Friday, May 23, 2008

CM calls on Union Home Minister in New Delhi Chamling places demands reservation of seats for LTs in Assembly and expansion of list of items for Nathu

GANGTOK, May 22: The Chief Minister Pawan Chamling today called on Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil in New Delhi to discuss various important issues pertaining to Sikkim.
The meeting assumed greater significance in view of the long pending decision of the Government of India on one of the most crucial socio-politico-cultural issues of providing electoral reservation to Limboo and Tamang communities, which have since been included among the categories of Scheduled Tribes by providing for reservation of seats in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly.
During the deliberations with the Union Home Minister, the Chief Minister once again brought home the need for an early and amicable solution to the issue by the Government of India.
While expressing his satisfaction and happiness on approval of the long pending demand for a new alternate two-lane National Highway connectivity to Sikkim by the Government of India, Mr. Chamling impressed upon the need of early implementation of the project besides simultaneous improvement and restructuring of the existing alignment of the National Highway 31A to two-lane alignment from Coronation Bridge to Gangtok which is currently not in good shape.
Mr. Chamling reminded Mr. Patil about the problem being faced by the commuters and vehicular traffic on the West Bengal portion of NH 31A in the wake of frequent bandh calls enforced from since 1985 and reiterated the need to have an amicable permanent solution to the problem.
On the issue of the ongoing Indo-China Border trade through Nathula, the Chief Minister impressed upon the need to enlarge the list of tradable items from Indian side as has been already made available at the Central Government by him to make the bi-lateral trade more viable and purposeful.
The Chief Minister Sikkim apprised the Union Home Minister on the concrete steps taken by State Government on affectively harnessing the hydro electricity potential of the Himalayan state as per the norms and guidelines issued by the Central Government. Duly highlighting the pace of implementation of some of the flagship hydro-electric project in Sikkim, Mr. Chamling briefed Mr. Patil on the politically motivated campaign by some vested interest with a view to hamper development of the State Government under the garb of cultural aspects.
On the issue of proper air connectivity to Sikkim, the Chief Minister reiterated the demand of provision of a ten-seater twin engine helicopter service to Gangtok pending the completion of the Greenfield Pakyong Airport, which is likely to be commissioned by July 2011.
Appreciating the issue and concerns raised by the Chief Minister, the Union Home Minister assured him that the Central Government is examining them in detail with a view to arrive at early decisions.
The Union Minister also lauded the State Government in maintaining law and order, peace and tranquility in the State besides initiating requisite measures for an accelerated growth of infrastructure to achieving over all socio-economic development. (IPR)