The Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) has demanded the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) government to provide public details about how and on where the public funds allotted by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi have been spent in Sikkim.
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 24 after addressing a public meeting at Pakyong following the inauguration of the Greenfield airport, had spoken about the monetary support from the Central government for several schemes in the State.
He said that over Rs.40 crore has been approved for construction of infrastructures for pilgrims,Rs.1,500 crore for national highways, Rs. 350 crore for environment protection and pollution prevention, Rs.1,500 crore to improve power transmission, Rs.250 crore for other State roads, and Rs.14,000 crore for six hydroelectric power projects in the state.
Sikkim Krantikari Morcha spokesperson Jacob Khaling on Thursday said the details shared by the Prime Minister on Central financial allocations to Sikkim dismiss the claims of SDF government on little monetary support from Centre.
“The SDF government used to claim that there is less budgetary allocation from the Centre to Sikkim. The Centre is giving less money, they used to say. The address from the Prime Minister has dismissed such claims,” said Jacob Khaling.
Khaling during his address asked where the amount allocated for pollution prevention and protection of the rivers between Ranipool and Singtam have been spent by the Sikkim government.
He said that where the amount of Rs. 150 crore for protecting Ranikhola has gone? The State government must show details to the people.
Khaling asserted that in connection with the Rs. 1,500 crore allotted by the Centre for improving power transmission sector in Sikkim, the Prime Minister had clarified that the project would be completed by this December.
Khaling stated that “The situation in Sikkim at present is that the power supply is disrupted even in a minor storm. There is frequent power outage across the State and it is all because of old transformers which cannot take the present power load. The power outage is not due to Sikkim being a power-deficit State, it is due to the old
transformers that desperately need to be upgraded or replaced with new units.”
He asked if the Prime Minister said the project would be completed in December then why the hasn't been completed yet as there hardly 2 months left. He said his organization scented irregularities in this project.
Khaling also urged the State government to make clear which are the six hydropower projects receiving Rs. 14,000 crore from the Centre mentioned by the Prime Minister. He also demanded that the State government should provide details about where the Central funds for road upgradation were utilised in Sikkim.
The Sikkim Krantikari Morchaspokesperson viewed that the financial support details revealed by the Prime Minister open the second chapter for CBI probe in Sikkim. “In 2010, the CBI had written to the Sikkim government seeking entry in Sikkim for investigating the corruption allegations. However, the State government denied permission to the CBI.
That was the first chapter. The statements by the Prime Minister has made us more convinced that there should be a CBI probe in Sikkim for this second chapter also,” the student leader said.
He said that granting permission to CBI to enter Sikkim would be given in the first cabinet following the SKM forms the government after 2019 elections.
Sikkim Krantikari Morcha vice president (headquarters) Uttam Lepcha urged Chief Minister Pawan Chamling to issue a white paper about how the Central Government is utilising funds. He added if the Chief Minister fails to do so, the Prime Minister must immediately order a CBI inquiry.
Answering a question Khaling maintained that the Chief Minister of Sikkim failed to properly place the Limboo-Tamang seat reservation demand before Prime Minister Modi during the Pakyong public