GANGTOK, July 7
Land Revenue and Disaster Management Department signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Disaster Management Authority aiming at Mangan Landslide Mitigation. Land Revenue Minister Kunga Nima Lepcha attended meetings with NDMA, Union Home Affairs on July 4 and 5 in New Delhi regarding the progress on various schemes for Disaster Risk Reduction in the State and discussed on the issues of Implementation of Shendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, Aapda Mitra Programme and Mitigation of Mangan Landslide. .
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Land Revenue Secretary Ambika Pradhan and NDMA Joint Secretary Sandeep Poundrik in the presence of Minister SK.N. Lepcha and Secretary NDMA Dr. Pradeep Kumar along with other members Dr.Kamal Kishor and Dr. D.N. Sharma. The Sikkim contingent was represented by Sikkim State Disaster Management Additional Director G.C. Khanal along with UNDP officers Dr. Surojit Baruah and Disaster Risk Reduction expert Keshav Koirala.
Apart from the NDMA, the Land Revenue Minister and SSDMA had another meeting with Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) led by their Director of Cooperation Mary Laure Crettaz and Disaster Risk Reduction Thematic Expert Divya Kashyap. The highlight of the meeting was continuation of support to Sikkim through a four-year project on strengthening State strategies for climate action. The thrust areas will be on Disaster Risk Reduction and Water.
SSDMA team led by the Land Revenue Minister also visited Nations House where the team had a meeting with Resident Representative of United Nations in India Shoko Nada, Additional Country Director Rakesh Kumar and Chief of Climate Change, Energy and Resilience Unit Dr. Preeti Soni. The highlight of the meeting was support to Sikkim would be provided under the Niti Aayog’s flagship Aspirational Districts Programme and Development of Road Map for DRR and Development Planning for the State.
The team also met Chief of Resilience United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) Lars Bernd and DRR Technical Specialist Sarabjit Singh. The highlight of the meeting was UNICEF agreed to provide support to Health and Education sectors of Sikkim with funding support from North East Council under the DONER Ministry. It was also agreed to have meetings with DONER agencies who can provide support in the sector.
A meeting was also held with Union Home Affairs Joint Secretary SK Jindal who appreciated the work being carried out by SSDMA but equally stressed on augmenting the effort to save vulnerable lives and property.
The visit culminated with the Minister briefing Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang in Delhi about the various meetings with central ministers and international organizations. The Chief Minister appreciated the effort of the Sikkim team and highlighted some major water challenges in Sikkim, which has further worsened due to climate change and tunnelling activities. He called upon the team to work towards a resilient Sikkim.