Centre allocates Rs. 500 cr for immediate restoration of Sikkim Highway: Bista

Sunday, Jun 16, 2024 09:30 [IST]

Last Update: Sunday, Jun 16, 2024 03:54 [IST]

Centre allocates Rs. 500 cr for immediate restoration of Sikkim Highway: Bista

Rs. 2000 cr to be additionally sanctioned for rebuilding & expanding NH 10

GANGTOK,: Darjeeling Lok Sabha MP Raju Bista on Saturday informed that the Centre has allocated Rs. 500 crore towards addressing the immediate repair and restoration of NH 10, the lifeline of Sikkim and Kalimpong.

“I am happy to share that the Central Govt has allocated Rs 500 crores towards addressing the immediate repair and restoration of National Highway - 10 (NH-10). Further, the Central Govt is preparing a DPR under the supervision of scientific and terrain experts for rebuilding NH-10, and expanding it by further 10 mtrs, for which a budget of Rs 2000 crores will be additionally sanctioned,” said Bista in a media statement.

Bista visited the settlements along the Teesta river to meet the local people whose lives have been disrupted due to heavy rains, mud slips and rising water levels. He assured them to approach the Central and the State government, NITI Aayog, NDMA and use all his resources, and power to help resolve the problems they are facing.

Presently the villages close to Teesta river are at risk and would continue to face uncertainty during this monsoon following changes in river flow and heavy siltation due to last October flash flood.

“The recent relentless rains and resulting damages highlight the region's vulnerability. During this challenging time, it is crucial for the Centre, State, and local bodies such as GTA, Panchayat Samiti, and Panchayats to collaborate effectively in responding to this unfolding disaster,” said the Darjeeling MP.

Bista pointed out that under Chapter II Section 26 (35) of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Act of 2011, disaster management, relief and rehabilitation are GTA's transferred subjects.

“It is therefore primarily GTA's responsibility to focus on disaster risk reduction and mitigation in our region. However, it remains unclear whether GTA has established a dedicated body such as GTA Disaster Management Authority (GTA-DMA) or the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), as required under the DMA 2005.”

“Because of all this, thousands of people have continued to suffer. Double tragedy has struck the people who had become victims of the Teesta floods of October 2023, and who are yet to receive any help from the WB government. Neither have they declared the Teesta Floods as "disaster", which would have allowed Rs 120 crore of SDR Funds to be used towards the rehabilitation of the people here,” said the Darjeeling MP.

Bista has requested intervention from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as the chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority, outlining the failure of the West Bengal government to adequately protect lives and livelihoods along the Teesta river. Given the strategic significance of the region, particularly in terms of national security, I have also requested for a Central Team to assess the situation and take necessary actions to fix the damages at the earliest, he said.

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