Nitesh R Pradhan Gangtok, 5 Nov Siliguri is a centre for transit of all goods and services required in Sikkim and Darjeeling hills, with the recent economic boom in all sectors, the city has become a bustling centre not just for commerce, but also basic human utilities like health and other services.
Healthcare in Sikkim is in shambles inspite of some visible efforts by the government, most people travel out of the state for treatment.
In cities like Delhi, Kolkata and Guwahati, there are state government properties including Sikkim House for those in need. However, Siliguri, which is the nearest and most frequented destination for Sikkimese is sadly ignored.
As per the RTI done by Sudip Pradhan (who currently is an active member of BJP) in 2010 to Buildings & Housing Department, he states that he had been notified that the state government owns two flats of a building in Sevoke Road, Siliguri. This property, as informed, was bought by the state government for Rs 43.11 Lacs in 1992, which has been lying vacant ever since. The premises is in prime location and can fetch about 2-3lacs of rent every month and if calculated over the years of 27 years it would come to crores. However, it was a total loss to the exchequer money and no one would seek responsibility for it.
While there is a dire need to add more such properties in Siliguri for travellers, particularly those with health concerns, there can be many other ways through which the property can be utilised.
Another option can be through Build-operate-transfer (BOT) or Public Private Partnership (PPP) modes to give the state’s educated unemployed youths to let them run a guest house for patients visiting Siliguri for treatment or for people on lay over travel to other cities.
“I would also request Mr. Rajendra Lakhotia and concerned department also to kindly cooperate with the government and allow needy people of Sikkim to use the property at the earliest,” requests Sudip Pradhan and informs that Lakhotia is the seller and he also owns the flat at the ground level and the flat above. Hence, his cooperation remains imperative for thoroughfare.
Health remains a prime concern for the people of Sikkim, therefore, with proper utilisation and further scaling up of efforts on the government’s part to acquire properties in important cities, particularly for sheltering those in need of healthcare services can be a welcome relief.