Guv calls for Public participation in making Sikkim self-sufficient and self- reliant
Gangtok, Jan 25
Governor of Sikkim, Ganga Prasad wishes people of Sikkim on the Republic Day 2019. Governor in his message said, on the auspicious occasion of the Republic Day of the nation, I convey my best wishes to all the citizens of Sikkim, along with the people of India. I also extend my warm wishes to the people of Sikkim for the New Year.
Every year, India celebrates Republic Day on January 26. On January 26, 1950, the Constitution of India, which is considered the world’s largest Constitution, was enacted and implemented for the largest democracy. Its chief architect was Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar.
On this day, independent India got its Constitution, through which every work of the Executive, Judiciary and Legislature is edited. Under the Constitution, India was established as a sovereign, socialist, secular and democratic republic. With a history full of ups and downs, our Republic has emerged as the world’s largest democracy with strong roots of democratic values and principles. Our Constitution is also a symbol of pride for all Indians.
On this occasion, I extend my greetings to the Armed Forces, Paramilitary forces and members of their families, who provide sustained security to the nation. Come; let us bow to those brave warriors who have sacrificed their lives for the protection of the country.
I have realized that due to peace, harmony and stability in Sikkim, the roots of democracy have been strengthened. Given the international boundaries of Sikkim, the peace and stability of Sikkim is very commendable for the unity and integrity of the country. This is indeed a matter of pride for the people of Sikkim.
I urge everyone to make their positive contribution to strengthen this healthy environment of peace and harmony for the all-round development and prosperity of the State.
Today, Sikkim is the first Organic state in the world and is a model State for others to emulate. The State has assimilated development, peace, harmony and security. There is no problem like communal riots or strikes in the state.
The Sikkim Government has given top priority to the development of the grass root level. Rural livelihood, road connectivity, electricity, health facilities, drinking water and housing facilities, essential information for everyone and the modern priority of development have become a reality for the people of Sikkim due to the far-reaching policies of our Government.Sikkim which is an agricultural state, owing to the farsighted policies adopted by our Government, has now also successfully progressed into the field of industrial and service sector.
Since the establishment of the state of Sikkim, the Government has prepared the development strategy of the state on the basis of ground realities and natural abilities. In the past 24 years, there have been unprecedented changes in different areas and today, as per the social economic indicators,Sikkim has strong economic vibrancy and social-cultural stability. Our Government is committed to pursue this momentum of development with its long term mission to serve the people of the State.
The Government decided to adopt organic farming in the state in the year 2003. Between 2003 and 2010, various initiatives like preparation of action plan, boycotting the use of chemical fertilizers, production of organic food, development of infrastructure, establishment of Vermi-Compost and Bio-Compost Unit have been undertaken. Capacity building of fertilizer production units, nautical testing facilities, biological seed production units and capacity building of farmers and other stake holders were also done during this period.
With the launch of Sikkim Organic Mission in August 15, 2010, the Organic movement in the state got a formal seal. By the end of 2015, a time frame was fixed to bring the whole agricultural land under Organic management through certification. Thus, Sikkim, by the end of 2015 had the distinction of being the first Organic State of the country.
After this, work has been undertaken at various levels under the integrated and focused approach with end-to-end facilities for production, processing and marketing. In order to protect Sikkim’s environmental interests and the health of the people, the State government considered it necessary to ban the entry of non-organic farming and horticulture items from March 31st, 2018. Not only is it an opportunity to create a strong marketing system, but it will also help in creating job opportunities along with State’s domestic processing capabilities. The Future Policy Gold Award has made another star root in the glowing crown of Sikkim.
On October 15, 2018, Sikkim won the United Nation’s Future Policy Gold Award. This award has been called the Oscar honour for best policies by best supervisors and followers.
For the government, education has always been of utmost importance. Sikkim, is the only state in the country to spend more than 20% of its annual budget in the field of education. The efforts made by the government in the education sector have now started benefiting the State. The Government was already providing free education up to the College level. Now, it has also started providing free education for Sikkim students in two State-run polytechnic colleges.
On August 15, 2017 Sikkim was declared as a State with 100% literacy rate. The national gross enrollment ratio of students is 26% whereas, in Sikkim it is 37%. Sikkim’s Net Enrollment Ratio is 77% whereas, the National Net Enrollment Ratio is 57%. This is indicative of the high rate of enrollment of students in Sikkim. It is a special thing that in Sikkim, the gender ratio between the students is 100 boys per 111 girls, which is extremely encouraging.
Under the health sector, the State Government has made significant progress in providing health services. The aim of the State Government is to build a healthy society through quality healthcare and deliver services to the remotest corners of Sikkim. As per the health indicators, constant decline in MMR, IMR, prevalence of illness along with morbidity and mortality rate has been observed in Sikkim.
HPV is the main cause of cervical cancer in women and in order to overcome this, the State Government is providing free vaccination to the girls between the age of 9 to 14 years.In the first phase of HPV Vaccination, on July 30, 2018, more than 24000 girls were vaccinated.
The CATCH programme of the State Government is an important initiative in the health sector. In every village, universal health check facility is provided for all citizens through the CATCH programme, so that diseases can be identified at the very beginning and treatment can be ensured at the earliest. To make Sikkim a healthy State through this programme, special attention is being given to local partnership and collective cooperation. Sikkim is the only State in the country to have such a mission for universal health coverage.
This year, on January 14, the 1000 bedded Multi-specialty hospital was inaugurated. The hospital has been constructed with a long-term objective of providing high quality healthcare to the patients, it is safe, effective, efficient and forward looking. We believe that in future, the hospital will make its mark as an excellent health center with the best practices.
There is no longer a need for seriously ill patients to go out of state for medical treatment. Our government is working towards starting the government medical college from this year, on the available land near this hospital. This institute will be able to provide complete health care facilities for the State in the future.
Every nook and corner of the State has been provided with electricity till date. In comparison to the State’s requirement of 148 MW,we have reached the capacity of 2206 MW. The State has abundant hydro-power and my Government is fast approaching the direction of using this capacity to accelerate income generation. The goal of the state is to provide electricity to each household through the DeendayalUpadhyayGrameenJyoti Yojana and Integrated Power Development Scheme.
My Government, in 1995 to 1996, took a historic decision to allocate 70% of its plan amount to rural areas for the upliftment of the rural people. This policy is still fully decentralized. District Planning Board too has been constituted under District Panchayats for the development of development schemes at the district level.
Decentralization and Transfer of Governance are key features of Panchayati Raj. Sikkim’s Panchayati Raj system is considered one of the best in the country. The continuous national awards received by the State for its Panchayati Raj system is a testimony that we are moving in the right direction.
Although there are two level Panchayati Raj system at village and district levels in the state, a Block Administrative Center has been set up to provide administrative, accounting and technical assistance to the group of Gram Panchayats. Now to fulfill the needs of 183 Gram Panchayats in the state, 32 Block Administrative Centers have been built. These centers have further strengthened the process of decentralization by administering development to everyone.
The goal of our Government is to make Sikkim the country’s first kuccha house Free State. Under the Chief Minister’s Rural Housing Scheme, the Government has constructed 5659 houses for the first time in order to provide permanent houses to the common people living in kuccha houses.
In the next version, sanction has been done for the construction of other 6000 houses under Phase 1 and 2.
Under CMRHM, Phase-1, 1079 out of 3000 houses have been completed and the rest are in various stages of completion.
Regarding the road sector, Sikkim is a landslide prone state and we depend entirely on National Highway 10 which is the only lifeline for all the needs of the state. The state also has to suffer loss due to weather disturbances and disruption owing to political reasons that occur on the highway.
There is no railway and water route in Sikkim. It has recently started air connectivity, hence the road is still the only practical means of transport in Sikkim.
My Government is making a comprehensive road network in the entire state with the aim of connecting each village, school, health center, market and important tourist and religious places.
Attempts are being made to link Sikkim with international boundaries around Sikkim,which includes Nepal, Bhutan and China. The government is widening the old single lane roads and making double lanes. Similarly, bridges are capable of withstanding more weight. For smooth road transport, the hug tunnels are emphasizing the use of techniques like foot over bridge, flyover, etc.
Sikkim has taken tourism as an industry and Sikkim’s tourism brand is setting high standards in the country. Sikkim is being developed as an eco-system tourist destination with a balanced developed process as a responsible tourism brand.
Recently, the statue of 135 feet high Chenrezig ShingkhamRiwoPotala was inaugurated in Pelling. This structure has been dedicated to Sikkim and people of the world. This will attract more tourists to the State.
At the same time, the State government is making efforts to develop its tourism capacity by introducing homestays in the rural areas. This will surely increase the income of the rural people. Rural tourism concept is increasing rapidly in the state as a responsible and sustainable tourism product.
Last year, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, dedicated Pakyong Airport, which is the only airport in the State, to the country. There is no doubt air travel will accelerate the tourism and economic development of the State. Sikkim has now been linked to the country’s air map. Right now, our air connectivity is limited to Kolkata and Guwahati. Our Government is working towards extending our air connectivity to New Delhi, Paro of Bhutan and Kathmandu of Nepal.
Having said this, I am very satisfied and happy that the people of this State have received many benefits through development schemes. It has been possible due to the Government’s positive policies, people’s participation, continuous peace, sustainability, security and good governance.
The only goal of the State is to make the State self-sufficient and self- reliant with more progress and prosperity. To make this goal a reality, participation and contribution of all the Sikkimese people is expected.
In the end, I congratulate all the brothers and sisters who have succeeded in their own respective fields and have made a mark for themselves in the state. Additionally, I congratulate and extend my best wishes to all the Police Medal winners, the State Awardees and recipients of Letter of Appreciation. I pray that your success inspires others to strive for the best as well.
Come; let us continue to work harder, get stronger and come together to achieve our goals. I do believe that with our collective effort, the State will achieve its next level of success in the near future.