New Delhi : Minister for For Culture, Tourism And Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) G. Kishan Reddy addressed the ‘47th Statehood Day of Sikkim’ Celebrations at Amphitheatre, New Moti Bagh, New Delhi in the august presence of Hon’ble Governor of Sikkim Shri Ganga Prasad and Hon’ble CM of Sikkim Shri Prem Singh Tamang.
Extending his heartfelt greetings to the distinguished audience, Shri Reddy said that the grand Himalayan State had carved a space for itself in various sectors and ranks among the fastest growing States in India. Fulfilling Sustainable Development Goals with 100% ODF Status, Setting a paradigm-shift for sustainable development, Hon’ble Minister said that “Sikkim has become the first state in the world that is 100% organic & is the perfect example where development and sustainability can go hand in hand.” Sikkim has topped Niti Aayog’s SDG Index for NER recently.
Shri Reddy Ji said “Rather than calling Sikkim as the ‘Switzerland of the East’, I truly believe that a day would come, when people of the world would call their scenic destinations as ‘Sikkim of the West’. Shri Reddy urged the travellers and tourists to visit some of the popular parts of Sikkim such as the world heritage site of Kanchendzonga National Park, the peaceful and scenic Teesta River, the beautiful Gurudongmar lake, which is the highest lakes in the world, Zuluk, Lachung, Lachen and Yumthang Valley etc .
Hon’ble Minister Shri G. Kishan Reddy Ji emphasized that the Government of India under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji has placed development of the North East Region as a priority. Connectivity & Security situation has vastly improved with collective vision of Centre, State and Civil Society.
For promoting greater coordination and prompt support between the Central and State Governments, Hon’ble Union Ministers have been visiting North Eastern States every Month. Hon’ble Ministers hear the suggestions and demands of the people & the necessary course of action is taken on highest priority.
Hon’ble Minister Shri Reddy highlighted the key achievements of GoI in Sikkim:
- Connectivity has become one of the primary agendas of the government.
- Sikkim received its first airport at Pakyong in 2018
- Capital road and rail connectivity projects would be completed by 2023.
MDoNER has also sanctioned several projects in Sikkim through several schemes:
- Projects worth Rs. 215 Crore have been sanctioned over the last 8 years through NEC.
- Under North East Road Sector Development Scheme, since 2019 Projects worth 95 crore have been sanctioned. An ADB assisted road project worth Rs 179 crore has also been completed
- Apart from this, 23 projects costing Rs. 491 crore have been sanctioned since 2014-15 and 46 projects costing Rs. 702.93 crore have been completed during this period. (NESIDS and NLCPR).
- PM-Devine Scheme will unfold further opportunities for holistic development of the North-East Region with the allocated budget of Rs. 1500 Crore
- In Sikkim, two ropeway projects in West Sikkim and South Sikkim worth 122 crores have been sanctioned for gap-funding in the first phase of the scheme. This would provide a major boost to tourism in the region.
- Further, the immense agriculture, horticulture and floriculture potential of the region also needs to be tapped.
- Agriculture Task Force constituted to ensure that the agricultural potential of the region is harnessed and all the funds of the Ministry of agriculture are optimally utilized in the region.
Hon’ble Minister Shri G. Kishan Reddy also requested the Sikkim government under the leadership of Hon’ble CM Shri Prem Singh Tamang to identify all the key issues to be raised during the task force meetings and make the best possible use of it.
Shri Reddy informed that in the coming next month, a two-day workshop will be held with all the Chief Ministers and Chief Secretaries to discuss the important issues pertaining to development of the region.
“Sikkim must also rise on the map for investors. Given the huge potential in tourism, agriculture, livestock etc, we need to showcase this strength to the world and become global leaders”, Hon’ble Minister said & assured of every possible support from the Central Government and GoI & State Governments would work together hand in hand for the development of the entire North East Region.