Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Time to Walk the Bhaley Dhunga Talk

from sikkimtimes

Imaginary view of Proposed Sky Walk in Bhaley Dhunga
Sikkim grabs yet another mega budget inspiring Tourism project funding from the centre for upliftment of Sikkim in global tourism sector. The 13th Finance Commission FC reveals in its report about recommending projects for Sikkim worth Rs 400 Crore grant-in-aid package within the next five year s, this includes most waited project of Bhaley Dunga where government had placed a proposal for construction of Sky Walk on 2007. For the said project of Bhaley Dhunga Rs 200 Crore has been proposed by the 13th FC, as told in the report. The Commission in its report was tabled by Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the Parliament on Feb 25, indicating that Sikkim had made a strong pitch for the proposed project and fortunately the project like Sky Walk will be the first of its kind in the India, said in the report. Commission in its report makes it clear to avoid any damage to eco-system during the construction and all possible conservation measure should be ensured towards the flora & fauna of Himalayan region also. The Sky Walk project will be a mega attraction since this could be a country’s first ever monument built for attracting tourists worldwide said in the report. The proposed Sky Walk project would be elevated 5000 ft in a hill, fabricated by a transparent glass to enable the visitors see wide panoramic view of surrounding eco-system.

Chief Minister Dr Pawan Kumar Chamling had first mooted on 2007 for constructing iconic Sky Walk project in Bhaley Dhunga, due to its geographical topology the Sky Walk project in the place would be a great innovation for boosting Sikkim Tourism.

While the 13th Finance Commission’s grant of Rs 200 crores for this project is welcome, the fund is very well short of estimated cost of the Bhaley Dhunga Sky Walk project.

It may be recalled that an international consultancy firm in its pre-feasibility report in the month of August 2008 had pegged the estimated cost of the proposed iconic Sky Walk at Bhaley Dhunga peak as an integrated tourism destination to around Rs 1200 crores. The lump sum cost had involved construction of three finger shaped glass SkyWalks connected through a tunnel in the rocky spur of Bhaley Dhunga cliff standing an elevation of 10,102 feet.

Mean while rural tourism in Sikkim has much to cheer from 13th Finance Commission.

The commission has also states developing Village Tourism scope within the state for which a an grant-in-aid amounting of Rs 80 Crores is being  recommended, said in the report. The fund would be utilized for boosting village surrounding, beautifying, rural connectivity etc.

It is estimated that on completion of the said project unto commissioning will gear Sikkim’s economy to greater height.