Sikkim CM Pawan Chamling giving away awards on the occasion of 43rd Statehood Day in Gangtok on May 16, 2018. Photo: Sagar Chhetri

Sikkim celebrated its 43rd Statehood Day in a grand manner here at Chintan Bhawan on Wednesday. The celebration was chaired by the Governor Shriniwas Patil and Chief Minister Pawan Chamling.

Governor congratulated the CM for the landmark record of being the longest serving Chief Minister in the country. He extended tribute to the democratic leaders from the past and the people of the state for their sagacity in supporting a government that has always been pro-poor and pro-people. He said the fruit of progress that the state is reaping today is a culmination of the sheer grit and hard work of the state government and the unflinching faith of the people in the government.

“The entire nation looks at Sikkim as a replica of innovation and progress that is cutting across all sectors,” he said. Governor called upon all to strive for the protection of the state’s natural resources and expanding the communal harmony and brotherhood, and thereby, cherish and cultivate an equitable Sikkim.

Chief Minister Pawan Chamling conveyed his warm regards to the people of the state on the auspicious occasion of the 43rd State Day. He pronounced that the state was making every effort towards empowering the youth through the CM Startup Scheme and other capacity building programmes and urged them to take advantage of such opportunities and rise above petty issues of caste and class divisions.

Chamling  said the long awaited dream of the Sikkimese people for air connectivity at Pakyong would soon be realized and conjoined that rail connectivity right up to Rangpo would add a whole new dimension to the rapid growth of the state while ensuring comfort and facilities to the people.

He also made some crucial announcements including annual grant of Rs 12 lakhs to A-Grade football, archery, badminton boxing clubs and other sports clubs, 5% reservation in state government jobs to local sports personalities of national and international repute and Sikkim Water Security Mission and Sikkim Food Mission to be launched for sufficiency of food and water.

He also announced that Sikkim would be a self sufficient agricultural state within the next five years. All the four districts will be connected through underground tunnels, arrears of the government employees to be duly released in a phased process and the planting festival undertaken in the month of June/July will see bigger-than-before dedicated plantation drives all over the state.

On the occasion, LD Kazi Award for Democratic Movement, which carries a citation, a shawl and Rs 1 lakh, was presented to Harka Bahadur Limboo and Late Trilochan Dahal, while Sikkim Sewa Samman, which contains a citation, a memento, a shawl and cheque of Rs 1 lakh, has been provided to Buddha Maya Subba, PR Bhutia, Ganesh Pradhan, Ram Gauri Sangralaya, Pawan Awasthy and Nar Bahadur Pradhan.

Sikkim Krishi Samman, comprising a shawl, a memento and Rs 25,000, has been presented to 68 progressive and innovative farmers of the state, while Letters Of Appreciation were presented to 16 individuals including a commercial airline captain, budding entrepreneurs in the field of start-ups, hospitality and the tourism sector.

Late Kashiraj Pradhan Lifetime Journalism Award, which carries a citation, a memento, shawl and a cheque of Rs 5 lakh, was presented to Yugpurush CD Rai, Santosh Nirash, Priyadarshi Samiran Chettri and Amalendu Kundu.

Sagar Chhetri

Sagar Chhetri is Northeast Now Correspondent in Gangtok. He can be reached at: sagchhetri@gmail.com

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