SDF pose question on cost escalation of Namchi Community Hall project, highlights plight of Adarsh Gaon residents

Monday, Feb 26, 2024 12:00 [IST]

Last Update: Monday, Feb 26, 2024 06:20 [IST]

SDF pose question on cost escalation of Namchi Community Hall project, highlights plight of Adarsh Gaon residents

GANGTOK,: Opposition SDF has questioned the SKM government over the steep escalation of the Namchi Community Hall project while raising serious concerns on alleged financial mismanagement.

In a Sunday press statement, the SDF contended that as per RTI documents, the SKM government has escalated the Namchi Community Hall project to Rs. 96 crore. The previous SDF government had sanctioned the project at a cost less than Rs. 20 crore and had made significant progress till 2019, said the party.

“This approximately Rs. 80 crore difference is a matter of grave concern for the State’s finances. With Rs.80 crore, thousands of youths could have received financial assistance, hundreds of homes could have been built, thousands of youths could have received jobs. The question arises as to why the government is silent on this issue that is affecting the future of thousands in Sikkim,” said SDF spokesperson Judy Rai.

“Further investigation into this matter has revealed that this contractor has received similar escalated contracts worth hundreds of crores. This means that hundreds of crores of public money has been lost to financial irregularities. The public’s money being lost in this manner hampers the future of thousands of youths who are deprived of jobs and facilities,” said the SDF spokesperson.

The SDF pointed out that at the same time, the SKM party is holding daily meetings in almost 30 constituencies besides several State-level party meetings since January 1.

“The expenditure of these meetings are in the hundreds of crores, with suspicion arising as to the source of the funds. On the one hand, Chief Minister Golay regularly complains about the lack of funds in the government while on the other hand, there has been record breaking spending on party meetings,” said the SDF spokesperson.

Meanwhile, another SDF release informs that a SDF team led by party spokesperson Arun Limboo visited Adarsh Gaon near Singtam which had suffered damages during the flash flood of October 2023.

“Many promises were made, many assurances were given but all has been forgotten by the Chief Minister like many other promises. The bailey bridge promised is nowhere to be found, the foot bridge promised is being demolished mid-construction and the residents of Adarsh Gaon are have lost all hope,” said Limboo.

According to the SDF, the main question of the residents was about the missing funds received from the Central government by the SKM government. “The funds were allocated, the funds did arrive in Sikkim but the residents are concerned that the funds were misused gravely. There was no progress during the dry winter spell and now it has become certain that the residents will have to wait many months for the rainy season to end for a solution,” he said.

“SDF party assures the flood affected residents across Sikkim for prompt action upon winning the 2024 election. This flood was caused by the negligence of the Chief Minister who ignored all warnings even though he was the one of the first authorities to receive the information about the flood at 10:40 pm on the night of the flood. If the flood gates of Chungthang dam would have been opened on time the impact of the flood would have decreased and many lives would have been saved,” said the SDF spokesperson.

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