Wednesday, October 17, 2007


GANGTOK, October 15: Sikkim Tourism Minister RB Subba met with the West Bengal PWD Minister Manohar Tirkey last Thursday and held talks on various tourism related issues.
Topics up for discussion included better road connectivity between Siliguri, West Bengal and Sikkim for smooth flow of traffic, Bagdogra Airport to be declared as international airport and Buddhist Circuit connecting Sikkim, Darjeeling, Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh.
The opening of Nathula Pass for tourism purpose for visit to Kailash Manasarovar Lake at Tibet also came for discussion at the meeting.
Secretary Tourism GP Upadhyaya and Joint Secretary Prava Rai were also present during the meeting.
An IPR press release states that with the concerted efforts by both the States all the four issues discussed were finalized to be placed before the concerned union ministers for speedy action.
During the meeting, the West Bengal minister on his part requested the Sikkim Government for exchange of cultural activities between the two States, for which the Commission-cum-Secretary, Tourism will be writing to the Secretary, Cultural Affairs for further action.
Mr. Tirkey also informed Mr. Subba that funds have been sanctioned for carrying out repairs to National Highway 31-A falling within the jurisdiction of NHAI.
Dwelling upon the recent disturbance in Siliguri, the West Bengal Minister expressed his satisfaction at the peace and tranquility prevailing in Sikkim and assured Mr. Subba to take the message of a safe and peaceful Sikkim to the Bengalis tourists in Kolkata.
Mr. Subba on his part expected love and affection from the government of West Bengal emphasizing that 60 per cent of the tourists flow is from West Bengal.
While inviting the West Bengal Minister to visit Sikkim in the month of March-April to see the natural beauty of Sikkim, Mr. Subba suggested him to visit Temi Tea Gardens and Samdruptse, Namchi on way back to Kalimpong.