Attended the 23rd Anniversary of Government Formation of Sikkim Democratic Front at Manan Kendra.
I am sharing with you some of the highlights of my address:-
1. We, whether legislators, other public representatives and Officers, should keep in mind that our duties in our official capacities are not for any personal means. Our sole responsibility is to serve the people and the State and contribute towards Nation-building. Keeping this in mind, I urged the gathering to work with the objective of fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of the people. I further appealed to the officers to maintain office decorum, punctuality and follow the work culture of the developed countries. They should also allocate work to their sub-ordinates and see that no staff remains idle.
2. The unprecedented development that has taken place in Sikkim in the last 23 years is tangible and vivid if you compare it with the scenario in the State before 1994 as also with other states of the Country. Today, we can say that we have been successful in fulfilling the basic minimum needs of our people; and this I consider it to be our greatest achievement. I also emphasized that it is not only the data and records that show the progress made; but our achievements have been factual and evident. The fruits of development have reached the homes of every citizen, who has been guaranteed opportunity, comfort and happiness. Our people-centric Government has ensured the fulfilment of Millennium Development Goals. I can therefore, vouch that no Sikkimese is among the millions in the world who suffer from hunger and of being homeless.
3. In the functioning of a government the politicians/legislators are the policy-makers and the officers/bureaucracy implements these policies. Both have equal responsibility towards the State and the people. Recording my displeasure at the lackadaisical attitude of the Government officers on the implementation of Government decisions and policies, I urged the bureaucrats to take serious note of this fault and not to repeat it in future. Immediate and necessary action must be taken for implementation of policies. Drawing attention to this lacunae in our administration, I gave the following directions for immediate implementation:-
i) All Departments to prepare White Paper on the achievements/developments in the last 23 years for tabling in the next session of the Sikkim Legislative Assembly.
ii) Necessary action to be taken immediately on the following decisions/policies of the Government and respective departments to ensure that they are strictly adhered to:-
– Prohibition on the use of plastic bottled water in State Government functions.
– No sub-letting of licence, business, contractual works etc.
– Individuals not possessing SSC/CoI are not to be permitted to engage in any kind of business activity in rural areas.
– All Government properties/infrastructures belonging to different departments, such as Wayside Amenities, Guest Houses, Rural Marketing Centres, Toilets etc should be handed over to the respective Gram Panchayats for their upkeep and maintenance.
– Forest Department and other related departments to ensure that the Government’s policy on the ban of taking medicinal plants out of the State is strictly followed.
– Ban on killing of wildlife to be implemented in letter and spirit. Forest Department to devise a mechanism to counter the present menace posed by wild animals like bears, monkeys, wild boars etc to farmers and their crops and also to the safety of human life.
– Departments should ensure that schemes once sanctioned and put to tender are started and completed on time, duly ensuring quality control. In case of any irregularity on the part of the Contractor, the work should be re-tendered or taken up departmentally and punitive action taken against the erring Contractor.
– RMDD, Horticulture and Irrigation departments to find immediate solutions for combating the problem of scarcity of water faced by the farmers.
– All 185 GPUs should set up ‘Smritivans’ and Nurseries in their respective areas.
– All on-going works/schemes to be given priority and completed on schedule. Road carpeting works of all sanctioned roads to be completed by March, 2018.
– Earnest money deposited by Contractors against any work to be released only 5 years after the completion of the work. The same can be utilized if there arises the need for any maintenance/repair of the same work.
– All sanctioned works to be completed on scheduled time. Signboards with details of the work should be clearly displayed at the sites.
– In view of the frequent road accidents in the State, Motor Vehicles Division should be strict in issuing driving license, duly taking into consideration the vital pre-requisites of a good and safe driver.
– Only trained and qualified electricians/linesmen to be recruited by Power Department.
– Setting up of Organic Market Centres in all bazaars of the State.
– All Government buildings under construction should be completed at the earliest, including Tashiling Secretariat and the Multi-Speciality Hospital at Sichey. State Medical College will also be established in the Hospital.
– Roads and other Government infrastructures like hospitals should be maintained properly, duly ensuring cleanliness and proper upkeep.
– All village libraries to be made functional at the earliest.
– Emphasis should be laid on saving saplings planted during plantation drives. Forest Department to ensure that these plants are properly taken care of, instead of focussing on them only during plantation time.
– All departments should update their data banks and host it on their respective websites. IT Department and DESME to look into the matter.
In conclusion, I thanked the people of the State including politicians, government officials and my Party colleagues for their co-operation and contributions in the 23 years of our Government.