“Shri Pawan Chamling appeals to the local intellectuals to voice their concern about Sikkim becoming number one state in crime against children and road accident fatality in India. He has also raised concerns about Sikkim ranking third in inflation and unemployment rate increasing from 2 percent during the SDF government to 24.5 percent today. The government has spent no money in road repair because of which a large number of people have lost their lives to road accident. The SKM government is using massive amount of money to hire social media propagandists whose job is to hide government’s failure, lapses and misdeeds.”
“Question: Sikkim has been in the national headlines for all the wrong reasons recently in relation to high inflation and highest road accident fatalities in India. How would you like to react to these grim realities?
Ans: Sikkim has attracted national attention for at least four wrong reasons. Look at the following rankings that Sikkim has earned:
- Sexual offences against children – 1st (48.6)
- Road accident fatalities – 1st (10.2)
- Inflation rate – 3rd (8.01)
- The unemployment rate in Sikkim has increased to 24.5 % according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). When the SDF party left the government in 2019, it was merely 2.1 percent. Imagine an increase of 22.2 percentage points under the SKM government. This is an unpardonable crime against our youth and undeniable proof of Sikkim going downhill into poverty.
These are very disturbing figures. To become the number one state in sexual crimes against children is the most troubling reality that we are facing. I shudder to think of how we are going to raise our girl children in such a state. Think of our image in India today – “Sikkim, the most unsafe place for girl children.” This was not the Sikkim that we were born and raised up in. This was not the Sikkim we handed over to the SKM government three years ago.
To rank first in road accident fatalities with a rate of 10.2 which is double the national rate of 5.1 is another shocking reality. The number of road accidents in Sikkim increasing by 13 percent in just one year (from 2020 to 2012) shows the worsening road conditions in Sikkim. In 2022, in five months, 33 people died and 72 people suffered serious injuries in various road accidents in Sikkim. Simply calling taxi drivers “guruji” doesn’t solve their problems. The SKM government collects crores of rupees by fining taxi drivers on a daily basis. If that was not bad enough, now these drivers are having to risk their lives on these terrible roads. Many have already lost their lives and many have been seriously injured. These worsening road conditions have made the lives of Sikkimese people in general and other travellers extremely difficult. Sikkimese roads have now become the worst in India. In rural areas, villagers themselves are clearing road blockages. What is worse, many village roads have been closed for months. Even the road to the new STNM hospital, Sikkim’s health lifeline, is like a horse-riding path of the 18th century. Our tourism brand has been badly dented. The government is shamelessly and guiltlessly saying that there is no money to repair roads. At the same time they are buying luxury vehicles for their party workers and going on endless tours with their jumbo team.
The increasing retail inflation right before two major festivals is pushing the Sikkimese population into deepening poverty. Most households do not have enough money to buy their daily provisions. Repainting houses during Dasain and Diwali, buying new clothes, fancy food and gifts for family and relatives, the festival traditions, have become unfulfilled dreams for hundreds of Sikkimese families due to the acute economic crisis. Only the Chief Minister’s close aides, Ministers, MLAs, Advisors, Chairpersons and top SKM leaders are enjoying economic bliss. Dasain and Dewali for the rest facing unprecedented economic crisis, are not the same as they used to be.
Mr. PS Tamang and his liar colleagues used to make tall promises of giving a single instalment festival grant of ₹50 thousand to each family. The liar CM is now looking at the people’s plight from his hiding place.
The youth are distressed about unemployment. Only a few youth who have been hired by the SKM party as social media workers are having a steady income. The CM is using government funds to pay these propagandists whose job is to cover up the hundreds of lies, misdeeds and corrupt practices of the Chief Minister and the SKM government. These hired propagandists take pictures of the CM handing over ₹10,000 cheque or envelopes to some needy individuals and ask the recipients to write a long flowery thank you note to the CM. This is the Sikkim of the 21st century under the SKM government. The educated, talented, skilled and hardworking youth have no job opportunities.
Instead of providing job and business opportunities for our youth, the Chief Minister is fooling them with Tambola. Sikkim has been playing Tambola for the last three years nonstop. The SKM government is openly promoting gambling to destroy the future of our youth. Goley’s Tambola Economy is his idea of giving youth jobs and business. Many Sikkimese people have lost all their money in gambling. This trend is crippling our youth and the SKM government is foolishly celebrating it.
The above disturbing figures are just the tip of the iceberg. The situation in Sikkim is much worse. The SKM government has not conducted any survey to determine the human development indices since its inception. We used to publish a Human Development Report and Sikkim used to be one of the few states to do so. The SKM government is only publishing CM’s massive pictures and displaying them on every open space along the roads, towns and villages across the state. That is Sikkim’s development indicator for now. When other figures and indices are eventually published by various agencies, we will see the declining development indicators of Sikkim more vividly.
I appeal to civil society members and our local intellectuals to come forward and voice their concerns. Sikkim is heading towards its worst crisis ever and it may take decades to repair the losses we are incurring under the watch of this colossally inefficient government. This foolish government is full of noisy propagandists but does not possess a single right thinking and wise person to steer the government in the right direction. Time is running out for Sikkim. How sad but true.”
Vice-President, Press & Publicity Affairs