New Secretariat – a symbol of Sikkimese culture: CM
Gangtok, 04 Dec:
Built at a cost of Rs. 264.30 crore, the new State Secretariat was inaugurated today by Chief Minister Pawan Chamling. The old Secretariat building had suffered damages in the earthquake that rattled the State on 18 Sept, 2011.
Construction of the new Secretariat complex has been executed through a Kolkata based construction firm M/S Archtech Consultants Pvt Ltd on turnkey contract.
The foundation stone of the project was laid by the then Governor of Sikkim, Balmiki Prasad Singh on 01 Mar, 2013, in the presence of the Chief Minister.
After formally inaugurating the multi-storeyed new Secretariat building, the Chief Minister took a round of the new infrastructure.
In his address, the Chief Minister congratulated all the State Government employees for the new state-of-the-art infrastructure created by the Government for effective administration. Terming the occasion as historic, he dedicated the Secretariat to the people of Sikkim and went on to announce that the new Secretariat should be fully functional from 02 Jan, 2019.
He directed all the concerned Departments operating from Manan Bhawan and other rented establishments to immediately shift their offices to the new premises. He appealed to the officers to enter the new Secretariat with a positive mind-set and a problem-solving attitude.
Since Sikkim is situated in an earthquake prone zone so the state government decided to construct a completely new and earthquake-resistant building that can withstand earthquakes measuring 10 on the Richter scale. The building has all the modern facilities for the officials and the members of the public, who visit the office.
He further said that this mega structure can be a symbol to protect and promote our rich culture and tradition adding that the name of the building will remain Tashiling Secretariat since it is a legacy from the time of the Chogyals and holds sentimental value for every Sikkimese.
As per the allotment to house the departments, the Chief Minister’s Office, Planning, Finance and Home along with Chief Secretary office will be at the main Secretariat building and other departments like Land Revenue & Disaster Management, Parliamentary Affairs, Finance, Excise and Law Department will be housed in Annexure I building.
The Secretariat building was built at cost of Rs. 264.30 crore [Rs.171 crore from Prime Minister Relief Fund and Rs. 93 crores from State planning].
“Cultural and historical aesthetics have been incorporated in the new Secretariat, which will be a one-stop centre for visitors and researchers to know Sikkim’s culture and history,” said the CM. He said that the Secretariat will have support infrastructures like pedestrian walkways, water fountain, garden, bus bay, and adequate parking facility.
The Chief Minister added that the second phase of the work will continue and all efforts will be made to decongest the place leading upto the State Legislative Assembly on one side and the Nehru Statue near Ridge Park on the other.
This is the third Secretariat building which has been constructed in the State. The first, also known as the Chief Court was constructed in 1915 and the second after joining the Indian Union, which had to be demolished after it was damaged by the 2011 earthquake.
After the devastating earthquake, the state has re-constructed over 8,000 houses, repaired and maintained numerous roads, ‘mandirs’, ‘gumpas’, churches, buildings and other educational institutes of the State including the Secretariat building is one of them.
He gave a brief background of the challenges faced by the Government after the devastating earthquake of 2011 causing severe damage to Government infrastructure and private property. He said that the Government took the problem as a challenge and succeeded in reconstructing and resurrecting damaged infrastructure within a span of few years.
He added that a Technical Committee formed to assess the impact of the earthquake on the old Secretariat made two suggestions – retrofitting and reconstruction. The Government took the decision to demolish the old building and reconstruct a new building and related infrastructures with earthquake resilient features, he informed. He added that the new Secretariat has been built with modern earthquake resistant methodologies which can withstand an earthquake of magnitude 10 Richter scale.
“People of Sikkim should introspect on how the Government has created such infrastructures amidst severe challenges,” he stated.
Addressing bureaucrats, the Chief Minister urged them to be humane and compassionate while dealing with people-centric schemes and programmes. He categorically stated that there should be no delay or anomaly in the implementation of Government policy decisions. Schemes like Medical Aid, Old Age Pension, Ex-Gratia, Student Scholarship, Maternity benefit, and Land to Landless should be made available to the people without bureaucratic delay, he stated.
He added that the Government’s decisions such as jobs on compassionate ground to immediate kin, issuance of trade licence, strict check on entry of chemical fertilizers in the State, policies regarding posting and promotion should be strictly adhered to. He maintained that posting is done in the interest of the Government and not in the interest or willingness of the employee.
Stating that with equal rights come equal responsibilities, he urged the State Government employees to perform their duties with utmost sincerity. He said that in the last twenty four years, Government employees have benefitted the most in terms of promotions.
On the occasion, Chairperson, Archtech Consultants Private Limited, Shamalendu Ghoshal was presented the Certificate of Project Completion by Chief Minister, Pawan Chamling for successful completion of the project.
Earlier, PCE-cum-Secretary, Building & Housing Department, R.B. Thapa in his welcome address attributed the successful completion of the new Secretariat to the strong will and farsighted vision of the Government.
Chief Engineer, Building and Housing Department, Kuldeep Chettri presented the technical report of the new Secretariat project.
The inaugural ceremony was also attended by Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Speaker, MLAs, Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretaries and Head of Departments, Chairpersons and Advisors, Mayor GMC, Zilla Panchayat Adhyakshas, Upadhyakshas, Panchayat Members, and officers of various Departments.