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regular-article-logo Monday, 15 July 2024

Sikkim chief minister P.S. Tamang requests Prime Minister Narendra Modi to maintain NH10 in Bengal

During his meeting with Modi in Delhi, sources said, Golay laid stress on improving both road and rail connectivity to the state

Vivek Chhetri Darjeeling Published 25.06.24, 06:03 AM
PS Tamang with Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Monday

PS Tamang with Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Monday File image

Sikkim chief minister P.S. Tamang (Golay) on Monday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hand over NH10, which is being maintained by the Bengal public works department (PWD), to a central agency and pitched for strengthening connectivity to the landlocked Himalayan state.

During his meeting with Modi in Delhi, sources said, Golay laid stress on improving both road and rail connectivity to the state. Sikkim is not on the railway map of India, but tracks are being constructed to link the state.

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“Addressing infrastructure concerns, the chief minister highlighted the strategic importance of NH10 and sought a permanent solution to its frequent disruptions and proposed that the highway’s maintenance be entrusted to central agencies like the NHAI (National Highways Authority of India) or NHIDCL (National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited),” said a source.

In Bengal, the highway runs along a hilly stretch of around 54km, starting from Coronation bridge at Sevoke to Rangpo, the town in Sikkim near the inter-state border.

In the past, the entire stretch of NH10 had been maintained by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) under the ministry of defence. In 2016, the maintenance of the highway’s Bengal portion was handed over to the state PWD. The NHIDCL looks after the 47km-long Sikkim portion of the highway.

The road which is the lifeline of Sikkim is frequently blocked, especially during the monsoon because of landslides.

Sources said Golay had also sought the urgent intervention of the Centre to restore NH310A, which connects Gangtok with the China border. The October 2023 glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) in north Sikkim had damaged NH310A.

The GLOF resulted in widespread destruction in Sikkim and Bengal. “The chief minister presented the post-disaster need assessment report, estimating 3673.25 crore for recovery and reconstruction,” the source said.

Golay also updated Modi on the initiative to build a multimodal corridor with an integrated check-post between Sikkim and eastern Nepal at Chewa Bhanjyang.

“The chief minister also proposed developing a railway line between Bagrakote in Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district and Rorathang in Sikkim,” said the source.

Addressing the media in Delhi, Golay said he had also extended an invitation to Modi to grace Sikkim’s golden jubilee statehood celebration on May 16, 2025, as the chief guest. “The Prime Minister has accepted the invitation,” said Golay who added he had reached Delhi to congratulate Modi on his electoral victory.

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