CM’s Delhi visit sees prompt action from Centre on NH 10 & Teesta floods

Sunday, Jul 07, 2024 08:15 [IST]

Last Update: Sunday, Jul 07, 2024 02:40 [IST]

CM’s Delhi visit sees prompt action from Centre on NH 10 & Teesta floods


Ministry forms committee to study Teesta’s morphological changes

MoRTH to hold high-level meeting on NH10 this Monday

 GANGTOK,: Sikkim’s two immediate woes – sinking NH 10 and riotous Teesta river – have fetched a rapid response from the Centre after Chief Minister PS Golay took up these issues with New Delhi recently.

The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) is holding a high-level coordination meeting with Public Works Departments of Sikkim and West Bengal on Monday to discuss issues raised by the Sikkim government related to NH 10.

NH 10, Sikkim’s lifeline, has been regularly blocked with onset of monsoon since June first week with landslides and increasing water levels of river Teetsa breaching road stretches at multiple locations between Rangpo and Sevoke. The highway is presently closed for undertaking repair works in the damaged stretches under Kalimpong district.


MoRTH meeting to discuss NH 10  mitigation measures


Speaking to the media here on Saturday, Lok Sabha MP Indra Hang Subba shared that the coordination meeting at Transport Bhawan, New Delhi would be chaired by the MoRTH secretary to discuss mitigation measures and sustainable development of the NH 10.

The meeting would be particularly discussing the Rangpo-Sevoke stretch and its present condition, its sustainable development and maintenance, and having coordination among various stakeholders. Another important agenda is to discuss de-siltation of the Teesta river bed to increase its discharge capacity.

Chief Minister PS Golay, during his recent meetings with the Prime Minister, Union Home minister and MoRTH minister, had demanded that the NH10 stretch of Rangpo-Sevoke be transferred to any Central agency from the West Bengal PWD.

The Sikkim stretch of NH 10 from Rangpo to Ranipool is already under NHIDCL.

Indra Hang had also strongly raised this demand while speaking in the Lok Sabha on July 2. He told the media here the coordination meeting called by the MoRTH shows that the Centre has taken Sikkim’s demand on a serious note and is a major positive takeaway from the Delhi trip of the Chief Minister.

“The upcoming high-level coordination meeting called by the ministry regarding NH 10 is a positive result of the Chief Minister’s Delhi visit and meetings with the Central leaders. The Chief Minister during his meetings with concerned ministers had taken up this issue and accordingly, the Centre is taking action on our demands,” said the Lok Sabha MP.

To a question, Indra Hang said the Sikkim government is optimistic on its demand that NH 10 be placed under a Central agency like NHAI or NHIDCL. He stressed this demand should not be painted as a clash between Sikkim and West Bengal governments.

“Some are trying to give a narrative on social media that this demand is a clash with Bengal government. It is wrong to see this (demand) in that perspective. We are saying NH 10 is inter-State, it will also benefit Bengal and is the lifeline of Sikkim. This is not a clash of Sikkim and Bengal governments. We must see it in a win-win situation for both governments and hence, we are optimistic that the Bengal government will agree to this. Given the response from the Centre, they have agreed in principle. If they were not serious, this meeting would not have been called,” said the Lok Sabha MP.




Jal Shakti Ministry team to study, suggest remedial measures for Teesta


Another immediate response to Golay’s Delhi visit was the Jal Shakti ministry constituting a committee on June 27 to study the morphology of Teesta river, access the magnitude of last October’s flash flood damage, and provide resources and expert recommendations.

The Chief Minister had met Union Jal Shakti minister CR Patil at New Delhi on June 25 where he briefed him about the Teesta flash flood resulting in the river’s morphological change, and requiring an urgent River Training Works from Zeema to Melli to prevent further devastation.

Golay had urged the Union minister to send experts to study the river’s morphology, assess the damage, and provide guidance and resources.

The Chief Minister met the Union Jal Shakti minister on June 25 and the ministry acted promptly by forming a committee on June 27 which will be visiting Sikkim this month for a field visit, said Indra Hang.

The Jal Shakti ministry-constituted panel is tasked to compare longitudinal and lateral profiles of the Teesta river bed pre and post October 2023 flash flood in order to know the siltation. It will also suggest remedial measures to improve channel conveyance and any other measures felt necessary for mitigating the damage caused to the river banks / protective works.

The committee is to submit an interim report within two months and the final report in six months.

“The committee and its recommendations will not only benefit Sikkim but will also cover the entire Teesta belt. We are confident that after this study is complete, Sikkim will get some remedies. We have proposed de-siltation of Teesta river but what technology would be used, what level it can be done and what would be the expenses, this committee was formed. The Chief Minister had requested the Centre on June 25 and on June 27, this committee has been formed. This shows that we have formed a good coordination with the Centre and we will work to strengthen this coordination with the sole objective to benefit Sikkim and its people,” said the Lok Sabha MP.

Indra Hang also briefed the media about the meetings that the Chief Minister had with the Prime Minister and Union ministers in June where various issues of Sikkim, particularly the NH 10 and damage caused by Teesta floods were raised.  He said the Centre has taken the issues raised by Sikkim on a positive note with action already initiated on concerns over Teesta river and NH 10.

This is a positive start for our government which has not even completed one month in government, said Indra Hang.

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