Didi and I have agreed to share resources for peace and development in Darj Hills: CM


Gangtok, 20 Aug (IPR): A 28-member delegation of the Press Club of Kolkata called on Chief Minister Pawan Chamling this evening at his official residence Mintokgang.

President, Press Club of Kolkata, Snehasis Sur, informed that the main objective of the study visit and Goodwill Mission of journalists from various parts of West Bengal (including Siliguri) was to understand the developmental initiatives of the Government of Sikkim on all fronts and also to felicitate Chief Minister Chamling for having achieved the unique distinction of becoming the longest serving Chief Minister in the country.

He apprised the Chief Minister that the goodwill visit was also an effort towards fostering greater bonding between the two neighbouring States through ‘Track 2 diplomacy’ and added that the visit was themed ‘Love Your Neighbour’.

The members of the delegation thanked the Chief Minister and the Government for the warmth and hospitality extended to them.

They mentioned about their visit to ‘Char Dham’ in Namchi and praised the concept and also the positive developments that the town has undergone over the years.

While introducing the members of the Press Club of Kolkata, Mr Sur stated that the team was particularly keen to learn more about the recent developments recorded by the State of Sikkim such as environment initiatives, Organic Mission, highest literacy rate, poverty alleviation measures and sustenance of peace and tranquility here.

He further said that the Press Club of Kolkata will work in close coordination with the IPR Department of the Government of Sikkim and the Press Club of Sikkim to learn from each other’s developments.

The Members of the Press Club of Kolkata honoured the Chief Minister by presenting a bouquet, shawl, memento of the Club, the traditional scarf ‘uttariya’ and a miniature replica of the flag prepared by the Club for this visit.

The Chief Minister welcomed the delegation and shared some of the unique initiatives of the Government.

While responding to questions put forth by the visiting journalists, the CM stated that the focus of his Government was on qualitative development through scientific, environment-friendly and sustainable methods.

He shared some of the steps taken by the Government towards environment conservation resulting in a record 4% increase in forest cover, which he highlighted was a rare accomplishment.

He also shared the intent of the Government towards enhancing the quality of education in the State.

Responding to a question about Sikkim-West Bengal relations in the context of separate State-hood demands in the Darjeeling hills, the Chief Minister informed that he has spoken to Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee on more than one occasion and that they have decided to work together to maintain peace in Darjeeling hills.

He added that the two States have agreed to share each other’s resources in law and order and also in other sectors like tourism and industry to ensure that Darjeeling prospers.

In conclusion, the Chief Minister stated that he has always practiced positive politics with a one-point commitment - to serve the people of Sikkim.

The programme was also attended by Secretary, IPR Department, S. Shenga, Director-IPR, Tashi Chophel and president, Press Club of Sikkim, Joseph Lepcha.