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Assam-Mizoram Row: A brief analysis from a Regional, Geo-Political & Security Perspective

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Assam Mizoram Clash
Assam Mizoram Clash
“You can change friends, not neigbours.”- Former PM Late AB Vajpayee.

Assam as the elder sister:

The above-mentioned quote was said by former PM Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ji. During the 2003 India-Pakistan bilateral summit held in Agra. This particular quote can be apt with the ongoing border dispute between the NE states of Assam & Mizoram. Assam is the gateway to the entire NE region land route-railway & road transport. It is laden with a lot of responsibilities as the elder sister among the seven sister states. The recent dispute between the Assam and Mizoram, if escalates again, can have a greater geopolitical and security implications.

Ethnic overlap:

The flow of Burmese refugees in Mizoram following the recent military coup in Myanmar highlights the question about the global migrant crisis. The fate of the uprooted refugees from a conflict zone in a foreign land. Mizoram however shares an approximately 500 km long porous border with the Chin state of Myanmar. It is the home of the majority Kuki-Chin speaking communities of Myanmar.

Thus, also acts as the sign for the sense of linguistic and ethnic belongingness, as the Mizo language is a part of the Kuki-Chin language family. These refugees from Myanmar welcomed by the Mizo hospitality, considering the ethnic overlapping. Further exemplified by news report (June this year) said the allocation of funds by Mizoram for the refugee on humanitarian grounds. However, rehabilitating several refugees automatically doubles the state’s resources which also includes land. Also, speculated that the recent border dispute between the two states over land might be having an angle, determined from this perspective from Mizoram’s side.

Assam border concerns:

Assam already has boundary dispute with the neighbouring states of Meghalaya, Nagaland and even Arunachal Pradesh. It is now facing problems with Mizoram. This led to a violent incident, witnessed the death of Assam Police jawans along with many jawans being injured.

Assam and Mizoram:

Let‘s examine the geopolitical and security dimensions of the crisis between the two states. The People’s Republic of China (China/PRC), an emerging hegemon of the 21st century has got a significant number of stakes in India’s NE region. From claiming Arunachal Pradesh as their territory of South Tibet to supporting the last remnants of the NE insurgents against the Indian state. Thereby acting as an invisible foreign hand in destabilizing the region. China’s role and influence can’t be ignored, as its footprints are already expanding the South East Asian region. It is India’s destination in the “Act East initiative” and its route is obviously via the NE region of India. Enhancing the Act East initiative means synchronising the overall development of the NE region from infrastructure to connectivity, seen a pace since 2014. This includes the Kaladan Multi-modal project too where Mizoram is a major stakeholder.

Consequences:

A deteriorated state of the relationship will lead to Assam not being able to extract benefits from Mizoram and vice versa. Disturbance along the Assam-Mizoram border can further ignite the other states to demand their territorial claims over the boundary issue. In 2017 Hindustan Times reported the statement by the Chinese state media saying ‘rising Hindu Nationalism’ hijacked India’s China Policy.

Conclusion:

Considering the ideological leanings of the current ruling party in Assam, it will be not wrong if we consider the China factor here. It may be having a diabolical agenda of creating instability in India’s NE region. With motive to disrupt the ongoing developmental works in the region, by covertly provoking certain mischievous elements. If the crisis escalates again in future, it will be detrimental to both sides, considering the dissatisfaction by the people of Assam.

Above all, in January 2019, massive demonstrations against the ‘Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016’ (Now CAA) took place in Mizoram which even witnessed signs that said “Hello China..Bye Bye India”.

Slogans like these only mean providing an upper hand and leverage to the adversarial nation of China. They can take enormous advantage of it for their nefarious agenda about which I mentioned above. If similar outbreak of a similar or crisis resurfaces then external actors will indirectly or covertly fulfil their expansionist objective. Therefore, a peaceful settlement framework under the aegis of New Delhi is a must. So, that it prevents the domestic crisis/issue from being used by India’s adversaries.

Also, Read| IIT Bombay allows Afghani students to join classes

Assam- Mizoram Border Dispute, 6 killed

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Assam Mizoram Land dispute
Assam Mizoram Land dispute

An unfortunate incident occurred in North-East India yesterday evening when both the police forces of Mizoram and Assam clashed over at Lailapool of Cachar district, which has been known as a flashpoint of inter-state border clashes for decades. This time, it took an extremely barbaric turn when alleged Mizo assailants loaded with Light machine guns ( seen in different videos) fired on the Assam side leaving 5 jawans of Assam police dead on the spot and injuring around 65-75 more people.

IPS Vaibhav, SP, Cachar was shot too after which he was admitted to the ICU of Silchar Medical College. He may be flown to Mumbai for higher treatment. Meanwhile, the PSO of DC, Cachar was shot at to which he succumbed.

Both Assam Govt and Mizoram Govt have narrated their version of the story. But, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma strongly condemned the inhumane, undemocratic move of Mizoram Police and has talked with Mizoram CM over the incident. While CM Sarma thinks that this issue can be solved over discussions after satellite imaging surveys, he has also allowed Assam Police to retaliate and open fire from now on.

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, on Monday, urged Chief Minister of Mizoram Zoramthanga to investigate this matter saying why civilians from his states were holding sticks and trying to incite violence on the Assam-Mizoram border.

He said, “Honble Zoramthanga Ji, could you please investigate why are civilians from Mizoram holding sticks and trying to incite violence? We urge civilians to not take up law and order on their own hands and permit peaceful dialogue to take place between governments.”

The Assam Govt has announced 50 lakh compensation for the family of every Jawan deceased in this unfortunate incident that rocked the Nation and has promised Govt a job for a person in the family of the deceased. He has also declared to raise a Commando- Batallion of 3000 soldiers for the protection of Barak Valley.

Also Read – Expert claim data leaks, Clubhouse denies

Enhanced rainfall activities over Sikkim during the period 28th June to 2nd July

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corona sikkim
Corona case in Sikkim

On Sunday, Meteorological Department (IMD) said the Sikkim will witness heavy rainfall as the southwest monsoon will be covered in the Sikkim region.

Advancing further, the Southwest Monsoon covered the Sikkim region, nearly four days after its normal date.

Special Weather Bulletin Gangtok Said “Monsoon is advancing very well. It has advanced to Sikkim and parts of West Bengal 4 to 5 days in advance. The monsoon flow is strong and southwesterly winds have picked up on a large scale”

And around Sikkim- Rongli, Chungthang: 3 each; Shipgyer, Dentam: 2 each; Gangtok, Mazitar, Khanitar, Namthang, Damthang, Gyalshing: 1 each has Chief rainfall amount(in cm) recorded.

Current Meteorological Condition is saying that The northern Limit of southwest monsoon (NLM) continues to pass through Lat. 26°N / Long. 70°E, Barmer, Bhilwara, Dholpur, Aligarh, Meerut, Ambala and Amritsar. The trough at mean sea level now runs from East Uttar Pradesh to northwest Bay of Bengal across Jharkhand and Gangetic West Bengal

IMD has classified that the progress is going to slow over the next two days, i.e 28th June.

According to Weather Forecast Due to the expected shifting of the trough of low-pressure area north-wards and strong moisture incursion from the Bay of Bengal, rainfall activities over all the districts of Sikkim very likely to be enhanced during the period 28th to 02nd July 2021. During this period, heavy to very heavy rain (07-20 cm) is very likely to occur at isolated places over the state, especially all over East and North Sikkim.

Sikkim has been witnessing heavy rainfall since last week causing heavy damage in Gangtok areas due to landslides. It’s also reported that landslide appeared in Some parts of North Sikkim which also caused east and north connecting bridge.

Also Read – Sikkim recorded 170 new covid cases and 00 New Death

Sikkim to get Sikkim House in Mumbai, relief for medical visitors

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On 31st January 2021, the Honourable CM of Sikkim PS Golay has announced Sikkim will have a Sikkim house in Mumbai soon.

Speaking with The Sikkim Today team in January 2021 in West Sikkim, Chief Minister PS Golay has approached Maharashtra Government for the construction of a Sikkim house in Navi, Mumbai on which the Maharastra govt agrees to accept this.

This house will be 6 km from the nearest airport and 2 km from Tata memorial hospital which be will easy for Sikkimese patients to get connected nearby.

Earlier lots of people from Sikkim who used to go to Mumbai for treatment but can’t find a reasonable place to stay and the Chief minister thought this Sikkim house will be accessible for those who are going to Mumbai for medical treatment.

Yesterday in Sikkim legislative assembly, Honourable Chief minister said ” Maharashtra government has approved our proposal to construct Sikkim House Navi Mumbai near the Tata Memorial Hospital which is one of the top hospitals in the country”

Land measuring 4000 square meter which is almost 1 acre has been allotted for which Rs 11 crore 97 lakhs has already been paid and taken in possession, said HCM in the Assembly.

This will ease the financial burden on our people travelling to Mumbai for treatment and also assist them in other matters,” Chief Minister P.S. Golay in his Budget speech on Monday.

Earlier, the patient from Sikkim used to stay in Hamro Chhahari which was launched years back by the Nepali community from overall which cost only 300/per day Room. But getting a room in Hamro Chhahari is also very difficult for many patients.

Protective Wall Binding Teesta Collapses Posing Threat For Erosions.

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The recent incessant rains in the state have transformed small streams into raging torrents and increased the water volumes of big Rivers like Teesta. The sudden rise in water level is an alarming bell for a few disasters in making. A portion of the protective wall guiding the flow of the Teesta has been washed away. A complete washout is evident if not taken care of and we are only in the first week of June.

The illegal quarrying, sand mining and breaking up of river boulders is the main reason for rivers to change courses and pose a threat. If this issue is not addressed at the earliest, the under-construction via-duct might be damaged.

Also, the settlements near the river belts are always at a threat during every monsoon. Most of the river belts in Sikkim have been plundered by sand mafias and river boulders broken down by stone breakers to feed them into the illegal crusher plants mushrooming in every nook and corner along the riverside. Sikkim is inviting a catastrophe and this will be man-made and not natural.

The book Review of ‘[email protected]: Dreams Meet Delivery’ held in Gangtok

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Modi @20
Modi @20

Book Review and Panel Discussion on “Modi @ 20:Dreams Meet Delivery” held in Sinclairs Gangtok by Panelists such as Dewakar Basnet Former Journalists, Entrepreneur, and Social Influencer, and Raju Basnet Secretary Department of Sports and Youth Affairs Government of Sikkim.

This panel discussion was also headed to the forum for open discussion and a heads-together discussion with the distinguished panelists. This event was presided by Vice-Chancellor Sikkim University.

The panelists had discussions on the National Education Policy and India becoming Self-Reliant, the future of India, and the twenty years Journay of prime minister Narendra Modi.

The book speaks of Prime Minister Modi’s vision, his dreams, and his mission India has been shaped by his extensive travels and insightful, experiential journey. This is the fundamental differentiator that makes Modi unique in several ways.

Addressing the gathering after the event the book ‘Modi @ 20: Dreams Meeting Delivery’, VC ICFAI university said Modi’s vision, his dreams, and Mission India have been shaped by his extensive travels and insightful, experiential journey.

The book, ‘Modi @20: Dreams Meet Delivery’ encompasses the experiential journey of Modi since he left his house at the tender age of 17 and set out on a mission of knowing himself, and his country and finally define the mission of transforming India. This book was launched on 11th May at Vigyan Bhawan, Delhi by President Venkaiah Naidu.

It is an anthology edited and compiled by BlueKraft Digital Foundation and is a compilation of chapters authored by eminent intellectuals like citizens including Sudha Murty, Sadhguru, Nandan Nilekani, and Amish Tripathi, among others, Rupa Publications have said, adding that it attempts a definitive and expansive exploration into the fundamental transformation of Gujarat and India over the last 20 years due to Modi’s “unique model of governance”.

National agencies bust Bangladeshi terror group module in Assam, 12 Jihadis arrested 

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In a major anti-terror operation, twelve alleged Jihadis, with links to the Bangladesh-based terror group Ansarul Islam, were arrested from Assam’s Barpeta Morigaon, Goalpara and Kamrup(M) districts, Assam Police informed on Thursday. Seven others, suspected to be linkmen of the same outfit were also nabbed in Morigaon district.

Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma said two major terror modules were busted in the state in a nationally coordinated operation.

This is in continuation to many such terror modules that were busted from the state in the last 3-4 years , significantly from the vulnerable districts of Barpeta, Goalpara, Dhuburi, Morigaon, Nagaon of Lower and Middle Assam. There has been a sharp rise of anti-national activities and cross-border terror over the past few years in the region. 

Assam Police in coordination with the National agencies came out successful in what is being said a major breakthrough in the region. 

More links associated with the nabbed suspects are being investigated into by NIA and Assam Police. 

Among the arrested accused, one Afsaruddin Bhuyan from Morigaon has links with AQIS/ABT and one Mustafa is an important financial conduit. They were running madrassas named Jamiul Huda Madrassa at Sahariapam & Banat Madrassa in Horuchala, Morigaon. 

This is a developing story.

Soreng Celebrate Ujjwal Bharat, Ujjwal Bhavishya- Power 2047 

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State Designated Agency, Department of Power celebrated “Ujjwal Bharat, Ujjwal Bhavishya- Power @ 2047” at Soreng

Soreng, July 28 (IPR): An event to feature the achievements and visions of India for 2047 in Power and Renewable Energy, the State Designated Agency, Department of Power celebrated the “Ujjwal Bharat, Ujjwal Bhavishya – Power @ 2047” under the aegis of Ministry of Power, New and Renewable Energy, as a part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav campaign at Soreng Senior Secondary School Auditorium, today.

The Chief Guest for the occasion was MLA, Shri Aditya Golay. Accompanying him were Panchayat Presidents, SDM (HQ), Shri D.R Bista, SDPO, Shri Bimal Gurung , BDO (Soreng), Shri S.K Sharma, Principal (SSSC) Dr. P.B Chettri along with Officials and Staff from Power Department, beneficiaries, public and students.

Shri Pemba Lepcha, Additional Chief Engineer cum Nodal Officer (SDA) was the resource person for the event.

The Chief Guest, Shri Aditya Golay firstly expressed his gratitude towards the department for organizing such an informative program in the district. Narrating the challenges faced by the Government in providing sufficient power to every household, he strongly discouraged the misuse of electrical power and energy which are commonly practiced. He reiterated the disadvantages of energy waste and it’s repercussion in our day to day lives.
He advised the students to be proactive in propagating good social causes such as saving electricity, being cautious against fraudulence, knowledge about the consumer rights and so forth. Further, he also motivated the students to take pride in being a citizen of such a glorious nation and to enjoy the democratic ideals of Independent India by virtue of being born in Sikkim post the historic merger. Lastly, he encouraged them to take part in the AKAM activities that are being organized throughout the district.

Shri Pemba Lepcha in his address informed that the event is being celebrated throughout the Nation with a vision of India for 2047 in Power and Renewable Energy while the country marks 100 years of Independence. Terming the celebratory event as Bijli Mahostav, he highlighted the key achievements of the power sector and the unprecedented growth it has shown over the past few years. He also enumerated all the schemes and initiatives that have been implemented, also mentioning the forthcoming schemes for a growing nation. He applauded the Government’s vision to provide clean and uninterrupted energy for all especially for the far flung regions in the country.
Shri Lepcha also informed about the department scheme for C and D category employees which enables them to avail a loan up to Rupees One Lakh to buy any energy efficient 5 Star graded appliance, with SISCO bank as the disbursing agency.

The program also included short skits on Prepaid Smart Meters and Consumer Rights, performed by the students of Government Senior Secondary School, Soreng.

Further, in order to highlight and inform about the Central Government’s initiative and achievements of the Power Sector, the department showcased videos on Universal Household Electrification Programme, One Nation One Grid, Consumer Rights, Renewable Energy and Capacity Addition.

Plantation cum Sensitization Programme By UDD Gangtok

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Gangtok, 28th July 2022(IPR): Urban Development Department, in Coordination with Gangtok Smart City Development Limited, under the banner of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, organised a Plantation cum Sensitization Programme (AMRUT 2. O) on water resources at Selep Tank, Bulbuley, today.

Smt. Raj Kumari Thapa MLA, Yangyang cum Advisor of Urban Development Department, Government of Sikkim, graced the programme as the chief guest. Also present were M.T. Sherpa, Secretary, Urban Development Department, Shri H.K Chettri, Gangtok Municipal Commissioner, Shri Lakpa Sherpa, Chief Executive Officer, Smart City, officials from PHE department and other departments, officers and staff of Urban Development Department.

Addressing the event, Smt Raj Kumari Thapa, MLA, Yangtang cum Advisor, UDD, applauded the plantation cum Sensitization Programme on AMRUT 2. O of the Urban Development Department. She said that both Environment and water are the basic needs of life. She said she is happy to see the students participating in the programme. She encouraged students to participate in constructive activities, which will be a contributing effort to a good society.

Further, Smt Raj Kumari Thapa said that our water patterns have changed drastically due to climatic changes, affecting water quality and quantity. She asked the students to participate actively and learn about water management and treatment procedures.
Furthermore, she urged students to participate in plantation drives as nature plays an essential role in giving life, sustaining it, and maintaining a balance in the ecosystem.

While concluding her short address, Smt Raj Kumari Thapa said that when such little steps are taken together by the schools and various government departments, it helps in fostering strong mental and social health amongst today’s children so that they connect with peers, their elders, their community and their environment.
Secretary Urban Development Department, Shri M.T Sherpa welcomed all the dignitaries and the students at the event. He said that this Atal Mission For Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation 2. O is to provide 100% coverage of clean tap water supply 24×7 to all the households. He stated that today’s event brings awareness about the water supply system in the urban sector, water mechanisms, and modalities of how to conserve water. He further stated that AMRUT 2. O is targeted toward access to clean tap water, recycling, and reusing treated water. He added that the mission would help protect freshwater bodies from pollution and make natural resources sustainable.

Earlier, Smt Bandana Rai, Additional Secretary cum Nodal Officer of AMRUT 2. O briefed about the Atal Mission For Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation(AMRUT)2.O.
She said that the mission encompasses the involvement of all groups, from the older to the younger age, and each one of us should be responsible for saving water for the future by rejuvenating water sources.

Students from Deorali Senior Secondary School, Modern Senior Secondary School, West Point School, Palzor Namgyal Girls Senior Secondary School, and Bojhoghari Secondary School, along with their respective teachers, participated in the event.
The students participated in the plantation drive enthusiastically. Around a hundred saplings were planted at the premises of Selep Tank.
Later, the participating students went on a guided tour of the Selep Tank, where an official from PHE briefed them about the water management, conservation, and distribution of water from the Tank to the urban areas.

The programme concluded with a vote of thanks proposed by Smt Bandana Rai, Nodal officer for AMRUT 2. O.

Nagaland Minister Along says PM Modi paid real attention to North-east India

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The recent sensation on internet, BJP minister from Nagaland Temjen Imna Along remains in national news for witty takes on social issues and has recently grown a great fan following , particularly among the youth across India after his speeches went viral on social media. 

The Minister heads the Ministry of Education and Tribal Affairs in the North- eastern state and is also the President of the state BJP unit.

Mr. Temjen, in a recent conclave in the Capital , spoke about the changed scenario of North-east  after Prime Minister Modi came to power in 2014. He said that PM Modi has special affection for the long-neglected NE region of the country and has massively boosted infrastructure projects in all the eight states including Nagaland in the last eight years and has also helped in bringing the region to mainstream. People now look at North east India with greater hope and youths are getting better opportunities. 

Minister Along feels himself and his partymen blessed to speak about rapid development taking place in the region under Prime Minister Narendra Modi .

Temjen Imna Along said , “Long ago, Northeast, Mizoram, Nagaland, etc. were nowhere to be found. However, today every state like Mizoram, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim has a unique identity and this is thanks to the respected Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. Don’t think that our BJP artists will only talk about our party. No matter which party it is, they know the truth, but they will never tell you about it in front of you. But we humans are blessed to be members of this party and we can proudly speak the truth.”

Apart from being in the news for viral Hindi speeches , the Minister is also actively involved on social media where he shares witty posts as well as scenic videos of his home state. 

Sikkim Celebrate Sarathi Samman Diwas 2022

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Gangtok, July 27 (IPR): The Sarathi Samman Diwas 2022, formerly called Chalak Diwas, was observed with great grandeur here at Khelgaon in Resithang today commemorating the contribution of the driving community of the State. The celebration was attended by Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang as chief guest, along with Minister for Transport Department, Shri Sanjit Kharel.

Organised by Transport Department, Government of Sikkim, the programme had the presence of Speaker, SLA, Shri L.B. Das, Deputy Speaker, Shri Sangay Lepcha, Cabinet Ministers, MLAs, Advisors, Chairpersons, and officials from the State Transport Department, along with drivers and associations from across the State.

Addressing the gathering, Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang extended best wishes to the driving community of the State and announced that the State government would officially declare the term “Sarathi” for drivers, with due respect and reference to the charioteers in the Hindu epic Mahabharata. He also announced that July 27 will be declared a restricted holiday dedicated to vehicle drivers from 2023.

Shri Tamang stated that the State government would establish the Sikkim Sarathi Welfare Board that will aid in the long-term welfare of the driver’s community and consist of 19 members representing different drivers associations. The Chairperson for the Board shall be a member of the driver association with one member secretary from the Transport Department, he added.

Taking into account the demand put forth by various drivers associations regarding the provision of employment opportunities for one of the family members of the drivers, Shri Tamang announced that the State government would provide government jobs to one child each of ten drivers from all six districts on an ad-hoc basis. He further informed that five drivers from each district would get a house allotment order before August 15th this year, and Cylinders with gas stoves will also be provided to those drivers living on rent in urban areas.

He also stated that the State government would consider allocating devoted truck and bus parking facilities for every district. He added that a Sarathi Bhawan, which will serve as a guest house for drivers and their families in need, will also be established in the immediate future.

Shri Tamang gratefully acknowledged the consistent support extended by the drivers in strengthening the State workforce in their respective capacities. He expressed that the State government will continue thrusting its efforts to build a self-sufficient community of drivers by making them owners of their respective vehicles. In the past three years, the State government has gifted over 200 vehicles to those financially weak drivers to ensure better livelihood for them, he stated.

Urging the associations to work in tandem with the State Transport Department, he said that the State government would look into the demands placed by the various associations for consideration.

Minister for Transport Department, Shri Sanjit Kharel, in his address, extended gratitude to the State government and Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang for instilling a high standard of value and integrity among the driving community through various schemes and initiatives. He mentioned the massive contribution of drivers to the development of the State and thanked the driving community for their service to the people. He also assured that the department would keep working for the holistic development of the driving community of Sikkim.

Similarly, a representative from the Sarathi Association and the Convener of State Level Chalak Morcha, Shri Kamal Tamang, also addressed the event and thanked the Chief Minister for his encouraging support.

On the occasion, an ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh was presented to the wife of the deceased driver, Late Karna Bdr. Tamang, who in a tragic incident, lost his life while trying to save the life of a tourist swept away in a river at Naga in North Sikkim. An ex-gratia of Rs. 5 lakh was also presented to the wife of another deceased driver who lost his life in a tragic road mishap in Lachung, North Sikkim.

The programme featured the presentation of the Good Samaritan Award to Mingma Dawa Sherpa, Maytha Singh Subba, and Mahaboob Rehma.

Subsequently, the Best Driver and Conductor Award (SNT) for the month of June/July 2022 was presented to drivers Shri Harka Bdr. Tamang and Shri Purna Bahadur Chettri, and SNT conductors, Shri Kiren Chettri and Smt. Akey Bhutia.

Additionally, six drivers were selected from all six districts through a lucky draw for the Best Sarathi (driver) Awards who received a Bolero vehicle each. The awardees are Shri Krishna Bahadur Subba from Gyalshing, Shri Karna Bahadur Chettri from Mangan, Shri Zoyel Lepcha from Soreng, Shri Dhurba Dorjee from Namchi, Shri Arun Subba from Gangtok and Shri Alvinash Lepcha from Pakyong.

Felicitations were offered to All Sikkim Luxury Vehicle Owners cum Drivers Association, Central Joint Action Committee (All Sikkim Local Taxi Drivers Association), South West Taxi Drivers Association, Jorethang, Sikkim Truck Drivers Association, Melli branch, Mainline Taxi Drivers Joint Action Committee, Deorali Taxi Stand, Sikkim Motor Transport Workers Association, Singtam, Sikkim Truck Drivers cum Owners Association, Ranipool and Pakyong Main Line Taxi Drivers Association in appreciation of their dedication in extending social services during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thereafter, incentives were distributed to various sporting clubs of the State to extend financial assistance for the development of sports culture and infrastructure. The Transport Department also handed the insurance deed to Government SNT Drivers Association.

The programme also showcased a cultural extravaganza by representatives from various drivers’ associations. An Act play titled Antha Haina, Say No to Drugs was also enacted by DJ & Group during the event.

Earlier, the Chief Minister flagged off SNT Tankers and City Runner Buses from the Khelgaon ground.

First ever solar power plant inaugurated in Assam

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In a major boost to the state and region’s green renewable energy, the first solar power plant was inaugurated in Udalguri, Assam by the Hon’ble Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma in an inaugural ceremony on 19th July which was attended by BTR Chief Pramod Boro, Power Minister Nandita Garlosa, Cabinet Minister Ashok Singhal, Mangaldoi MP Dilip Saikia and other dignitaries.

The first solar plant is a 25 megawatt one and is estimated to produce 5 crore units of electricity every year. This will provide great relief to consumers of Udalguri, Darrang and Sonitpur districts of Assam. Built at a cost of 300 crores and spread across hectares of paddy fields, this feat marks the state’s entry into green sector and future scope of shifting to renewable and clean source of energy which can meet the growing demand of the region.

The programme was hosted jointly by Azure Power and Assam Power Distribution Corporation Limited ( APDCL).

After this, another solar power plant of 25 Megawatt was inaugurated in Boko of Kamrup District two days later by the Hon’ble CM. It is significant as this shows the shifting focus to green energy. CM Sarma stressed on the need of more solar power infrastructure and expressed confidence that Assam will get significantly self-dependent on conventional sources of energy in the next five years. He even announced that usage of Petrol-Diesel in Assam willl get completely eliminated by 2031.

Global warming is a serious threat to existence of life on the planet and there is an urgent need to shift to renewable sources of energy and reducing the usage of conventional sources.

20th Foundation Day Celebration of Sikkim Legislators Federation of Sikkim 

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Gangtok, July 26 (IPR): The 20th Foundation Day Celebration of Sikkim Legislators’ Federation of Sikkim (SLFS) was organized at Manan Kendra today. Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang graced the event as the chief guest. The programme had the illustrious presence of former MPs and former Legislators of Sikkim.

On the occasion, the first and second-term MPs and MLAs were honoured in acknowledgement of their dedicated service to the State. The Members of Parliament who were felicitated on the occasion were Shri Pahalman Subba, Smt Dil Kumari Bhandari, Shri Nandu Thapa and Shri Solomon Saring.

The Members of the Sikkim Legislative Assembly who served during the first Assembly since 1975 who were felicitated on the occasion were Shri Mohan Gurung, Shri Ram Chandra Poudyal, Shri Nar Bahadur Khatiwada. Likewise, the MLAs who served in the second Assembly and who were felicitated today were Shri Padam Lal Gurung, Shri Samten Tshering Bhutia, Shri Dadul Bhutia, Shri Dougal Pintso Bhutia, Shri Athup Lepcha, Shri Mohan Prasad Sharma, Shri Khada Nanda Upreti, Shri D.B. Dhatal and Shri Sonam Tshering Bhutia.

As a special gesture, the wives of former MLAs (1st and 2nd Assembly) who have passed away were felicitated and presented a token of gratitude by the Chief Minister.

On the occasion, the Executive Members of Sikkim Legislators’ Federation of Sikkim also felicitated Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang.

Meanwhile, as a special addition to the programme, Additional PCCF, Forest Department, Shri Pradeep Kumar announced that the State Government has decided to use the provisions of the Sikkim Payment for Eco-system Services Rule 2022, which was recently passed in the State. He announced that following this decision, Teesta Urja Private Limited would be paying the first quarterly instalment amounting to Rs. 130,90,00000/- (One Hundred and Thirty Crore, Ninety Lakhs) to the Government of Sikkim in lieu of the usage of natural resources. The cheque was handed over to the Chief Minister by Teesta Urja Limited.

In his address, Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang complimented the Sikkim Legislators’ Federation of Sikkim for organizing the 20th foundation day celebration on a grand scale by inviting former MPs and legislators and their family members and honouring them for their immeasurable contribution to Sikkim. He said it was a noble initiative of the Federation to bring the former legislators into one platform and called it an expression of unity and mutual respect. The Chief Minister extended his gratitude and best wishes to all the former MPs and MLAs for their untiring effort in ushering in democracy in the State and for guiding the State on the path of development. The Chief Minister added that the programme was h beneficial, especially for the students in the audience, as they could see and get inspired by the founding fathers of democracy in Sikkim.

The Chief Minister announced an annual grant-in-aid of Rupees Ten Lakhs to the Sikkim Legislators’ Federation of Sikkim. He also assured to look into the demand for an enhancement in the pension of the legislators.

The Chief Minister mentioned about the Sikkim Payment for Eco-system Services Rule 2022, which will be extended mainly to the hydropower projects, industries and pharmaceutical companies that are using the natural resources of Sikkim.

The Chief Minister, in his address, also reminded of the significance of 26th July as ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’ and paid his tribute to all the country’s brave soldiers.

Earlier, the President of Sikkim Legislators’ Federation of Sikkim, Shri D.B. Thatal, in his address, thanked the Chief Minister of Sikkim for his constant support to the Federation. He extended his gratitude to the Government for providing a permanent office and a guest house for the Federation at DPH, Gangtok. Shri Thatal thanked all the former legislators, MPs, and their family members for their presence in the programme.

The Welcome address was delivered by General Secretary, SLFS, Shri Norzang Lepcha.
The programme also saw colourful cultural presentations by local troupes and school students. A poem on the ‘Bahini’ scheme announced by the Government was recited on the occasion by students of Deorali Girls Senior Secondary School.

The programme concluded with the word of thanks from Secretary, SLFS, Shri A.K. Ghatani.

On the sidelines of the programme, the Publicity Secretary and Coordinator, Sikkim Legislators’ Federation of Sikkim, Shri Bikram Pradhan, extended heartfelt gratitude on behalf of the Federation to the Chief Minister for gracing the programme as the chief guest and for announcements made for the welfare of the former legislators. He also thanked all the former legislators, former MPs and their family members for their valuable presence in the programme.

Assam Principal Secretary passes away due to post-COVID complications

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IAS Rajesh Prasad, a principal secretary of the Assam government, died around 2.30 PM on 25th July. The officer was reportedly suffering from post-COVID complications. He had diabetes, liver and kidney ailments according to the hospital officials of a private hospital in Guwahati.

He hailed from Jharkhand, and was a 1995-batch IAS officer of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre. As per official websites, Prasad was handling various departments such as Soil Conservation, Guwahati Development and Irrigation among others as the principal secretary and was an efficient administrator par excellence.

His untimely death at a mere age of 52 years came as a shock to the officials of his associated Ministries and has been widely condoled. He has left behind his wife and son.

IAS Prasad’s death has been condoled by Governor of the state Prof. Jagdish Mukhi, CM Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, Education Minister Ranoj Pegu and others.

Arunachal CM shares magnificent pictures of trekking sites

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The adventurous Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Mr. Pema Khandu recently shared a few shots from an unknown Jaru Valley of the state that got viral on social media and was liked by the netizens. The trekking site remained conspicuous till date and trekkers have now shown interest to visit the valley in search of lush green meadows, mountains and waterfalls

” Tired of sweltering heat? Visit a slice of paradise ~ Jaru Valley in Dibang Valley district.

Green carpet, amazing snow-capped mountains and majestic water falls are ready to welcome you.

#AmazingArunachal beckons you. Please do come ” – Mr. Khandu posted on his social media handles. 

The valley is located in the Dibang Valley district along the foothills of Himalayas close to the Indo-China border. The road to the Valley is challenging and is around 3 hours from Dibrugarh, the economic hub of Upper Assam and the largest town in the region. 

Blessed with immense flora and fauna , the scenic state welcomes tourists from across the nation and abroad throughout the year.