Friday, Apr 30, 2021 06:45 [IST]

Last Update: Friday, Apr 30, 2021 01:10 [IST]

A firm no to the Shopping Complex at old STNM Hospital site

Dear Editor,
A few days back there was a public notice asking for Suggestions/Comments on the new Shopping complex proposed to come up at the Old STNM Hospital site in Gangtok. Although I have forwarded an email to the respective officials, I would also like to take the opportunity to share my feedback through SIKKIM EXPRESS as I believe that your newspaper has the widest reach in Sikkim and would support the advocacy measure coming from the public.
As a local of Gangtok and being a responsible citizen, I would like to voice my opinion against the shopping complex coming up in old STNM Hospital area.
Few concerns:
1.Smart city means converting the city into one that has sustainable solutions and development. In what way does this complex add to sustainability?
2. Newer cities are moving into creating greener cities even trying out vertical forests in concrete structures and we on the other hand are adding to more concrete structure.
3. Gangtok is already concentrated with buildings, traffic and population, such structure will add to more carbon emissions and crowd.
4. Such complex already exist in Children Park and Lal Market but we all can see their plight with ill-maintained building with poor maintenance and unhygienic surroundings. Let’s not even get started with the parking - extremely ill managed, dirty and filthy that as a woman, I feel scared to go there alone at night- water dripping everywhere, ill lighted dingy spaces, people shitting behind the cars. And the one in Deorali near Butterfly Bridge is not even fully utilised. Can we take those failures as examples and not make another mistake.
5. There are abundant shops in the heart of Gangtok and building a bigger complex may hamper the local business in the nearby shops. If such complex has to come up, it should be built outside the city with proper planning.
6. Gangtok needs greener spaces for its public. A green space/ park is the need of the city in the centre of the city. It will not only add to the area looking pleasing but also add to environmental cleansing and will be a boon to children and elderly and all age groups to come out to a greener space.
Smart city means sustainable development which is consistent with environmental solutions. We all are heading to a future with environmental degradation and we have to work to convert our existing resources to make our place more environment friendly. Adding to more carbon emission, concrete structure and traffic is not the solution and even a child can see it. Urban planners should focus more on greener spaces, management of traffic, sustainable urban planning and not resort to traditional plans of just bringing out structures in open spaces.
I strongly oppose the building of shopping complex at the STNM Hospital site and would urge the Sikkim Government to review their plan again and this time make a smarter decision which is consistent with sustainable solutions.
Your’s etc,
Dr. Dechenla Tshering Bhutia,

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi