Gangtok, 16 May:
“Every work undertaken in Sikkim will be qualitative from now on,” announced Chief Minister Pawan Chamling while addressing the State Day celebrations in the capital today.
The CM stressed that the second phase of development has started in the State, the basic minimum needs having been fulfilled in phase-1 of development here.
“Now, the aim is to make Sikkim a Model State for the country and worldwide,” he stressed.
While highlighting the State’s contribution to the country, he said, “Nowhere in the world can a unique history like Sikkim be found where people merged a country with another showing exemplary patriotism to the nation. We, as Sikkimese, should be proud of our Indian citizenship as we are equal contributors and partners in the process of nation-building”
He further held that Sikkim should utilise all the benefits enshrined in the State list of the Constitution.
Addressing government employees, that CM said that State has tried its best to implement the Pay Commission. He, however, added that the government cannot give arrears at one go and it will be given phase-wise due to paucity of funds and the strain a lump-sum release would cause.
He informed that Rs 2,000 crore is spent from the State exchequer for payment of salaries to government employees. He also urged officers to be sympathetic towards pensioners and respect them for their past contributions and reach out to them for counsel.
As for the development of the State, the growth in GSDP and per capita income of the State is for all to witness and compare since the formation of his government 24 years ago, he added.
Highlighting Sikkim’s mission on Sustainable Development, he said that Sikkim’s revolution to raise forest cover was a message for the world to take care of the Earth.
He also announced the start of Water Security Mission and Food Security Mission in order to make the State completely secure and sustainable in these resources.
He added that he wished to make Sikkim like Cuba with regard to infant mortality rate as Cuba has the lowest rate in the world.
He also sternly directed concerned officers and stakeholders like Panchayats to properly earnestly on issues of housing as the State has now embarked on a mission to make Sikkim kutcha-house free.
Providing infrastructure an extra push, he also informed that the State Government plans to upgrade connectivity at all four districts through roads and tunnels.
He also added that air connectivity will be a reality soon and that the State was pushing for international connectivity to Nepal, Bhutan and Bangkok from Pakyong.
In an impetus to sportspersons, the CM announced annual grants of Rs 12 lakh to A-grade sporting clubs along with 5% reservation in State government jobs to local sportspersons of national and international repute.
The CM further stated that Sikkim will be a self sufficient agricultural State within the next five years and announced that a planting festival will be undertaken in June-July which will see bigger-than-before dedicated tree plantation drives all over the State.
“One should not take things for granted. Sikkim’s image will be destroyed with no economic activity if people start adhering to those trying to communalise Sikkimese society. Now we have to realise and maintain this development tempo,” he further said.
He stressed that he was not interested in casteist communal issues and was only interested in development.
Adding a personal note, Mr Chamling also held that he often feels alone when meditating on issues of the people.
He further appealed to the people and all stakeholders to extend full cooperation to the second phase of Organic Mission.