500 HOUSES TO BE CONSTRUCTED FOR DRIVERS; MEDICAL ASSISTANCE TO BE HANDED OVER TO CHALAK WELFARE BOARD
Gangtok, October 20 (IPR): Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang today disbursed relief cheques to drivers affected by the recent calamity. In a function held at Chintan Bhawan today, cheques of Rs.20,000/- each were handed over to 223 tourist vehicle drivers who were stranded in Lachen, Lachung and Chungthang since the disaster.
The motorable road connectivity to far-north in Mangan district was severely cut-off, thus impacting the main source of income of the drivers, especially those ferrying tourists. It is to be hoped that the relief provided by the State Government would, to a great extent, help in mitigating hardships faced by the drivers during this difficult time.
The programme, organised by the Chief Minister’s Office, was attended by State Bank of Sikkim Chairman Shri DB Gurung, SBS Managing Director Shri Phurba Wangdi, Sikkim Lotteries Principal Director Shri Pawan Awasthy, Sarathi Welfare Board President Shri Sonam Ongdup Bhutia and members of the Board, members of Satsang Charitable Trust from Bihar, individuals representing various organisations and beneficiaries.
It was announced during the programme that the Chief Minister, from his personal savings, has adopted Tuberculosis patients from Namchi and Soreng districts under Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan. Cheques of Rupees Three Lakhs each have been sent to the two districts committing support for the TB patients.
Several individuals and organisations came forward today to contribute to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF), supporting the government’s relief and rehabilitation efforts for flood affected individuals and families.
1. State Bank of Sikkim (SBS) donated Rs. 25,00,000/- (Rupees Twenty Five Lakhs), additionally presented dividend cheque for the financial year 2022-2023 amounting to Rs.1.33 crore.
2. Satsang Charitable Trust from Bihar donated Rs. 1,00,00,000/- (Rupees One Crore)
3. SIBIN Group donated Rs. 15,00,000/- (Rupees Fifteen Lakhs)
4. Marwari Samaj, Gangtok donated Rs.18,20,400/- (Rupees Eighteen Lakhs, Twenty Thousand, Four Hundred)
5. Golden Group donated Rs. 50,00,000/- (Rupees Fifty Lakhs)
6. Shri Nirmal Bajaj donated Rs. 5,00,000/- (Rupees Five Lakhs)
7. Shri Sushil Kumar Agarwal donated Rs.2,00,000/- (Rupees Two Lakhs)
8. Smt. Manju Devi donated Rs.1,50,000/- (Rupees One Lakh Fifty Thousand )
9. Shri Santosh Kumar Prasad donated Rs. 50,000/- (Rupees Fifty Thousand)
10. SKM Naari Morcha Convener Smt. Beena Chettri donated Rs.1,00,000/- (Rupees One Lakh)
11. SKM party workers collectively donated Rs. 21,00,000/- (Rupees Twenty One Lakhs)
12. Advocates of SKM Legal Cell donated Rs. 1,21,000/- (Rupees One Lakh Twenty One Thousand)
13. Shri Chemey Kinzang Denzongpa of Keepsa Residency, Kazi Road donated Rs.5,00,000 (Rupees Five Lakhs)
14. Jeremy William Tamang, Class-1 student of Tashi Namgyal Academy exhibited great precociousness and benevolence by donating from his piggy bank to CMRF. The Chief Minister himself unlocked the piggy bank and counted each rupee donated, which totalled to a substantial amount of Rs. 7,606 (Rupees Seven Thousand, Six Hundred and Six).
Several other individuals also came forward with their donations to CMRF.
The Chief Minister expressed his gratitude to all the individuals and organizations for their generous donations to CMRF. He thanked Satsang Charitable Trust for their selfless act as they travelled all the way from Bihar to make the donation. On behalf of the State Government and the people of Sikkim, he extended sincere gratitude to each and every contributor from all across the country.
Shri Prem Singh Tamang also informed that a generous donation of Rs. 2,00,00,000/- (Rupees Two Crore) has also been received from Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Shri Pema Khandu. He thanked Shri Khandu as well as Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Shri Conrad Sangma for their support during this challenging time.
While speaking about the various relief measures post-disaster, the Chief Minister unequivocally stated that payment via banking system such as Account Payee Cheque or Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) is the most transparent method of relief distribution. He assured that those affected drivers whose names have been left out today shall receive their cheques soon.
The Chief Minister briefly spoke about the two new Housing Schemes: Sikkim Punarvaas Awaas Yojana and Sikkim Janta Housing Colony, that were passed by the State Cabinet recently. Under the ‘Sikkim Punarvaas Awaas Yojana’, 2100 houses will be constructed and 2000 more ready to move-in houses will be constructed under the ‘Sikkim Janta Housing Colony’, he said. He also spoke about the relief measures initiated by the banks and reminded that a moratorium of one year will be extended to all types of loans and the tenure of the repayment of the loan will also be extended by one year.
Speaking of the welfare measures for the sarathi community, the Chief Minister said that the present Government has always considered the welfare of the driving community and introduced programmes to support them and their families. The Chief Minister mentioned that the State Government is also financially supporting seven children of the drivers who are currently pursuing MBBS at Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences (SMIMS).
He announced that 500 houses will be constructed for the Chalaks. Further, Chalak Welfare Board will be given charge of medical assistance programme for the drivers to ease the process of seeking financial aid in medical treatment.
In view of the colossal task of continuous relief and rehabilitation work in the affected areas and the engagement of the Government machinery thereof, the state Government offices will remain functional during this Dusshera break, he informed. A Circular informing the same has been issued, he reminded.