Saturday, October 20, 2007

Sikkim steps into holiday season

Gangtok, Oct. 18: If you want to get some work done at government offices in Sikkim, the next two-and-a-half months are not the best time.The festive season with its long list of holidays has set in with state government offices closing down for a five-day break for Dashain from tomorrow. The government almanac has as many as 28 dates marked as holidays in October, November and December. If the weekends are added to the list, the number of non-working days till the New Year adds up to more than a month. After Dashain, there is a five-day break for Laxmi Puja in November followed by Loosoong and Namsoong (Bhutia and Lepcha New Years), Teyongso Sirijunga (the birth anniversary of the Limboo king), Tamu Lochar (the Gurung New Year), and Christmas in December. In fact, the last month of the year has only 17 working days. A number of office-goers are already leaving for their villages to celebrate Dashain and are not expected back till Wednesday.There are some unscheduled holidays as well. After the offices reopen, there is the panchayat elections slated for October 27 followed by All India Governor’s Gold Cup football tournament when government employees can take the afternoons off to watch the matches. The Gold Cup final is slated for November 7, just before the Diwali break. The only concern for the revellers is the three dry days notified by the state excise department from October 25-28 because of the rural polls.Sikkim governor V. Rama Rao and chief minister Dr. Pawan Chamling have both extended festive greetings in a message issued by the state information and public relations department. Rama Rao completes his tenure as the governor of Sikkim on October 24 and will leave for Hyderabad, his hometown, the same day. His successor Sudarshan Agarwal, currently the governor of Uttarakhand, will be sworn in on October 25. “Sikkim has a bright future. There is a lot of development in store for the state as well as progress and prosperity. I have seen it myself because I have visited almost 85 per cent of the rural areas during my tenure,” Rao told journalists at a parting lunch hosted at Raj Bhavan today.