Thursday, June 28, 2007

Welcome to ‘sewerage-land’

SIKKIM chief minister Pawan Kumar Chamling has always blamed the bureaucracy for failing to live up to the expectations of the people. After his return from Europe two years back he wanted to transform Sikkim into the Switzerland of Asia, but the people were fully aware of the fact that the picturesque hill capital was gradually turning into a “sewerage-land”. The recent landslide at Amdo Golai on the Indira Gandhi bypass below Gangtok proper was a wake-up call for the administration. The rainy season has just begun and Gangtok, despite tall claims by the establishment, seems to be leaking and sliding everywhere. Lack of proper drainage and sewerage system led to the Amdo Golai disaster. Several buildings perched precariously above the affected area may soon collapse if the huge rock on which they stand — and which has already developed cracks — gives way. Last week urban development and housing department minister Dorji Dahdul Bhutia, acting chief minister, made a surprise on-the-spot inspection of Gangtok town and the surrouding areas, including Amdo Golai, along with senior officials of the departments concerned. And while he spoke of the need to maintain a proper drainage and sewerage system in the capital, it seems that dreams don’t just die — they get buried under the rubble of neglect, inefficiency and corruption.

(Statesman News Service)