Golay urges Rajnath Singh to shift army camp from Yume Samdong to Shonkoten
Sikkim chief minister P. S. Tamang (Golay) met defence minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on Saturday and urged him to shift the temporary army camp from its present location at Yume Samdong (Zero Point) to Shonkoten, both in North Sikkim, since the former is a place of religious and tourism significance to the locals.
Yume Samdong is a valley at an altitude of 15,300 feet that falls under Lachung Dzumsa, a traditional local body recognised by the Sikkim government. The place along with the Yumthang, which are 15km apart, are popular with tourists visiting North Sikkim.
In a release issued from New Delhi, Golay said he took up the matter of shifting the army camp with the defence minister at the request of the Lachung Dzomsa. “I informed the Hon’ble Union Minister about the religious significance of the area which is also a renowned pilgrimage and tourist destination and requested the temporary camp be shifted from the current location to Shonkoten,” he said.
Golay said he also discussed the army’s desire to set up a Key Location Point (KLP), which is a concentrated defence site or installation, under Chungthang sub-division of North Sikkim. “I informed that the people are willing to provide land (identified by the defence ministry) as per the State Government notified rates.”
Both Yumthang and Chungthang are considered to be strategically important since they are close to the border with China. Frequent skirmishes take place between the Indian and Chinese troops along the border, with the last such incident taking place in January this year.
Golay said he also raised the subject of constructing tunnels between Sirwani in East Sikkim to three different places, including Gangtok, Namchi in South Sikkim and Legship in West Sikkim, to improve road connectivity in the Himalayan state. “The DPR (detailed project report) has been prepared by the roads and bridges department, Sikkim.”
Golay later tweeted: “I called on the Hon’ble Union Defence Minister Shri @rajnathsingh Ji at his official residence to raise several matters concerning the state. I was accompanied by Hon’ble Ministers Shri B S Pant, Dr MK Sharma & MP (Lok Sabha) @IndraHangSubba1.”
I called on the Hon'ble Union Defence Minister Shri @rajnathsingh Ji at his official residence to raise several matters concerning the state. I was accompanied by Hon’ble Ministers Shri B S Pant, Dr MK Sharma & MP (Lok Sabha) @IndraHangSubba1 pic.twitter.com/Azi7IWY7cZ— Prem Singh Tamang (Golay) (@PSTamangGolay) August 7, 2021