Bill placed for planned growth of Urban Sikkim

Tuesday, Feb 13, 2024 10:00 [IST]

Last Update: Tuesday, Feb 13, 2024 04:32 [IST]

Bill placed for planned growth of Urban Sikkim


GANGTOK,: Urban Development minister LB Das on Monday tabled the ‘Sikkim Town And Country Planning Bill’ in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly for development and regulation of growth of urban and rural areas of Sikkim.

In his statement of object and reasons, the Urban Development shared that through the bill, the government aims to develop physical and socio-economic plans for different hierarchies and explore innovative land use mechanisms to attract investments for planned growth. This legislation will also provide for the establishment of development authorities to supervise development beyond municipal areas and define recruitment rules for hiring workforce with the required skill set to facilitate an organised approach to land, labour and capital, he said.

State capital Gangtok, Namchi, Singtam, Rangpo, Geyzing, Jorethang, Singtam and Mangan are the major urban areas in Sikkim with towns like Pakyong, Soreng and Melli also rapidly expanding. Over the years, Sikkim has experienced rapid urbanisation driven by administrative and commercial activities.

Das, while introducing the bill, mentioned that the rapid rural-urban migration results from disparities in quality of life, development pace, basic infrastructure and employment opportunities.

“Sikkim already faces challenges due to limited land availability, with 82.31% of its area under the jurisdiction of the State Forest department. The recurring issue of development expanding beyond city boundaries, driven by overwhelming pressure for land developments necessitates attention.”

Urban Sikkim is restricted to seven civic bodies and 146 bazaars, classified into Class II, III and marketing centres based on their importance. These areas are regulated by the Sikkim Allotment of House Sites and Construction of Building (Regulation and Control) Act, 1985 and the Sikkim Building Construction Regulations, 1991.

However, the need for legislation enabling the creation of development authorities to oversee areas beyond municipal jurisdictions, promote form-based codes for built environment, provide for local area planning, encourage town planning schemes for innovative land pooling in greenfield development, climate sensitive planning and resilience planning has become imperative for the State, said the Urban Development minister.

The bill proposes creation of a Sikkim Town And Country Planning Board with the Chief Minister as its chairperson and chief town planner as the member secretary.

Discussions and voting on the bill would take place in the next sitting of the Assembly.


Enlistment of constructional machines

Transport minister MN Sherpa placed the ‘Sikkim Enlistment of Constructional Machineries and Equipments Bill’ in the Assembly.

The bill proposes to develop a system to enlist the owners of constructional machineries and equipment who intend to conduct business within Sikkim.

“…the State government has deemed it expedient to streamline the deployment and operation of construction machinery and equipment within the State of Sikkim with a view to eliminate the unsanctioned operational practices and in consideration of safeguarding the environment, interest of local public and signifying the concept of ease of doing business,” said the Transport minister while introducing the bill.

The Sikkim Nationalized Transport (SNT) division under Transport department would be the implementing authority to control the deployment and operational of all the constructional machineries and equipment intended to utilized for all the commercial work, government developmental project works and infrastructure developmental works within Sikkim.

Two classes of enlistment are proposed – Class ‘A’ for Sikkimese and Class ‘B’ for non-residents of Sikkim.

Discussions and voting on the bill would take place in the next sitting of the Assembly.


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