Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sikkim CM Pawan Chamling not to celebrate Dasain or Diwali as a mark of mourning for quake victims

NAMCHI, 25 Sept: Chief Minister Pawan Chamling arrived in South Sikkim today as part of his tour of earthquake-affected areas of the State. The CM, it may be recalled, was in North Sikkim yesterday. At Namchi, he met the victims of the earthquake recuperating at the Namchi District Hospital and handed over cash aid of Rs. 50,000 each to them. The Chief Minister also interacted with the victims, consoling them urging them to find the resolve to build their lives afresh. He also announced today that the ex-gratia payments announced for the earthquake affected will be released equally and without discrimination between locals and non-locals.
He also inspected the hospital premises and called on other patients admitted there, handing over cash assistance to them as well.
Earlier, the CM addressed a gathering at the Indoor Gymnasium Hall and stressed that the State was going through a very difficult phase and needed its people to stand strong and united to ensure that the more affected parts and people recovered from the calamity.

Announcing that he will not be celebrating Dasain or Diwali as a mark of mourning for the lives lost to the earthquake, the CM stressed that this was not the time for divisive mentalities because Sikkim needed the emotional unity of all its people to overcome the situation.
He also called on the people not to succumb the rumours because hoaxes had the potential to unravel the relief and rescue efforts and compromise the welfare of people still stranded in remote parts of the State.
He also informed today that in the rebuilding and rehabilitation process, preference will be given to the more seriously damaged houses and the more affected people.
On damages suffered by religious institutions, the Chief Minister reiterated that all these structures will be retrofitted to ensure long-term stability and the severely damaged ones will be reconstructed.
The CM directed government officials to restore all basic infrastructure ahead of the Dasain holidays, and ensure that all the pending bills be released before the festival.
Earlier, the Chief Minister also visited Jorethang, the worst-affected part of South Sikkim.
Here, he handed over ex gratia payment of Rs. 5 lak to the family of the lady killed in a building collapse there. He also handed over ex gratia payments to those injured in the earthquake there.
The CM also inspected the damage suffered at the Solophok Char Dhaam site

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