GANGTOK, September 16: Chief Minister Pawan Chamling today said that the comprehensive and holistic planning and budgeting framework in the form of “Village Development Action Plan” prepared by Professor Bernard Dafflon of Fribourg University, Switzerland would be used as road map for scientific development of villages under the eco-city State concept and will further strengthen the decentralization and empowerment mission of the State Government.
Releasing the “Village Development Action Plan” for Sikkim presented by Prof Dafflon during a function organized by State Rural Development and Management Departmnet today here at Chintan Bhawan, Mr. Chamling said a pilot Village Development Action Plan for Aritar Gram Panchayat Unit in East District has also been prepared following the Action Plan.
“The State Government specifically chose Switzerland to frame the Model considering the striking similarity between the two countries particularly in their geographical terrain, very strong belief in decentralization and peaceful and hospitable nature of the people,” he said adding “it is the declared policy of the State Government to develop the villages of Sikkim on the lines of the rural areas of Switzerland and make Sikkim, “the Switzerland of the East”.
Mr. Pawan Chamling led government has earmarked 70 percent plan allocation for village development and the government firmly believes that without the development of the rural areas and the people of grass root level, total and overall development is not possible.
The Chief Minister further said that he was confident that this Action Plan would completely transform Sikkim into eco-city state and emerge as a model state for the entire generation and would also serve as the guide book for scientific village planning for the present and will also remain relevant for future development and progress.
“We’ve realized that the best way to achieve comprehensive development in the state is to increasingly decentralize and devolve the functioning of the government to the people of grassroot level.
Mr. Chamling also thanked Prof Dafflon for his guidance and principles for Rural Renaissance based on long term goal of sustainable and scientific development of rural Sikkim and also termed the professor as the catalyst and the harbinger to herald a new beginning into rural life and the grass root experience.
He also congratulated the Panchayats and the people for their cooperation and team work provided to prepare this Action Plan and urged all the Panchayats to implement the Village Action Development Plan in their respective Gram Panchayats Units in a time bound manner.
Earlier, Prof Bernard Dafflon gave a comprehensive Power Point presentation on Village Development Action Plan. The blue print of Village Development Action Plan of Aritar GPU was also presented by the Panchayat President Dhiren Gurung.
During this presentation Chief Secretary TT Dorji also gave an overview on the plan.
Professor Dafflon was also presented with a miniature statue of Guru Padamsambhava as a gesture of goodwill by the Chief Minister during the function.
The programme which began with the welcome note and introduction of Village Development Action Plan by Special Secretary RMDD Sandeep Tambe was attended by Council of Ministers, MLAs, Chairpersons, Mayor, Addl Chief Secretary, DGP, HODs of various government departments and Panchayats from all four Districts.