Gangtok: Countering allegations that the state government sold its share of 60.8 per cent to the Teesta Urja Company, Chief Minister Prem Singh Golay countered, “60.08 per cent share is as it is. We have not planned to sell it…if it’s a share of the company, and they want to sell to others, they can. Just as Greenko took similarly from another company. In the past also, the Sikkim government had bought shares, at the starting of it was 26 per cent. Later, it became 60.08 per cent, which was bought from others. In the previous government, such a memorandum of understanding was made, they made rules about it, anyone can sell their share, just that the government has to approve. It’s free will for others, but government approval is needed. After consultation with the Government of India, they sold it to Greenko, but our 60.08 per cent we have not sold to anyone. It is completely false.”

Former Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling vide a press release on Sunday had claimed, “all revenue-generating public assets built by the Sikkim Democratic Front Government in 25 years are being sold one after another.”

He particularly targeted hydropower projects as well as Old STNM Hospital and Old West Point School, and adjacent Taxi stand in his press release.

The demolition of Old STNM Hospital and the Old West Point School Taxi Stand complex below MG Marg has long been a subject of discussion. The rumour mills on both the demolitions and the ensuing construction would see the construction of malls in Gangtok, it is being said.

While the demolition of the old STNM Hospital on the lower side of the road is nearing conclusion, the recent shifting of the taxi stand for West and South Sikkim vehicles in Gangtok to Deorali has seen troubles for the public followed by criticism of being awarded to private builders.

Chief Minister Prem Singh Golay countered the claims at the inauguration of the Indoor Sports Arena on October 27 at Gangtok Municipal Complex in Deorali.

Addressing the officials gathered at the venue, CM asserted the need for more parking and open spaces in Sikkim.

Chief Minister Golay stated, “We have not sold away any government property, we are welcoming projects on a private-public model, which is favourable for the government and profitable for the public. The previous government had welcomed many companies from outside and done projects on a PPP mode, we have done it similarly. In the old West Point school, we are working on a PPP model. It is a Rs 300 crore project, there is no contribution from the State government. Once the project is completed, the company will award four floors for parking to the government. Besides which the revenue generated will be given to the government, after 26 years, the project will be a property of the State government. The State government is liable to give the land, but the construction will be carried by the company.”

The Chief Minister asserted on better parking spaces and open spaces like gardens are needed in the heart of Gangtok. The same will be made available through the upcoming structure at Old West Point School and the adjacent parking area. He also claimed that the parking space would benefit local taxi drivers.

On allegations of Old STNM Hospital premises also being demolished and sold for similar money-making ventures of the government. Golay countered, “They can file an RTI and find out about it. STNM Hospital premises was tendered and given away by the previous government even before the 2019 elections. Cost of the same has not been finalised nor was it in PPP mode, it was given to Smart City and not any private company”.

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