Former Chief Minister and the President of the SDF party Shri Pawan Chamling has reiterated his claims that the SKM government is going all out to sell the lands, properties and assets of Sikkim on the terms and conditions of the private buyers from outside the state. He has cautioned Sikkim of numerous such deals which are at various stages of negotiations. He has also asked the Sikkimese people to take a stand against such self-destructive steps taken by the Sikkim government.
“Q. One of your major concerns in the past few months has been the Sikkim government’s decision to sell government properties to private parties. You highlighted the sale of some assets such as hydropower projects, the Old STNM hospital land and the old West Point School area. But the government is saying that the old West Point school area has been given on lease. The SKM government is also saying that Sikkim government properties are not sold. How convinced are you?
Ans:Far from being convinced, I am more and more disturbed by the government’s brazen actions in going all out to sell every single government land and property on the pretext of “lease” and “PPP”. Gangtok’s two historic assets in its most prominent locations have been snatched from the people of Sikkim. Non-Sikkimese companies are all set to erect their private landmarks in the heart of our capital, Gangtok. Our community sikuwa and aangan, our precious breathing spaces, have been sold to private individuals to open their domains. Sadly, the people of Gangtok are silently watching these companies running amok.Please be aware, the “lease” is an eyewash.
It is an indirect way of selling Sikkimese land to non-sikkimese. The lease deal has a very powerful clause which renews the lease in the name of the lease holder at the end of lease term. These projects in the middle of Gangtok are an example of shamelessly open crony capitalism. The Sikkim government is paying 140 crore rupees as a viability gap fund. What a self-destructive and suicidal idea is this that the government is giving a private company Sikkim’s money to buy Sikkim’s own property!Now let me list other Sikkimese assets that the SKM government is selling.
1. Over one lakh trees have been cut down all over Sikkim. Sikkim became a major exporter of timber in India in 2019-2021.
2. Government lands and properties all over Sikkim which includes picnic spots, the Culture Park, tea gardens and land around Pakyong Airport. Chief Minister Tamang is saying that Pakyong land is useless. He should explain what he means by “useless land”. Does he mean that he is not getting a good price from his business people friends?
3. Government guest houses and taxi stands all over the state.
4. Karfektar with the Mother Dairy Farm and Factory, Singtam.
5.Sikkim government owned hotels in Gangtok including the one located on the way to VIP colony and Mayur on Paljor Stadium road.
6.Sikkim Government’s Properties located in Salt Lake, Kolkata.
7.Sikkim government’s property House Number 13 at House Kauz, New Delhi.
8. Sikkim Government’s land in Bagdogra and Siliguri – two under SNT and one under the Health department.
9. Sikkim Government’s two lands in Darjeeling which includes a huge plot of land that has belonged to the Ecclesiastic Department from the time of the Chyogyal. It is being sold for the construction of a hotel.
10. Sikkim Jewels and SITCO infrastructures and areas will soon go to private companies. The land in front of Sikkim Jewels has already been given to a private individual who is a brother of a Minister in the SKM government.
11.The Mumbai Sikkim house scam which needs to be investigated.
12. The scam of the sale of 7 hydro projects owned by the Sikkim government has to be investigated. The state government must make the names of buyers of these hydro power projects public as soon as possible.
13. We hear that some of the shareholders in the West Point Mall are in the government. An immediate investigation is needed.
14. In the Letter of Award (LOA) dated 19/03/2021 written by the ACS, HRDD, it is clearly stated that the Sikkim Government will bear 90% of the cost of the Centre for Excellence at Chakhung.
Why is the government bearing 90% of the cost for something which is a private institute?Most of the above properties, lands and assets are already sold and some are on the verge of being sold with the deals at various stages of negotiation and bargaining.What is really unfortunate is that the Chief Minister is bribing some locals to support the government’s wild, self-destructive decisions.
He is desperately trying to buy some Sikkimese people with money gained by selling Sikkim. A bunch of merciless Sikkim Bechuwas are running the SKM government. Chief Minister PS Tamang is asking for 10 years. He needs the first five years to sell all of our ancestral properties, lands and assets and he will need another five years to sell our existence, Sikkimese soul and the existence of the state of Sikkim itself in totality.
It is time for Sikkim to stand united and say no to these Sikkim Bechuwas that have come. If we continue to stay quiet, Sikkim will never be the same again.
We will be strangers in our own homeland. I hope that Sikkim will not repeat this blunder again and again by giving these Sikkim bechuwas such a free hand. Our tolerance and silence will be at our peril.”