New Delhi, November 24 (IPR): Hon’ble Governor of Sikkim Shri Ganga Prasad today attended main session of ongoing three days 50th Governor’s Conference at Ashoka Hall, Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi. The third day of the conference saw the presentation of State Reports by respective Governors and Lt. Governors, highlighting issues of prime importance of the States which required urgent attention of Central Government.
Hon’ble Governor while addressing the session, placed the State report seeking attention of the concerned ministries highlighting following issues.
1. Strengthening the road connectivity to Sikkim: Stating that NH 10 still serves as only lifeline for the state as far as connecting Sikkim with the rest of the country, Hon’ble Governor stressed on its upgradation and expediting construction of alternate highway to Sikkim. This is necessary in view of Sikkim’s developmental needs, tourism and above all, the national security, Hon’ble Governor reiterated.
2. Railway Connectivity: Expressing concern and displeasure of Sikkim on slow pace of construction of much awaited Sevoke-Rangpo Rail Link project, Hon’ble Governor drew the attention of Railway Ministry and stressed on its early completion for the benefit of the State and the country as a whole.
3. Air Connectivity : Hon’ble Governor while highlighting the issues and bottlenecks which has halted the flight operations at Pakyong Airport from June 1 this year and the obvious sense of disappointment among Sikkimese, urged the central government to intervene and ensure early restoration of flight operations. He also stressed on the need to install all required technical instruments to make sure that the Airport stay operational round the year and in all season. It will have greater impact on State’s tourism sector, industries, organic farming alongside country’s defence needs if the Airport remains operational round the year, Hon’ble Governor underlined.
4. Broadband and internet connectivity: Hon’ble Governor drew attention of Union Government on the poor broadband and internet connectivity in Sikkim. He stated that Sikkim is yet to take full advantage of the digitisation of economy, cashless banking and other transactions, public delivery of services as per Digital India mission due to poor internet connectivity. He also underlined Sikkim’s current internet connectivity coverage and said that except in few towns and cities, the broadband network remain elusive in almost 65% of the total area under habitation in the State.
5. Hydro Power: Hon’ble Governor urged the Union Government to assist the State in augmenting the Hydro Power Potential of Sikkim and underlined the need for more investment in the sector in order to complete the ongoing projects on priority. This will ensure greater economic dividends for the State’s developmental needs, Hon’ble Governor further said.
6. Continued support and handholding to Sikkim’s specific developmental needs : Highlighting the strategic location and geographical limitations of Sikkim, Hon’ble Governor sought continuous assistance and patronage of Central Government to fulfil its developmental needs, specially in the sector of tourism, organic farming, infrastructure including road network within the State. Hon’ble Governor called for a special criteria of providing central funds to states like Sikkim, based on potential of growth rather than on the criteria of area and population.
7. Long pending demands of Sikkim: Hon’ble Governor while placing the State report sought Centre’s intervention in early resolution of all pending demands of the State lying at the disposal of Central Government for appropriate action.
On the second day of the Conference on 23rd November 2019, Hon’ble Governor also attended the Break Away Session of Sub Group of Governors on ‘Governance for ‘Ease of Living’ and participated in the detailed deliberations held at Yellow Drawing Room of Rashtrapati Bhavan. The session was chaired by the convenor of the group Shri Jagdeep Dhankar, Hon’ble Governor of West Bengal. The group finalised the report of the group on the subject, drawing suggestion from all its members and NITI Ayog, and submitted to the President in a formal presentation today.