CM demands 50 electric mini buses for Sikkim

Will advocate relaxation in criteria for procuring mini buses: Meghwal

Gangtok, 07 Aug (IPR):

The Union Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Arjun Ram Meghwal called on Chief Minister, PS Tamang (Golay) in his office at Tashiling, Secretariat this afternoon.

The Chief Minister, Mr Tamang after according a warm welcome also held a brief meeting with the Minister of State, Arjun Ram Meghwal, which was also attended by Cabinet Ministers, BS Panth and SanjeetKharel along with the Chief Secretary, AK Shrivastava, ACS cum Principal Secretary Finance, SC Gupta, ACS cum Principal Secretary Industries Dr Thomas Chandy, Secretary to Chief Minister, SD Dhakal, Secretary Transport, RajuBasnet and other officials from the Ministry.

MoS, Mr Meghwal was all praise for Sikkim and talked highly about the happiness index in which Sikkim is leading in the country. He also apprised the Chief Minister about the World Happiness Report is an annual publication of the United Nations sustainable development solutions network (It contains articles, and rankings of national happiness based on respondent ratings of their own lives which the report also correlates with various life factors) where out of 156 countries India is lying low at 133.

He also informed how Madhya Pradesh is aggressively working towards achieving a commendable happiness index and they have created separate Ministry for happiness, named AnandMantralaya, while suggesting that Sikkim which is leading state in the nation in happiness index can have their own separate Ministry for happiness and lead the nation in this field.

On the other hand the Chief Minister, PS Tamang liked the idea of having a separate department for happiness and said that his Government will definitely think about the suggestion put forward by the Minister for State.

The Minister, Mr Meghwal also informed the Chief Minister about how his Ministry under Fame India Scheme has started National Electricity Mobility Mission Plan 2020 which is a National Mission document providing the vision and road map for faster adaptation of Electric Vehicles (EV) and their manufacturing within the country. He further informed that his Minister has given more than 6,000 units of Electric vehicles to 64 cities across the country.

The Chief Minister, Mr Tamang informed that Sikkim had requested for such Electric Vehicles specially 50 mini buses but couldn’t fulfil the criteria for obtaining the electric vehicles from the Ministry due to its meagre population and good pollution control.

A visibly surprised Mr Meghwal assured that he will advocate relaxation in criteria for Sikkim to obtain EVs while adding that two such demo electric vehicles are being provided one to the Governor and another one to the Chief Minister.

The Chief Minister, PS Tamang was also very vocal on how electric transport vehicles can be solution for traffic problems, which the people for state capital have to deal with everyday and requested the Minister to provide Sikkim with 50 EVs (Mini Buses)

The Minister for State assured that Sikkim will definitely get those mini buses from his Ministry and asked the representatives of the PSUs who were also present during the meeting to immediately identity locations for changing stations for such EVs in the state and also requested the state government to provide suitable locations for the same, to which the Chief Minister, his cabinet colleagues and the concerned officials gave him the nod.

During the meeting the Chief Minister also put forward few important demands for Electric Vehicles such as

1) The Minister of Heavy Industries may provide us with electrical mini buses on 100% subsidy basis for trial in the hills.

2) The cost of the vehicle and its expenditure cost are very high and not suitable for hilly region so we request the Centre Government for subsidies busses and its operational cost.

He also asked the Ministry to consider establishing ancillary units of heavy machineries for the industries to be established in West Sikkim which could not only give boost to the industrialization in the state but also solve the problem of unemployment.

The Chief Minister also suggested that Sikkim is capable of having at least assembly units for two wheelers if not manufacturing units and hoped that the Minister of State will take up the matter earnestly in his Ministry.

The Minister, Mr Meghwal assured he will definitely discuss the matter with the automobiles companies and suggest that they should have at least assembly units in the state of Sikkim.

During the meeting The Chief Minister also expressed his concern over the notification of Ministry of Home Affairs where sacred peaks of Sikkim including Mt Kancehnjunga has been opened for expedition.

He asked the Minister of State to kindly put forward the issue in the centre and also informed him that out of 24 mountains which was been opened for scaling 14 should be banned, as it has a religious and sentimental value to the people of Sikkim.

The Minister assured that he will definitely talk with the concerned Ministry about the issue and was hopeful that Centre Government will definitely try and protect the sentiments and religious values of Sikkimese people.