President Murmu’s maiden visit to Sikkim: all about the first day

Gangtok, 4th November 2022 (via IPR): President Droupadi Murmu virtually inaugurated and laid the foundation stone for multiple State and Central projects here at Manan Kendra today.Addressing the function, President Murmu showered praises on Sikkim for how the State has developed in multiple sectors and how gender equality is respected in the State, considering both men and women equal as two supporting wheels of society.Acknowledging the rapid progress of the State in various sectors, President Murmu said that the projects being inaugurated during the event demonstrate the commitment of both the State and Central governments to bring progress in the education framework and improving road connectivity in Sikkim.

President Murmu said that the Himalayan State of Sikkim is widely known for its vibrant culture and rich heritage, correctly demonstrating India’s commitment to ‘unity in diversity.’

She expressed hope that the Sikkimese citizens would foster determination and grit to achieve inclusive development of the State and conveyed her best wishes to all for the State’s developmental journey ahead.

She extended her full support to the State and assured that all possible measures concerning various issues would always be considered.On the occasion, President Murmu virtually inaugurated two highway projects, the Atal Setu at Rangpo and the Two-Lane Chisopani Traffic Tunnel Project under Gangtok District.The Atal Setu at Rangpo, along NH-10 connecting the State of Sikkim and West Bengal, has been built by the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India, at a total cost of Rupees 133.49 Crores. The overall length of the Atal Setu is 826 metres, and the width is 14.8 metres, including the footpath and the crash barrier. The project has been built under SARDP North East Phase A on EPC Mode.

The Two-Lane Chisopani Traffic Tunnel Project along National Highway 10 has been executed by the National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Government of India, at a project cost of Rs. 29 Crores. It is a two-way single tube traffic tunnel of 250 metres, with an approach road of 170 metres, taking the total length to 420 metres.

President Murmu also inaugurated the 100-Bedded Girls’ Hostel at V.C. Ganju Lama Senior Secondary School at Ravangla in Namchi District. The hostel has been constructed by the Social Justice and Welfare Department, Government of Sikkim, under the “Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK)” with the financial sanction of Rs. 324.50 lakh from the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India, under the funding pattern of 90:10 ratio.Thereafter, President Murmu laid the foundation stone for the 300-bedded District Hospital in Singtam, under Gangtok District, which will be executed by the Social Justice and Welfare Department, Government of Sikkim. The project has received a financial sanction of Rs. 148.971 crores from the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India, under the scheme of ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK)

.’The foundation stone for World Renewal Spiritual Brahma Kumari Centre at Namchi was also laid by President Murmu. The project will be spread over a total area of 17,600 sq ft with an estimated construction cost of Rs. 5 crores which will be funded under the State Plan and executed by the Building and Housing Department, Government of Sikkim.President Murmu also laid the foundation stone for widening and improving the road from Namchi district headquarters to Birdang via Kitchudumra, connecting Namchi district in South Sikkim with Soreng and Gyalshing districts in West Sikkim. The total length of the road will be 9.382 km, with a way width of 5.5 metres. The Roads and Bridges Department, Government of Sikkim, will implement the project with funding aid from the North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme (NESIDS) under the Ministry of DoNER, Government of India, with a budgetary allocation of Rs. 61.36 Crores.

Similarly, she also laid the foundation stone of the National Institute of Technology at Dung Dung in Khamdong under Gangtok District. The total estimated cost of the project is Rs. 850 Crores.

Governor Ganga Prasad, while welcoming the esteemed guests of the State, congratulated President Murmu for scripting history by being elected as the country’s first tribal head of state and the second woman after Pratibha Patil to serve as President of India. He added that her appointment to the reputed post has become a source of inspiration for all.

Touching upon the welfare-centric policies of the State and the Central government, the Governor said that Sikkim has achieved spectacular growth and has become one of the leading States of the Northeast region and is considered amongst the fastest-growing State in the country. He hoped that the State would continue progressing rapidly under President Murmu in times to come.

Addressing the gathering, Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang said that it is a momentous day for Sikkim to have the first tribal President of the country visit the State. On behalf of the State government and the Sikkimese citizens, Tamang extended gratitude to President Murmu for honouring the State with her presence and shared that her visit would further motivate the State to achieve higher goals in the future.

Tamang sought the President’s intervention in securing tribal status for the 12 left-out indigenous communities of the State and reservation of seats in Sikkim Legislative Assembly for Limboo and Tamang communities. He also apprised the President of the State government’s plans to create a multimodal corridor at Chewabhanjyang, a traditional bilateral contact point between West Sikkim and Nepal. He also updated the President on the early visit of the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje to Sikkim.

Earlier, the welcome address was delivered by Chief Secretary V.B. Pathak.The event was attended by SLA Speaker, Arun Upreti and Cabinet Ministers along with top officials of the State government.

Further, President Droupadi Murmu attended a state banquet in the evening hosted by the Governor of Sikkim at Raj Bhavan.The banquet was attended by Governor Ganga Prasad, Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang, and his Spouse, Krishna Rai, SLA Speaker, Arun Upreti, Deputy Speaker Sangay Lepcha, Cabinet Ministers, MP (Lok Sabha) Indra Hang Subba, MLAs,Judges from High Court of Sikkim, Mrs.Justice Meenakshi Madan Rai and Mr.Justice Bhaskar Raj Pradhan, Chief Secretary, Government of Sikkim, Director General of Police,Political Secretary to HCM, Senior Officials of the State Government, officials from the President’s Secretariat and other visiting dignitaries and distinguished guests.

SC Desk

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