Gangtok: President Draupadi Murmu greeted the Sikkimese people with ‘Khamri, Tashi Delek and Namastey’ in her maiden visit to Sikkim on Friday. The President upon reaching Raj Bhawan met with 3-5 groups of Sikkim people who informed the President about the various issues in the state.
The President in her address at Manan Kendra in Gangtok stated, “India is a country that believes in unity in diversity. There are many problems, some of which I was able to listen to here today. It is the Prime Minister and Central Government that can give more attention to the issues of Sikkim. I have visited five Northeastern states so far and have heard their concerns. I am aware of problems of Northeast states, will collectively resolve issues of NE states.”
The President was welcomed at Manan Kendra for a slew of the virtual inauguration and foundation stone-laying ceremonies for various projects in Sikkim. The President was joined by Governor Ganga Prasad and Chief Minister Prem Singh Golay at the function.
In her address, President Mumru acknowledged the culture, cinema and sports along with mountain peaks and natural beauty to be some of the specialities of the state. The President stated, ” This is my second attempt at reaching Sikkim, which has been a success. On the previous occasion earlier this year, I was unable to come to Sikkim, despite our best efforts. Hence, when the North East visit was scheduled I wanted to come to visit Sikkim. On my way, I saw various cultural presentations along the road. It was beautiful and I shall never forget it.”
President acknowledged how Sikkim has a better ratio of females as compared to males. She quoted Bhim Rao Ambedkar in a similar context related to women’s empowerment. She also welcomed the construction of a girls’ hostel for Victoria Cross Ganju Lama Memorial School in Rabong, which was also virtually inaugurated.
She expressed her happiness about the Atal Setu viaduct being named after former Prime Minister Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The Atal Setu which stretches 827 metres across river Teesta connecting Sikkim with West Bengal was built for Rs 133.49 crore.
The two-way traffic tunnel at Chisopani near Singtam which was also virtually inaugurated by the President is 250 metres long with 170 metres of approach road built for Rs 29 crore. Among other inaugurations done by the President included 300 bedded district hospital in Singtam to be built for Rs 148 crore. Along with it, the foundation stone is being laid for the National Institute of Technology at Khamdong under the Gangtok district. The NIT at Khamdong is part of the central government and State Education Department project for Rs. 850 crore.
President acknowledged Sikkim for being the nation’s first organic state along with the socio-economic development of the state keeping cleanliness as a priority.
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