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Central agencies should manage Sikkim highways for security reasons: Sikkim LS MP Indra Hang Subba

First Published: 7th July, 2024 18:25 IST

A high level meeting to discuss the handing over of the National Highway 10, considered to be the lifeline of Sikkim is scheduled for July 8

Lok Sabha MP from Sikkim, Indra Hang Subba who had just returned from Delhi after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi has requested the Prime Minister to handover the maintenance of National Highways in Sikkim to a central agency such as the NHIDCL because of security concerns as the state shares an international border with China.

Talking to Northeast Live, Subba, the two-time MP from Sikkim said, “I have requested the Honourable Prime Minister to give special attention to the issue and the CM has also requested for the Highways to be transferred to a central agency so that the functioning of the highways can be smooth and easy. The functioning between the Central Government and the State Government is easy and smooth and it is easier to request Central Government than to discuss between inter-state parties. I have also requested the President for the same because it is not only a matter of Sikkim but also a matter of National Security as Sikkim shares its borders with China in the North and Northeast direction and Nepal in the west. Taking all these requests into consideration, there will be a meeting on 8 July between Public Works Department(PWD) of West Bengal, Sikkim Government and Road and Transport Ministry of Union Government where the matter will be discussed and whether the Highways should be transferred to a Central Agency like the NHIDCL.”

A high level meeting to discuss the handing over of the National Highway 10, considered to be the lifeline of Sikkim is scheduled for July 8. The meeting will be chaired by Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) at New Delhi.
The meeting will be attended by officials of concerned departments of Sikkim and West Bengal such as PWD, Water Resources Department, Railway, NHPC and NHIDCL .

Earlier this month on July 2, Union Road, Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has directed the ministry to expedite the transfer of NH 10 stretch of Rangpo to Sevoke to Central agency NHIDCL from the West Bengal Public Works Department.

The directive came following Gadkari’s meeting with Darjeeling Lok Sabha MP Raju Bista at New Delhi on July 1.

The NH 10, the lifeline of Sikkim and Kalimpong district, is presently battered by the monsoon rains and flooding Teesta river. The Ranipool to Rangpo stretch in Sikkim is maintained by NHIDCL while the Rangpo to Sevoke stretch comes under West Bengal Public Works Department.

On the issue of reservation of seat in the Sikkim Assembly for the Limboo-Tamang community, Subba said, “Whenever we spoke to the Prime Minister our top priority has been to resolve all pending political issues. But the issue of seat reservation for the Limboo-Tamang community needs to be looked at from the technical angle too. If the seat reservation has to happen then delimitation is imperative. Delimitation happened in 2006 but the government in power at that time did not give reservation but we want to give, we want Limboo-Tamang community to get reserved seat but delimitation is not in our hands, it is the Central Government who can do it but it can happen post 2026. We at SKM want the Limboo-Tamang community to get the reservation and it will be done in a manner without hurting any of the other communities”.

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