Join us in our pursuit to make Sikkim number one State: CM Golay

Monday, Aug 15, 2022 07:15 [IST]

Last Update: Monday, Aug 15, 2022 01:45 [IST]

Join us in our pursuit to make Sikkim number one State: CM Golay

INDEPENDENCE DAY MESSAGE
GANGTOK,: Chief Minister P.S. Golay has extended his warm greetings to the people of Sikkim and the country on the occasion of Independence Day and said we owe our freedom and dignity to the selfless sacrifice of the freedom fighters.
The Chief Minister said this year marks 75 years of India’s freedom from British colonial rule and has been rightly commemorated as ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’.  Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav has come up with a perception that has united all the Indians in one emotion, dedication, and feeling of patriotism, he said.
In his Independence Day message, the Chief Minister urged Sikkimese populace to come forward and join the government in their pursuit to turn Sikkim into the number one State of the nation and the world. “If we persevere, no dream is impossible,” he said, vowing to work towards making the State Aatmanirbhar.
In his message, Golay listed achievements of his government and laid out plans for the future.  
He said since the formation of new government in 2019, their goal has been to further strengthen and lead the State to greater heights and to bring up Sikkim as an excellent and opulent State in the country. “With this goal in mind, our government has undertaken significant measures and steps; we have pursued our dreams relentlessly even during the most difficult period of the Covid-19 pandemic which hit very shortly after we took over the governance of the State,” he said.
Since Sikkim became a part of India, Golay said, there has been a breakthrough in development for the State and the people.  He said the State has seen a steady rise in the standard of living, creation of infrastructure and development in health, education, tourism, agriculture-horticulture and dairy sectors.
He said the health sector has been the prime area of focus of the State government. The State presently has one of the best primary health care infrastructures in the country and tremendous progress has been made in the up gradation of promotive, preventive, curative, and rehabilitative health care for the people of Sikkim, he added.
“Sikkim is known today as one of the most progressive States in the health sector in India. There has been manifold improvement in infrastructures, capacity building, manpower placement, and delivery of comprehensive services through 148 sub-centres, 24 PHCs, two CHCs, four district hospitals, and one multi-specialty government hospital.”
Golay said his government also established the first viral research and diagnostic laboratory at STNM Hospital, appointment new super specialists and introduced two specialist services, namely, neuro surgery and cardio thoracic vascular surgery.
Among the projects being undertaken to further boost the health sector, Golay said a 70-bedded hospital with modern facilities is on the verge of completion at Mangan, and new district hospitals are being constructed at Namchi (300-bedded), Singtam (300-bedded) and Soreng (100-bedded).
He informed that the government has enhanced budget for medicine and consumable items from Rs. 13.41 crore to Rs. 40 crore, extended health insurance scheme under Ayushman Bharat to 31,552 poor and needy people of Sikkim, launched Mukhya Mantri Swasthya Sahayog Yojana, which provides the benefit of cashless treatment up to Rs. 2 lakh at Central Referral Hospital, Tadong,  through Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, and set up new blood banks in district hospitals of Singtam, Gyalshing, and Mangan among others.
Mentioning that Sikkim is one of the most literate States in India with a current estimated literacy rate of more than 90% and a Gross Enrolment Ratio of 75.8% in higher education as of 2019-20, the Chief Minister said the government has made great strides in providing access to quality education encompassing all sections of society across the state.
“The cornerstone of our policy is the child-centric approach to learning,” he stressed.
Golay said the State also remain committed to the implementation of New Education Policy 2020. “We have taken conscious policy decisions to comprehensively operationalize the NEP into interdependent sub-sectors viz., school education and higher education. For us, every education-related project is our flagship programme.”
Recognizing that teachers are the transformer, Golay said the State has completely done away with the concept of ad-hoc teachers and streamlined the appointment of regular teachers based on NCTE norms, thereby ensuring the availability of teachers in all the schools in the State.   
He said steps are also being taken to address the issue of drop-out through various means.  
He said the government is also establishing Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose University of Excellence (NSBUoE) at Chakung which will upgrade the current Sikkim Government Science College into a world-class multidisciplinary research centre.  The courses offered will make students ready to deal with the challenges of climate change and disruptions caused by technology, and develop inner resilience to deal with challenging social and economic conditions, he said.
Furthermore, Golay informed that Sikkim Government B.Ed. College, Soreng is being converted into a multidisciplinary institution offering Integrated Teacher Education Course.
Golay said the government has also taken following initiatives in its bid to turn Sikkim into the education hub of the country: Nar Bahadur Bhandari Fellowship Scheme for higher studies abroad, Apatan Fellowship for Ph.D. in Hindi and vernacular languages of Sikkim, Chief Minister’s Internship Scheme where 100 fresh college/university graduates will be attached to various departments and PSUs, launch of PG courses in Gangtok, Namchi and Gyalshing government colleges, ongoing establishment of State university at Temi Tarku and construction of government colleges at Gyalshing and Mangshila.
Chief Minister Golay stressed that the State now needs to move towards becoming a food surplus State. He said the government has prioritised increasing the participation of people in farming and other allied activities to bring about an increase in the production of vegetables, fruits and other products through different initiatives including the launch of ‘Mukhya Mantri Krishi Atmanirbhar Yojana’ under which cash incentive is provided to the farmers for 13 different crops. Likewise, the government has also introduced ‘Milk production incentive scheme’ for dairy farmers and ‘Piggery production incentive scheme’.
Moreover, the government and IFFCO have come together and formed a joint venture to improve the income of farmers of the State by introducing scientific agriculture services and improving post-harvest technology and imparting value addition to the agricultural produce of the State. The joint venture, Sikkim-IFFCO Organics Ltd, will also work to market the organic agricultural products in the domestic and international markets, he said.
The government plans to transform organic farming into a multimodal agriculture heritage which would act as an instrument of food security, rural development, rural tourism, climate change resilience and national and global replication initiative, he added.
Golay said another area of focus of the government has been ensuring that the citizens have access to all necessities, chiefly a house to live in. he said the government has completed construction of 3,050 houses for the rural populace under Sikkim Garib Awas Yojana, in its endeavour to make Sikkim a kutcha house-free State.
Remarking that tourism has been the most reliable and high growth sector to foster sustainable development of the State, Golay said the government visions to tap the enormous tourism potential to ensure larger socio-economic objectives and bring about all-around development through a well-executed tourism policy. The objective is also to lay greater emphasis on inclusive growth through people’s participation and convergence, he added.
The Chief Minister said focus is on to promote landmark tourism products having a high selling proposition to offer a world-class experience to the tourists and propel Sikkim ahead of other competing destinations including Nepal and Bhutan.
In terms of infrastructure building, Golay said the government has sanctioned numerous theme-based projects which are on-going and some are at the completion stage. Some of the major projects being undertaken are eco-tourism pilgrimage complex at Dodak, herbal and spiritual healing complex at Nandugaon, and 1000 mega home stay project in the first phase.
Sikkim has also been proactive in tapping on the potential of film tourism and has already been adjudged the ‘Most Film Friendly State’ at the 67th National Film Awards in October 2021. “This has been made possible owing to a major policy decision taken by our government in the year 2020 wherein we have put in place the film policy through which subsidies shall be provided to filmmakers who produce films/ movies within the State. There will be continued efforts made by the government to turn Sikkim into an excellent film destination,” the Chief Minister said.
In the power sector, Golay said his government has been working relentlessly to provide 24x7 quality and reliable power to both urban and rural areas at par.
The Chief Minister said within a short period, the installed hydropower capacity in State has increased, and the government is actively pursuing the off-take of all IPP projects stalled due to various issues. “Further, to invigorate the generation sector and contribute to the national green energy initiatives, our government’s mission is to restart the other stalled projects too. These initiatives will not only bring much-needed private sector investments to the State but also generate employment and revenue in terms of free power.”  
For the advancement of sports and games in the State, Golay said the government has created state-of-the-art infrastructure to encourage and hone sports talents.
Under the present government, Bhaichung Stadium was completed and inaugurated in October 2021 and the government has announced the creation of a world-class archery training facility to be named after Tarun Deep Rai, an Olympian archer from Sikkim. The land for the same has been identified at Kitchudumra in Namchi district, he said.
Golay said the government also sanctioned upgradation of 55 playgrounds in various schools in 2020 and the project is 90% complete. The government has also instituted awards for promising and budding sportspersons of the State which will be given on Independence Day every year, he added.
The Chief Minister said the State government formed two new districts of Soreng and Pakyong to facilitate smooth governance and overall strengthening of administration. The government aspires to explore every avenue and take every step necessary to make the governance and administration of the State machinery both transparent and easily accessible to all, he added.
He also congratulated recently-elected President of India Draupadi Murmu, and Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar on their historic win. Golay said, “It is a matter of great pride that India recently elected Madam Draupadi Murmu as the 15th President of India.  She is the first woman President from the Tribal community and being elected as the resident has paved way for the daughters of our country to dream big and aspire to become leaders of the nation.”
Concluding his message, Chief Minister Golay said, “We have been fortunate to have many of our visions turned into reality and are hopeful that the pending issues will be soon addressed and the final developmental blueprint will also see the light of day at the earliest.”

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi