Gangtok, 29 Jun:
Chief Minister Pawan Chamling today addressed Janta Mela for Urban Areas and Lamas [monks] of the entire State at Khel Gaon in Reshithang. It was clubbed with the final leg of the Jan Sampark cum Jan Seva Abhiyan of the CM for the East district of Sikkim for three constituencies namely Gangtok, Arithang and Upper Tadong along with the Sangha Constituency.
The public event was organized by Urban Development & Housing Department, Government of Sikkim in coordination with the area MLAs and Nagar Panchayats.
The CM handed over token benefits to beneficiaries from among the Lamas [monks] and the people of urban areas from different parts of the State. The benefits that were distributed by the CM on the occasion included Token Allotment for urban housing scheme, GCI Sheets, Electric Rice Cooker, Plain Sheets as part of Urban Housing Scheme, and House Enhancement Scheme Order.
Likewise, subsidized rice was distributed to beneficiaries under other priority households under Food & Civil Supplies Department, while CMRHM, LPG, Pressure Cooker and GCI Sheets were the items under the Rural Management & Development Department which were distributed on the occasion.
Meanwhile, seven employees of the Municipal Bodies from all the four districts were rewarded by the CM with cash award and mementos for rendering sincere and excellent service in their capacities.
The CM was felicitated by a delegation of monks with an Appreciation Letter. Likewise, the representatives of Urban Local Bodies, members of the business community, ASHA workers and Anganwadi Workers also felicitated the CM.
Addressing the public event, the CM highlighted on the Buddhist infrastructure that the State Government has developed and stated that one of the prime images of Sikkim internationally is that of a centre for Buddhism.
The Guest House at Bodh Gaya, enhancement of Annual Grant to monasteries, creation of monastic schools where modern education is imparted, Buddhist University at Deorali, and Aamji education for Bhutia and Lepcha are a few examples of these initiatives.
He also credited the BL communities for forming the country of Sikkim which later became India’s 22nd State and reiterated that such a community should avoid rumours and lies spread by the opposition.
“Our number one priority is protection of the BLs,” said the CM.
Further, he reiterated that the Government is committed to safeguard all the social and political privileges of the BL communities, which includes the 13 seats in the State Legislative Assembly.
Highlighting the secular fabric of the State, the CM stated that all religions enjoy equal status in Sikkim.
Addressing the Buddhist monks, the CM reiterated key government infrastructures and schemes for the community and added that the State Government wants to make the monks highly intellectual gurus of the world. He gave an assurance that the salaries and allowances of the monastic 'lobelas' [teachers] will be enhanced in near future.
He further added that the Government is making a 50 ft tall statue of the three revered Lamas who contributed to the building of ancient monasteries, and subsequently the establishment of monarchy in Sikkim and also of the first Chogyal at Yuksom in West Sikkim as a mark of reverence.
Addressing the business community that includes Marwari, Bihari and others, the CM stated that it has been the policy of his party and his government to respect them.
He further asked the community to analyze what Sikkim has become and the rich value it has added to their lives with an increase in business volume and reaping the “democracy dividend” the State now offers.
“The value of Gangtok has increased by approximately 5000 times, which is evident from the GSDP increase recorded. Business volume has increased. Space/Site Salami system for shops has been introduced. This is the result of our development policies, and people are enjoying the fruit of democratic dividend brought about by good governance,” the CM expressed.
Further adding, he highlighted on Residential Certificates issued to old settlers of Sikkim as a prime example of the government policy towards them.
He said that the State Government “is, has and will” appeal for income tax relief to the old settlers.
The CM announced that the top floor of GMC building at Deorali has been allotted for Bihari Bhawan. Likewise, the top floor of Children Park vehicle stand above MG Marg, Gangtok has been allotted for Marwari Bhawan.
Stating that protection of Sikkimese interest is a challenge, he said that his government is ready to face any challenge in the interest of Sikkim and its people.
Adding that there should be dignity for any kind of work, he announced that the designation of Peon will be renamed as Office Attendant.
In conclusion, the CM assured that the demands put forth by the MLAs of Gangtok, Arithang and Upper Tadong constituencies will be passed phase wise in a month’s time.