Thursday, June 21, 2007

Governor buttresses rail connectivity demand for Sikkim

GANGTOK: Rail connectivity, a long pending demand of Sikkim government, has got a new advocate in the Governor V Rama Rao as he has spoken strongly for rail connectivity of SikkimThe Governor V Rama Rao on June 19 attended the 6th Summit of North Eastern Council on Railway Connectivity at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, chaired by the Union Minister of DONER and Chairman of North Eastern Council, Mani Shankar Aiyer.
The 6th Summit of North Eastern Council was attended by Governors and Chief Ministers of North Eastern states, members of the NEC and senior officers from Planning Commission, Finance Ministry, Home Ministry, Railway Board and NEC states.
Addressing the summit, Governor V Rama Rao drew attention to the fact that Sikkim has been waiting for rail connectivity ever since its merger with Indian Union in 1975. He highlighted the tremendous constraints faced by Sikkim in accessing the mainland with only one road passing through a politically sensitive area of the neighboring state.
Observing that railway projects are being taken up even in areas where there are security problems, he informed the summit that Sikkim is the most peaceful state in the country and railways should be keen to do something in the state. “The project for Sikkim could be taken up in the normal budget of the Railways and not as an additional”, Rao said further emphasising that the railway line should be from New Jalpaiguri to Nathula.
The Governor is also said to take up important pending matters with the government of India during his stay at New Delhi and expected to return Gangtok on June 26.