Sikkim floods: SDF seeks CBI probe against CM PS Tamang
First Published: 10th November, 2023 19:25 IST
The SDF alleged that CM PS Tamang failed to deliver timely information to the public which led to disaster thereafter
The Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) today sought intervention of Home Ministry for a CBI probe against Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang, blaming him for the loss of human lives owing to the Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) in the South Lhonak Lake.
In its memorandum, the SDF accused Chief Minister of making contradictory statements regarding the time at which he received information about the incoming GLOF. According to the SDF, had timely information been conveyed right when the CM learnt about it, loss of human lives as well as properties could have been averted.
As per a statement issued by the SDF, “The Chief Minister’s statements in the official press conferences on 06.10.2023 and 16.10.2023, shows the complete mismanagement by the government and failure in delivering timely information to the public. Timely information could have saved each and every life as well as the movable properties of the public. The public of Singtam and Rangpo were unaware of the incoming flood as late at 2-3am on the 4th October 2023 even though the Chief Minister declared that he had received information at 10:40pm on the 3rd of October 2023.”
The SDF in the memorandum has also accused the Chief Minister of politicising the entire incident.
“Instead, the Chief Minister has made every attempt to politicise the issue by calling the dam “substandard” without any factual evidence or technical reports,” the SDF alleged.
The SDF coming out all guns blazing against the SKM government alleged that it had also failed to implement the Dam Safety Act 2021 according to which the government was to institute a State Committee on Dam Safety and a State Dam Safety Organisation.
“The Government of Sikkim also failed to install an Early Warning System. Despite an NDMA notice that the Automated Weather System at South Lhonak Lake stopped transmitting data on 19.09.2023, the Government of Sikkim ignored the malfunctioning of the AWS which shows gross negligence,” the SDF further alleged.
The Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority (SSDMA) reported that about 25,065 people have been affected by the disaster, and 6,875 people have been relocated to relief camps. 1,203 houses were damaged due to the flash floods. The flash floods also damaged/washed away 15 major bridges, 18 minor bridges, and portions of National Highway 10, significantly impacting transportation and infrastructure in the state.