The 60th North Eastern Council (NEC) meeting was held at New Delhi on the 16th and 17th of June under the Chairmanship of Shri B.K.Handique, Union Minister for DoNER and Chairman, NEC.
Sikkim was represented by the Governor of Sikkim, Shri. Balmiki Prasad Singh, Minister for HRDD, Shri. N.K. Pradhan, Development Commissioner, Department of Development Planning, Economic Reforms, Smt. Rinchen Ongmu, Commissioner-cum-Secretary to the Governor of Sikkim, Shri. K.N.Bhutia.
The Governor of Sikkim, in this address to the representatives of other north eastern States, expressed his disappointment at the slow progress of work by BSNL to improve connectivity. According to him, in today’s world, internet is crucial in bringing about national and regional integration. As regards the look east policy of the Government of India (GOI), the Governor said that Sikkim stands by the commitment given in the 58th NEC meeting, in its willingness to host a conference of HoGs (Heads of Governments) of South East Asian countries if approved by the GoI. Shri Singh also requested the GoI to consider opening of North East Development Financial Institution in the region.
The Governor also desired that NEC should earmark Rs. 1000 crores under NLCPR to develop high class double lane airport road from Ranipul to Pakyong. A self contained urban settlement along the route could also be developed; not only will this aid in decongesting Gangtok, it will also attract high spending tourists. He said the project could be named Naya Gangtok and it should be developed through the involvement of a reputed International Agency. He also requested DoNER to take interest in funding the 575 bedded super-specialty hospital project currently being developed in Gangtok area.