Thursday, June 21, 2007


Gangtok:The UD&HD Minister and at present Acting Chief Minister D.D.Bhutia accompanied by N.K. Pradhan, who is also Gangtok MLA, senior govt.officials and representives from BSNL, Nayuma Television,GREF,Civil Defence,& Police,undertook a walk from Vajra Cinema Hall at Baluwakhani to Gangtok Bazaar to inspect the conditions of buildings and roads and to further identify things that need to be done to further beautify Gangtok .

The acting chief minister of Sikkim, D.D. Bhutia, today toured the capital on foot to make a spot assessment of the town and decide on the measures required for a cleaner Gangtok.
Officials from the East district administration, police, departments of urban development, power and forest, Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and BSNL accompanied the minister on the tour.
Bhutia started off from Vajra Cinema complex and walked up to the Indira Bypass intersection at Tadong, where huge rocks, brought down by a landslide last week, are still blocking the road. The minister asked the BRO officials to clear the debris at the earliest, but advised against the use of explosives to break up the rocks.
Bhutia walked around 5 km along NH 31A and inspected the M.G. Marg area and the other suburbs located beside the highway. He ordered urban development department officials to remove the unauthorised paan shops blocking the drains.
BSNL officials came under Bhutia’s ire for failing to comply with earlier directives to clear the messy overhead cables and cover those supposed to run underground.
The minister also directed BSNL to remove all poles located on the pavements. He found certain stretches of the pavements too narrow and asked representatives of the National Building Construction Company to widen them. Forest department officials were told to fell the trees that were dangerously leaning over the roads and buildings.
The progress of work on the proposed measures will be reviewed every 15 days, Bhutia said. The measures include a blanket ban on all construction in Gangtok till September. Work on construction sites during the monsoon often chokes the drains, increasing the threat of landslides.
“Despite repeated directives, nothing seems to be moving,” Bhutia told officials of the various agencies. “Things have to happen now.”
Bhutia is currently officiating as chief minister in the absence of Pawan Chamling, who is on a tour abroad. The acting chief minister also holds the portfolios of the departments of urban development and housing, and land revenue and disaster management.

Expressing his deep concern over reckless constructions inand around the Capital that were blocking the drainage system.Mr.Bhutia directed UD&HD to take strong actions against owners of unauthorised construction.
The inspection team identified the old market area from Darjeeling Store to Variety Corner where maximum violations had taken place.

While inspecting conditions at the different points, the Minister DD Bhutia felt it necessary to underground all the overhead cables and wires especially of telephone and local cable TV network to enhance a sense of cleanliness and as well as to remove unauthorized hoardings put up at many points and crowding the space.He also observed that shops should not be allowed to display and store their products outside shop areas as well as need to launch a drive to book offenders of vehicles parked above footpath and in prohibited public space.Also to prohibit cobblers and lottery sellers doing business from roads as they gives shabby look to the town.

It may be mentioned here that Chief Minister Dr.Pawan Chamling raised his concern on all these issues while launching Green Mission II at Chintan Bhawan few weeks ago.