have any information on such illegal use of LPG cylinders.

After yesterday’s raids, both Quick Bite and Rasoi Restaurant, which has opened only recently and also found to be functioning under unhygienic conditions, were booked under 133(I) D of CrPC and sealed for further investigations.

Meanwhile, reports of similar Police clampdown on illegal use of domestic cylinders have also come in from other parts of the State. Raids have been conducted in Rangpo, Singtam and Soreng in West District. Domestic cylinders have been seized and further investigations are on, Police sources have revealed.
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SIKKIM POLICE ON SUCCESSIVE DRUG HAUL




GANGTOK, May 28: Drug haul are on a high once again, indicating the unrestrained menace around the State. Following raids and recovery of a huge catch of drugs from Singtam on May 27, Sikkim Police on the same day nabbed another drug peddler at Namchi, South Sikkim.

Acting upon source information, the Namchi Police on May 27 arrested one Yogesh Chettri (24), resident of Upper Boomtar, Namchi with 232 tablets of Spasmo Proxyvon. Yogesh Chettri, son of Chandra Bahadur Chettri, reportedly was also detained earlier under same charges.

The accused Chettri was on his way to Namchi after attending a funeral at Darjeeling when he was arrested. An addict himself, the accused reportedly was also an inmate of the rehabilitation centre at Nimtar (32 mile, Singtam) for 4½ months earlier when he was arrested under same grounds.

In Gangtok, the Sadar Police arrested two more drug addicts-Jitendra Gurung and Kalzang Dorjee Bhutia, residents of Tadong and Thatenchen respectively. The Police recovered a total of 34 phials of Spasmo Proxyvon from them. Both have been booked and are in Police custody now.

The Singtam Police on May 27 arrested Padam Pradhan (30) and Saran Tamang (36), both resident of Singtam with a catch of 308 phials of Spasmo Proxyvon and 37 bottles of Chorex syrup. The Police recovered the drugs following a raid at the residence of the two accused, who were thereafter detained and interrogated by the Singtam Police. Market value of the seized items was estimated at around Rs 7,000.
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BJP INVITES DELIMITATION NOTICE PUBLISHED




GANGTOK, May 28: The Sikkim state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today proposed the Chief Secretary to the government of Sikkim and Secretary to the Urban Development and Housing Department to publish the notification delimiting the wards of Gangtok Municipal Corporation in local newspapers.

The party also called for copies of the same to all political parties of the state and the Panchayat of the areas which are being converted from Panchayat under Rural Department to Municipality under Urban Department besides having a provision of public hearing before the final delimitation.

The notification delimiting the wards of Gangtok Municipal Corporation, Singtam, Rangpo, Jorethang-Nayabazar and Namchi Municipal Council and Mangan, Pakyong, Rhenok, Rongli, Ravangla, Soreng, Geyzing and Pelling Nagar Panchayat have been reportedly issued on May 22 seeking views, suggestion and comments within 30 days.

The BJP in its communiqué today also emphasised the need for provision of public hearing, the date of which may be fixed either separately for each or each district or state a whole for views, suggestions and comments.
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UNDP USHERS NEW FACE OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT IN SIKKIM

The idealism of youth and knowledge of teachers and villagers will create a viable society where challenges can be met through constructive action: GM Gurung, Minister for HRDD

GANGTOK, May 28: Schools and members of Gram Panchayat Units (GPU) will now be joining hands towards accelerating human development in Sikkim. An awareness meet on Participatory Human Development at Gram Panchayat level was held today at Chintan Bhawan, Gangtok for realisation of the project.

The meeting today was attended by Prof BK Roy Burman, Executive Chairman to Committee for Implementation, Steering and Monitoring (CISMO) as chief guests, with Speaker to Sikkim Legislative Assembly, DN Thakarpa as guest of honour.

The project implemented by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in several states of India, 116 GPUs from all over Sikkim including 40 Senior Secondary Schools has been identified for active participation of teachers and students in preparing the village vision document. The project is reported to be an initiative where educational institutions will involve themselves with leaders and people at the grass root level to prepare vision document at Gram Panchayat Level.

The awareness programme will mainly be focusing on HIV/ AIDS, drug abuse, women empowerment and like other issues before the rural communities. An awareness committee was set up last year with the name Committee for Implementation, Steering and Monitoring (CISMO) under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister. The total amount funded by the UNDP is Rs 183 lakhs till December 2007.

Addressing the assembly of Principals and teachers present at the occasion, Prof Roy Burman said, “Sikkim has the signs of great affluence, therefore we should not be complacent”. Pointing that main source of funds being Central assistances, he said a large share is rolling out of the state and is not accumulated for investment in the state itself.

“83 percent of the state area is under forest cover and only a contribution of 1.5 percent is from these”, he informed. Emphasising the strengthening of information dissemination system, Prof Roy Burman added in a buoyant note that Human Resources Index will definitely achieve newer heights.

The Minister for HRDD, GM Gurung said the thrust area of education during 11th five year plan is reduction of drop outs. Among the thrust areas in education, Gurung informed about increasing accountability of teachers, stress on enrolment in higher education, as well diversification of vocational courses.

“The state government through Sarva Siksha Abhiyan will be attempting to increase the enrollment of 6-7 years and completion of at least 8 years of relevant school education”, said the HRDD minister. In regards to the project he opined, involvement of students of senior secondary schools and colleges will be a fruitful exercise in building consciousness among the young children and youth in understanding their own society.

The guest of honour DN Thakarpa on his part highlighted that in order to achieve successful completion of the project, people’s participation is of prime necessity. The Minister for Roads & Bridges DT Lepcha opined that joining hands in the project will also help rural connectivity an accelerated expansion.



While the minister for RMDD KN Rai highlighted on the eco-friendly achievements of rural development and decentralization of power, President to the Press Club of Sikkim, CD Rai in his discourse pointed the three ingredients that can generate better human resources, being education, health and economic stability. The Secretary to Information & Technology, MG Kiran in his deliberation brought into focus the various achievements of the 40 CIC centres around the state and more that are on the pipelines.

The second half of the session came with an interactive session on the theme of human development being actively participated by the Zillah Panchayats, Principals, Sikkim Women Commission and others.
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Monday, May 28, 2007

UNHYGIENIC LOCAL EATERIES SEALED


ANGTOK, May 27: Two popular eateries located at MG Marg here today had to down their shutters after Government officials carried out a raid in their premises.

Officials from the Department of Food and Civil Supplies accompanied by the District Collector (East), Vishal Chauhan, inspected the two establishments-Quick Bite Fast Food and Rasoi Restaurant, above Tourist Information Center today afternoon following several complaints lodged by their customers.

The surprise raids were the outcome of many complaints received by the DC’s Office over the use of domestic LPG cylinders by these two eateries, against standard norms for commercial establishments. Along with this, the DC’s Office had also been receiving complaints of unhygienic conditions of these two eateries located in the heart of the Capital. Several customers had made complaints over the lack of hygiene in the kitchens of the two restaurants.

Talking to SIKKIM EXPRESS, the DC said that acting on these complaints, the raids had been carried out. During the raids, it was found that the kitchens of both the outlets were in a very unhygienic condition. The eateries were directed to shut down immediately by the inspection group and sealed for further investigations under CrPC 133(1) D.

The raid also led to a recovery of five domestic cylinders from Quiz Bite premises. General Manager of STCS, Menla Ethenpa told SIKKIM EXPRESS that as per the norms of Indian Oil Corporation, no commercial establishments like hotels or restaurants are authorized to use domestic LPG cylinders. Cylinders for domestic use come with a special subsidy from the Government of India. 19 kg commercialized cylinders cost Rs 900 whereas a domestic cylinder weighing 14 kg comes for Rs 300.

A case has also been registered against the two establishments at Sadar Police Station under 7 of Essential Commodities Act, 1957.

The DC said that a detailed report of both cases would be prepared by the Prevention of Food Adulteration Cell under Food and Civil Supply Department and only after that further action will be initiated.
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EARTHQUAKE TRIGGERS LANDSLIP, CLAIMS 2

NAMCHI, May 27: Two labourers were killed following a land slip caused by the mild earthquake that hit Ravangla at 11.15 am on May 26.

The incident took place near Cho-Jo lake at Ravangla where the two victims Prakash Tamang (25) of Maney Bhanzyang and Ritesh Chettri (18) of Kalimpong were working on the foundation construction of one JB Gurung’s building.

Construction work was in full swing at the site when a mild earthquake hit Ravangla and several parts of the state on May 26 morning. Around 12 labourers were working to dig soil around 15 feets down, the unprecedented earthquake prompted the base landmass to fall off over the working labourers.

“When 10 of us managed a close shave, Prakash and Ritesh Chettri got buried under the landmass and succumbed to suffocation”, informed Lakpa Tamang, the father of Prakash Tamang in tearful eyes at Namchi hospital later on the same day.

Soon after the accident, police team of Ravangla, department officials and the local people lend their hands in search and rescue. After an hour of continuous search, the two deceased were recovered and sent to Namchi General Hospital for post mortem. The same day, finishing necessary formalities the bodies were handed over to their family members.

The deceased Prakash Tamang was learnt to have married recently and survived a son and wife. Noteworthy is the frequent earthquakes that hit Ravangla, Borong, Rallong, Jarrong, Beering, Kuszing, Dalep, Dojok-Sangmoo, Legship, Daragoan, Tingmoo area including several other parts of Sikkim – had left the masses in panic lately.

“Me along with my family are staying in tents, out of our house. Other villagers are also doing the same”, informed PB Gurung of Dojok Busty, about 4 kilometers away Ravangla. On May 18, the whole state was rocked by an earthquake, the Richter scale of which was 5.0 with its epicenter reportedly at Kewzing in South Sikkim. On same morning at around 2 am another minor earthquake was felt at Borong area leading to setting ablaze of one Lakpa Bhutia wooden house at Lower Borong from overturning of puja lamp.
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Chief Minister Chamling urged the people to take active part in second phase of green mission in the state taking the lesson from past mistake


The vision of Chief Minister is to make Sikkim fully green and opt for eco-tourism as a sustainable development in the State. With this objective in his top agenda, Chief Minister Chamling started the second phase of Green Mission by planting sapling at Aritar, East Sikkim along with his wife Tika Maya Chamling on May 25.While addressing a mammoth gathering at Chintan Bhavan, Gangtok on 26, Chief Minister Chamling urged all the people of State to take active and proactive part in the State green mission. " All the ministers, MLAs, officers, employees, teachers and students and the people must come forward to preserve the greenery in the state and make fully successful the mission which will be a great contribution to the State and the future generation. He said that the green mission must be a precedent and tradition in the State and the Government is determined to pass a legislation and enforce it strictly in order to protect the environment in the State. He also said that the garbage and soil disposal due the construction of houses and roads must be well managed and the soil must not be spattered or collected sixes and sevens. The beauty of the town must not be destroyed by hanging cable and telephone wires at random, he added and warned if such thing will repeat, proper action will be taken against the guilty. He reaffirmed the people that the people must inculcate the habit of planting sapling and grow trees in their land because it is just like saving the money in the bank. Chief Minister said that the popular natural lake Tsomo or Changu lake is on the verge of drying away and warned that if proper treatment is not given to its condition, it may dried away within two years. He said that by the past experience, the second phase of green mission must be made successful.
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Former Chief Minister Bhandari convicted by the lower court,




Special CBI Judge to pronounce sentence today

GANGTOK, May 27: Former Chief Minister and president of State Pradesh Congress Committee, Nar Bahadur Bhandari has been found guilty possessing assets disproportionate to his known source of income.

He was convicted in a disproportionate assets case by a designated CBI Court here on Saturday, May 26.

The Court of Special CBI Judge, SW Lepcha, held Mr. Bhandari guilty under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. The quantum of punishment will be pronounced by the Court on Monday, May 28.

The case relates to the alleged construction of a five-storey building by Mr. Bhandari during his tenure in Gangtok at a cost of Rs 15.22 Lakhs which is unaccounted for. According to Special Prosecutor (CBI) ID, Vaidya, the case was registered against Bhandari in 1984 Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. The charge sheet was admitted in 1994. The case was being heard by the designated CBI Court since September 1994. Mr. Bhandari was the Chief Minister of Sikkim from 1979 to 1994.

During the hearing on May 26, Mr. Bhandari failed to give satisfactory answer from his side, following which the Court found him guilty under Prevention of Corruption Act 1947, Article 5(2) read with article 51 (1) (e).

The minimum punishment provided for this offence is one year rigorous imprisonment with fine, which can be extended up to seven years.

The special lower court at Gangtok convicted the former Chief Minister Nar Bahadur Bhandari on May 26 on corruption case. The special judge S W Lepcha found Mr Bhandari guilty under section 5 (2) read with 5(1) (E) of Prevention of Corruption Act 1947. The sentence for punishment will be pronounced on Monday. The CBI had filed the case against Former Chief Minister Bhandari which was registered on May 26, 1984 with the allegation that he while holding the office as chief minister from October 1979 to May 1984 abused his position as a public servant and acquired assets disproportionate to the known sources of his income in his own name and in the names of his dependents. After several hearings of the case, taking the cognizance of prima face evidence, the Court had chart sheeted Bhandari in 1994 accusing him of acquiring assets to the name of Rs 15.2 lakhs. The assets attached to the case were five story building, Primula cottage of valued Rs.15,05155.00 and other items. The court reserved the judgment and verdict was given on May 26.

It may be mentioned that Bhandari was acquitted in other cases by the court at Namchi a few months ago. The date for awarding punishment is slated for May 28. Shri I.D. Vaid, advocate Special prosecutor, CBI informed about court's verdict to the media person.
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Two persons died after burying alive under the soil due to earth quake

Two persons died after burying alive under the soil due to earth quake

The earth quake that hit on May 26 at 11.20 A.M. took the lives of two workers. While Prakash Tamang and Ritesh Chhetri were working for construction on the foundation site of a house near Namchi and Choja raod, the earth quake caused to collapse the wall and buried the two. The wall was 15 feet in height where 12 workers were working. While other ran away and saved their lives, the two buried alive. The police and the local people immediately rushed for the rescue but the two persons found dead on the spot.Two construction labourers were killed in a mudslide triggered by a mild quake at Rabongla in south Sikkim saturday, police sources said.

The two were engaged in construction of a building along Rabongla-Ralang road when the mudslide occurred following mild tremors felt in the area, DIG (Range) Akshay Sachdeva told.

The bodies of Prakash Tamang (25) and Ritesh Chettri (18), both of them labourers from darjesling have been found, he added. An earthquake measuring 3.3 on the Richter scale, has hit West Sikkim, Met office here said.

The quake, occurred at 1558 hours on Saturday, was epicentred at Latitude 27.2 degrees north and Longitude 88.3 degrees east off the region, the office said.
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sikkim titbits

Other Headlines:

-The Chief Minister urged the people of Sikkim to make fully successful the second phase of green mission in the State.

-Sintam Police arrested two persons Padam Pradhan, 30 and Saran Tamang, 36 in connection with drug trafficking. Police recovered 306 capsules of Spasmo pro. and 36 nos. of bottle containing corex.

-A business man and BJP leader denied the allegation of having made any derogatory remark against any community. A local daily had published his statement and former Minister T. Lachungpa condemned the remark in a press conference.

-Police raided a local shops quick bite Fast food at Gangtok town and sealed following the unhygienic condition and use of domestic LPG cylinders.

-Two workers died due to earth quake at Ravangla, South Sikkim.

-Road disrupted due to landslide after incessant rainfall at Rakdong-Tintek.

-Second Green Mission started from Righ constituency.

-Former Chief Minister Nar Bahadur Bhandari convicted in corruption charged by lower court, Gangtok, sentence of punishment on Monday.

-Assam blast, 7 died and 30 injured.

-A new born baby was thrown into toilet pipe at Tadong, East Sikkim in inhuman manner by an unmarried mother on early morning or May 25. The child is rescued and hospitalized in Sikkim Manipal.

-The mount Everest Climber without bottled oxyzen Nawang Gombu Sherpa visits Sikkim and encourages young mountaineers.

-Heavy down pour in Sikkim and North Eastern States during last 24 hours, Early monsoon starts.

-Congress leader T. Lachungpa expresses deep anguish and protest over the reported statement of BJP leader Jagat Singhi.

-76 % students passed in Sikkim in CBSC class XII examination, girls beat the boys.
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Saturday, May 26, 2007

NEW BORN BABY FOUND INSIDE TOILET PIPE


GANGTOK, May 23: In a shocking incident, a new-born baby was found shoved inside a drain pipe in a toilet here today.

The baby girl, less than few hours old, was found by a sweeper in a toilet located at the premises of the Entel Motors workshop here at 5th Mile Tadong in the wee hours of this morning.

“I was on my regular duty today morning cleaning up the toilets when was attention was drawn to the first toilet room when I heard the sound of a baby crying,” the sweeper Ramesh Chettri said. Sensing something wrong, he immediately called the neighbours and when they went inside the toilet room, they found the baby half inside a sewage pipe. The baby, still alive but breathing heavily, was pulled out and taken to the Central Referral Hospital and admitted to the in Neo Natal Intensive unit (NNIC) under the pediatrics department.

“There is a severe cut marks in the body of the baby and she is in a critical condition,” Dr Jayanth Mazumdar, Senior Resident, NNIC of SMIMS told Sikkim Express. The baby was put in a ventilator to assist her breathing but chances of her survival are dim.

Later in the morning, a 15-year-old girl from the same locality was taken to the hospital for medical examination under suspicion. Sources have said that that examination revealed that the girl has just given birth. The girl is presently under treatment.

sikkim express
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A MATTER OF FAITH


The revelation of an impression of Lord Shiva’s face on a rock at Andheri, on the way to Pakyong and 15 kms from Gangtok, under Losing Pacheykhani Constituency has become the latest pilgrimage attraction in the State.

Devotees from all around Sikkim, Bhutan, Nepal and North Bengal are making a beeline to Andheri Falls for a glimpse of the “miracle” and offering pujas. Everyday, hundreds of devotees are thronging at this natural rock formation near a water fall and seeking blessings from Lord Shiva.
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Friday, May 25, 2007

Pawan Hans, one of India's leading helicopter companies, has been given 'No Objection Certificate'

New Delhi, May 25: Pawan Hans, one of India's leading helicopter companies, has been given 'No Objection Certificate' (NOC) to operate as scheduled operator in India.

The company will now join the club of scheduled airlines such as Indian Airlines and Air India. The company is also exploring possibilities of venturing into fixed wing operations.

The company was incorporated in 1985 with the objective of providing helicopter services to the petroleum sector, linking inaccessible areas of the country and operating charters for promotion of tourism.

Since inception, the company has operated a number of helicopters and offered a wide range of services through its fleet of 34 helicopters consisting of Bell 206L4, Bell 407, Dauphin SA 365N, Dauphin AS 365N3 and Mi-172.

In addition, Pawan Hans is also acquiring two new Dauphin N3 helicopters and delivery of these helicopters would be in September-October.

Pawan Hans is a leader in providing offshore helicopter support in India. Its helicopters operate for Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC) at Bombay High and Hardy Exploration at Chennai. Public Sector Units (PSUs) such as GAIL use them for pipeline surveillance.

The company also has a strong presence in the North East. Its helicopters are deployed in the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim and Tripura. Regular passenger services are being run under the aegis of these State Governments.

The company also provides helicopters to Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands for inter-island helicopter services.


Copyright Dailyindia.com/ANI
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Merge Ancient Culture With Modern Technology to Get It Right, Says U.N.


WORLD WATER DAY: Merge Ancient Culture With Modern Technology to Get It Right, Says U.N.

By Frances Suselo
The 'Neysol' text in Tibetan Buddhism showing river courses and lakes as well as forests and historical sites illustrates how our ancestors viewed our existence in nature.


BANGKOK (Asia Water Wire) – An ancient map of West Sikkim, which depicts holy sites, lakes and rivers in colourful detail, is gaining increasing relevance at a time when the world is grappling with a crisis over water.

Called the ‘Neysol’ text of Tibetan Buddhism, the map reveals the sacred landscape of Demojong, from the Khangchendzong peak down to sub-tropical forest below, including historical monuments as well as systems of terraced agriculture.

‘’This is a perfect example showing how our ancestors truly understood the connection between water and life,’’ said Han Qun Li, a senior official of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), at a World Water Day commemoration in Bangkok.

‘’In modern times, approaches to water resource management have tended to be overwhelmingly technology-driven in their attempt to solve the world’s urgent water problems. Technology alone, however, will not lead us to viable solutions,’’ added Koichiro Matsuura, UNESCO’s chief, in a statement read out for this year’s commemoration, under the theme ‘Water and Culture.’

Indeed, the water scenario for the entire world, much more the Asia Pacific region, already looks ‘’very grim’’, said Dechen Tsering, senior programme officer of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. ‘’Water supply has remained the same, but on the other hand, demand for water has skyrocketed,’’ she said. ‘’In Gujarat, India, water tables are falling by six metres a year.’’

According to the Second World Water Development Report, 1.1 billion people are still without safe drinking water today, and 2.6 billion people still lack access to basic sanitation. Water-related extreme events such as floods and droughts kill more people than any other natural disaster, while water-borne diseases continue to cause the thousands of children deaths every day.

The Asia-Pacific region is actually home to 60 percent of the world population and has the highest economic growth rate. Nevertheless, the region is also where 90 percent of the world’s deaths and 49 percent of the world’s damage by natural disasters have occurred during the last century.

Women and children are the ones who suffer the most whenever there is a water crisis. Culturally, they are the ones who spend the most time fetching and administering water, but ironically they still lack a voice when it comes to decision-making processes, including water issues.

Adding to the dire situation is the declining availability of per capita water in the Asia-Pacific region due to rapid increase in population and pollution, said Shigeru Mochida, deputy executive secretary of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).

‘’Further development of industries and agriculture to support the region’s economic growth is adding to the demand for water,’’ he said. ‘’This shortage of water, in turn, threatens the sustainability of economic and social development in the countries affected.’’

‘’Water is critical in order to meet the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),’’ said Tsering. To fulfil the MDGs, an international benchmark for development set by the world’s leaders in 2000, water problems need to be addressed integrally, meaning that water projects need to be community based while at the same time relying on high technology.

UNESCO has been implementing several water programmes in various Asia Pacific regions by targeting specific communities, said Qun Li. An example is the community water supply and sanitation project in Siberut, Mentawai Islands, and in western Sumatra, Indonesia.

Qun Li said, ‘’All primary responsibilities regarding the project management were assumed by the local community through the water management committee. This process helped guarantee the integration between scientific knowledge and customary practices in developing sustainable community-based water management practice in an indigenous setting.’’

In central Vietnam’s Binh Thuan province, another programme aimed at rehabilitating an aquifer is also taking place between the UNESCO and local villagers.

In the flood-prone area of Bidara Cina in Jakarta, Indonesia, UNESCO is also involved in a flood mitigation project to strengthen the capacity of the local community. The project is raising knowledge and awareness through training preparedness, search and rescue, post-flood management, waste management and leadership training, all done through community gathering and stimulation exercises by using participatory approach.

Sometimes, the government also lends a helping hand. Thanade Davasuwan, chief engineer of the Department of Water Resources of the Royal Thai Government said his organisation is in the process of implementing various integrated water and resources management (IWRM) mechanisms.

‘’We are linking both upstream and downstream projects to improve water governance, management and regulation,’’ he said. A water resource law is also in the pipeline to ensure efficient water allocation. The organisation is aiming to provide treated pipe water to every Thai village by the year 2008. To achieve this, 32 billion baht (around 822 million U.S. dollars) has been specially earmarked for the project.

Nevertheless, Tsering reiterated, ‘’We cannot hold governments alone accountable for sustainable resources. All sectors of society must be involved in order to ensure water for everyone.’’(END/AWW/IPSAP/FS/MMM/220306)
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STATE BJP VOICED FOR CAR PARKING

STATE BJP VOICED FOR CAR PARKING
Gangtok, May 25: State BJP made a complain to Chief Secretary and Secretary UDHD that the car park of the Supermarket in Development Area, Gangtok is being removed and a building is coming up to house the Government Department.
As per complain letter, the Supermarket in Development Area is an outcome of the initial project of Car park for Development Area. The project was initially started as Car park and later this is changed to Supermarket cum Car park. The proposal for car park at that time was initiated in the request of the residents of Development Area which is the only car park in the Development Area and the removal of the car park will lead to total absence of car park in Development area and the road side will be the only parking place in Development Area. The road is already narrow and the parking of vehicle in the road will lead to chaos in the road and the residents of the Development area will have no place to park their vehicle.
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NMBP ASSURED FOR SIKKIMESE HERB


NMBP ASSURED FOR SIKKIMESE HERB
Gangtok, May 25: Sikkim medicinal herbs sector is improving with farmers showing encouraging results and assurances coming from the National Medicinal Plant Board (NMPB) for infrastructural and marketing support.
In Sikkim nearly 424 species of medicinal plants grow in Sikkim, mostly in the wild, 70 per cent of which are found in the State's high altitude regions above 8,000 feet. The National Medicinal Plants Board has identified around 35 species as having commercial value and will support new schemes for the medicinal plant growers in the state.
''NMBP have agreed in principle of state government proposals for providing systematic botanical survey, documentation of herbal outlets and other schemes to revitalise and popularise the traditional systems of Sikkim Himalayas, including establishment of warehousing facilities in different centres and market infrastructural development.
Total 84 farmers in the state have been supported by NMBP to cultivate medicinal plants like Chiraito, Gloriosa Supreba (Langarey Tarul) and Asparagus (Kurilo) and other marketable herbs.
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FUNDS SANCTIONED FOR NATHULA INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT


GANGTOK, May 23: The Centre Government has approved an amount of Rs. 13 Crores, 42 lakhs as the first installment fund for infrastructure development for Border trade at the Nathula Post here in East Sikkim.

This amount has been sanctioned for the construction of a consolidated check post unit at Nathula.

This is in response to a proposal placed earlier by the Commerce and Industries, Department of Sikkim before the Centre Government for upgradation of the existing check post unit in Nathula. The Department had placed a proposal with an estimation of Rs. 24 Crores, 42 Lakhs for the project.

The Director, Commerce and Industries, SP Subba said that the first phase of the extension work will began once the tender process gets over, which will be carried out by the State Department of Housing and Building, which will also oversee the entire construction process.

There is already an existing single-storied structure at the Nathula Pass here, which is currently being used as a Check Post for traders from both sides of the fence. The structure houses temporarily houses the customs and immigration office and the Check Post unit of the Sikkim Police. The new building will be a three-storied structure. The ground floor will have a medical examination room, a quarantine room, a waiting hall, customs and immigration offices, toilet facilities and VIP rest rooms. A lodge with 16 double-bedded rooms and cafeteria exclusively for the use of traders and officials will also be part of the new complex.

An additional parking lot that will accommodate at least 30 large container trucks up to 8 mtr in length from either sides of the border will also be constructed at the Post. The proposed parking facility will be constructed in split levels in consideration of the terrain and available space. A cyber café will also come up at the Border Post.

The Project also incorporates site development, wall protections, internal electrification, internal water supply, sanitary installations, central heating, furniture and furnishing.

Mr. Subba said that the new complex will be a permanent feature and would be developed in phases.

In another development, the World Trade Center, Mumbai has reportedly shown a keen interest in the Border Trade and has placed a proposal before the State Government to set up a trade center in the State. This proposal is under consideration of the State Government.

Sources have indicated that the Centre may soon sanction funds for the expansion of trade mart at Sherathang, 6 kms ahead of Nathula Pass.
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SIKKIM EXPRESS CITIZEN REPORTER




In less than 24 hours of the SIKKIM EXPRESS’s CITIZEN REPORTER report on the deplorable condition of the newly constructed Kanchendongza Shopping Plaza or the Lall Bazaar here, the Urban Housing and Housing Department sprung into action and started to clear the complex of all the filth and garbage.

Yesterday’s (May 23) issue of SIKKIM EXPRESS’s CITIZEN REPORTER had brought of light the accumulated garbage in the complex and the health hazards faced by the residents of the area.

The prompt action by the Department is appreciated and this was possible only because of the CITIZEN REPORTER initiative. We only wish that the administration was as quick to respond to other problems faced by the people of Sikkim.
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CAREER GUIDANCE FOR STUDENTS AT NAMCHI


NAMCHI, May 24: A free personality evolution and career counseling was held at Namchi on 19 May, by the Air Hostess Academy (AHA) Siliguri wherein around 100 students appeared and underwent the counseling.

Among the participants 40 students were selected for whom a presentation class was held the next day on 20 May. The entire programme of counseling, personality evolution till the presentation classes were conducted at hotel Samdruptse, Namchi.

A team of four staffs came from AHA Siliguri for the purpose, comprising the Training Coordinatior Srijana Kumai, Director Vikash Singhal, Orientator Deepshika Sharma and Business Development Executive Sabrina Moktan.

It was the first such counseling programme held by the institute at Namchi. Earlier the institute held similar classes at Darjeeling and Gangtok. In the near future similar classes are likely to be held in Kalimpong, Coochbehar, Jalpaiguri and later in Kurseong and Mirik.

The New Delhi based institute has its branch office at Siliguri. The Air Hostess Academy (AHA) is reportedly the pioneer institute in aviation and hospitality management training. After completion of classes in Namchi participated by students who appeared class XII examinations and the appearing class XII students from various schools in and around Namchi, the institute selected 10 students for its training.
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SIKKIM'S FIRST DAILY TURNS FOUR



GANGTOK, May 24: As Sikkim Express traversed the fourth milestone as the first English daily of Sikkim, the Ram Patro Memorial Award Committee today awarded two promising journalists of Sikkim

Bijoy Gurung, formerly a reporter for The Statesman and presently the UNI correspondent for Sikkim, was awarded the ‘Most promising journalist in Sikkim for the year 2006-07’ by Ram Patro Memorial Award Committee during a function here today. Nirmal Mangar, a reporter with Sikkim Express, was awarded the ‘Best working journalist in Sikkim Express for the year 2006-07’.

The award constituted annually by the Ram Patro Memorial Award Committee is a tribute to late Ram Patro, the founder Editor of Sikkim Express, for his contributions in the field of journalism in Sikkim, as well as an encouragement to the young journalists of the State to excel further in their careers.

Apart from recognising the talents of young journalists ever since its inception, the Ram Patro Memorial Award Committee took the initiative to sponsor the education of a 10 year old boy, Master Ashish Sunwar Mukhia, from this year on. Ashish is the son of MB Sunwar and Gauri Sunwar of Sichey Busty. He annual expenses on education that presently stands at Rs 15,000 will now on be borne by the Ram Patro Memorial Award Committee.

The award function today was attended by advisor to the Chief Minister, BB Gooroong as the chief guest, former MLA JB Pradhan as the guest of honour, President, the Press Club of Sikkim, CD Rai, Ms Mala Rana Patro, Publisher, Sikkim Express and well-known senior technocrat and architect, Kiran Rasaily. A large media fraternity was also present on the occasion.

In his address, Mr. Goorong accentuated on the need among today’s journalists to verify the authenticity of news and events before publishing any report and the media to take a pro-active stand. “It is very important to have a clear understanding of the vocation, and journalists especially should know how to report correctly,” he said.

Commenting on a few sensitised reports published in a local daily lately, Mr Gooroong also called for the Press Club to organise regular training sessions for reporters, particularly on legal and court reporting.

CD Rai, in his address, walked down the memory lane recounted the inception and early days of Sikkim Express and its evolution as the first daily of Sikkim. The guest of honour, JB Pradhan, called for truth-based journalism. “Journalists are not just eyes and mouth of the people but also the nose and ears of masses,” Mr. Pradhan said inviting media persons to report the news without fear and favour.
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Landslide strands tourists in Sikkim


Landslide strands tourists in Sikkim

Statesman News Service
GANGTOK, May 24: Landslides triggered by heavy rainfall over the past four days made things difficult for tourists at Bitu in North Sikkim today.
The road that connects Gangtok to North Sikkim was closed yesterday due to a landslide at Pangthang. Vehicles, however, reached Gangtok using Rakdong-Tintek route. Tourists and government employees were stranded at Bitu today due to the landslide.
Landslides have also been reported on the road between Pelling and Yoksum in West Sikkim. The road was closed for traffic for the whole day yesterday, leaving the vehicles carrying tourists with no other option but to use the longer route ~ Legship and Geyzing ~ to reach their destinations.
In Gangtok, a minor landslide was occurred at Sichey and Burtuk today.
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SIKKIM JOURNALIST FRATERNITY WELCOMES WAGE BOARD

GANGTOK, May 23: The Journalist fraternity of Sikkim have welcomed the constitution of a Wage Board for Working Journalists by the Centre.

Welcoming the announcement, working journalists from Sikkim have expressed their happiness over the Wage Board, saying that it will mean at least a decent salary to them.

Commenting on this development, veteran journalist and President, Press Club of Sikkim, CD Rai said that this was long overdue. Welcoming the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s approval, Mr. Rai said that this will ensure that every working journalist in Sikkim will get equal pay and this will end the great pay disparity prevalent in many media organisations in the State. “The Wage Boards should act quickly so that all working journalists benefit form them,” he said.

Senior journalist, Bijay Bantawa said that Sikkim’s journalists would benefit immensely from this, adding that the Wage Board was long overdue to remove the uneven salary structure adopted by the many publication houses in the State.

Journalists working with smaller newspapers, especially the weekly ones, have also expressed happiness over the possibility of salary at par with those working with bigger daily newspapers.

The Prime Minister, recently approved the constitution of a Wage Board for Working Journalists. Formal orders regarding this will be issued shortly by the Union Labour Ministry.

The Centre Government has appointed K. Narayana Kurup, retired judge of the Kerala High Court, chairperson of the two wages boards for working and non-working journalists, the proposal for which was cleared by the Union Cabinet in December 2006.

They will submit their reports within three years. The former Union Labour Secretary, K.M. Sahni has been appointed member-secretary to operationalise the wage boards, which will have two 10 members each. Besides the chairperson, a full-time member-secretary, two independent members and three members representing employers' organisations will be common to both boards. The boards will start functioning with immediate effect.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has also welcomed the announcement of the establishment of a Wage Board for working journalists and other media workers working for the country’s newspapers saying it is recognition of the “key role decent working conditions play in building quality media.”

“This announcement is good news for unions who have been demanding decent working conditions, and it is welcome recognition of the key role decent work plays in building media quality,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “Establishing fair and equitable standards for labour conditions for journalists and non-editorial newspaper staff will give a vital boost to India’s media industry,” he said.


The country’s three major journalists groups – the Indian Journalists’ Union, the National Union of Journalists, India and the All India Newspaper Employees Federation – formed a confederation to demand that the government made good on promises to re-launch the country’s wage board system.
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SHITAL PRADHAN
C/O LN PRADHAN
SHANTINAGAR, SINGTAM
SIKKIM- 737134
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When i started my blog on Sikkim way back in 2007, i had it clear on my mind that this blog shall help people look out for knowledge on Sikkim. I always wanted a knowledge house about Sikkim, its past, present and future. I do not know over the years how much did i succeed but my determination to let other understand my Sikkim is always giving me a push. with regards Shital Pradhan (himalayanreview@gmail.com)

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