Sikkim loses Rs. 100 cr daily when NH10 is closed: CM

Tuesday, Jul 09, 2024 09:00 [IST]

Last Update: Tuesday, Jul 09, 2024 03:28 [IST]

Sikkim loses Rs. 100 cr daily when NH10 is closed: CM


GANGTOK,: Sikkim suffers a huge loss of Rs. 100 crore daily whenever its lifeline NH 10 is closed due to landslides that cuts-off the border State from rest of the nation.

“Whenever the NH 10 is closed, Sikkim faces a daily loss of Rs. 100 crore. Movement of all vehicles, heavy vehicles and goods carriers is halted and Sikkim does not get the GST. On a daily basis, we lose about Rs. 100 crore and for a small State like Sikkim, it is a huge loss. I have clearly submitted this issue with the Prime Minister and concerned Union ministers during my recent Delhi trip,” said Chief Minister PS Golay on Monday.

The Chief Minister was speaking to the media on way to Sikkim while returning from Himachal Pradesh.

Presently, the NH 10 is closed for undertaking repairs at the various locations of Rangpo-Sevoke stretch which were damaged by road subsidence and landslides. Since the monsoon started in June second week, the NH 10 is witnessing frequent closures with swelling Teesta river washing away road formations.

In his media interaction, the Chief Minister said the NH 10-related problems are causing sufferings not only for Sikkim but also to the hilly regions of Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts. He spoke about how the Sikkim government is pursuing alternatives of robust connectivity from the Centre during his recent meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Central leaders.

One alternative is to bring the NH 10 under any Central agency, a demand which the Chief Minister placed strongly with the Union government. Sikkim Lok Sabha MP Indra Hang Subba and Darjeeling Lok Sabha MP Raju Bista have also taken up the matter with the Centre.

”The NH 10 is running with Central funds but is maintained by the West Bengal government. I have not blamed any State government but if the Centre itself maintains and operates the NH 10 then many things would be expedited and be more convenient for us, and issues can be immediately addressed,” said Golay.

Following Sikkim government’s constant pressing, the Ministry of Roads, Transport & Highways (MoRTH) held a high-level coordination meeting at New Delhi on Monday afternoon with the heads of PWD and Irrigation departments of both Sikkim and West Bengal governments, and concerned agencies regarding NH 10.

During his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 24, the Chief Minister, as a connectivity alternative for Sikkim, proposed developing a Himalayan Railway Line between Bakrakote in West Bengal and Rorathang in Sikkim, presenting historical correspondence from 1917 to support this initiative.

At the media interaction, the Chief Minister stressed that Teesta river flood is an issue of entire hills including Sikkim.

“During monsoon, we are witnessing that the Teesta river is flooding our roads and towns as its river bed has increased by 10-15 m due to October 2023 flood. I have raised this issue with the Centre and the Centre has formed a committee which will survey and recommend measures to reduce the siltation. Unless this is done, the river water will increase every time there is rainfall. This is not an issue of Sikkim alone but of the entire hills,” said Golay.

The Chief Minister was referring to the committee constituted by the Jal Shakti ministry on June 27.

The panel is tasked to study the morphology of Teesta river, assess the magnitude of last October’s flash flood damage, and provide resources and expert recommendations. It has been directed 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.


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