Gangtok, June 10:
Former Indian football skipper and president of the Hamro Sikkim Party, Bhaichung Bhutia has appealed chief minister of Sikkim for immediate actions against the protestors for flouting the covid restrictions and staging a protest at Namchi in South Sikkim on Wednesday. Bhutia further reiterated his stand on not building a hospital at the field of the state’s veterinary department in Namchi.
Bhutia questioned the Sikkim government if it was an appropriate time to construct the hospital at a time when the situation is alarming following covid-19 in Sikkim. “In the last one year 280 people have died due to Covid -19 in Sikkim, the state has put its name in the top list in India in terms of death ratio. The government has already sanctioned Rs 80 crores to the contractors for the upcoming hospital. However, if the government could have spent Rs 20 crore from the amount sanctioned for the upcoming health facility on upgrading existing infrastructure and appointing trained manpower at all hospitals and PHCs in the state, the situation would have not been alarming. A few days back Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the central government will provide free COVID-19 vaccines to states if timely intervention would have not been taken how would the Sikkim government provide vaccination where would the money come from? “, said Bhutia.
He said, we have not denied on the decision of coming up with a hospital but, we request the government to stop the constriction and start it when the pandemic is over and life falls back to normalcy. Moreover, we have requested to shift the project from the only field available in Namchi and relocate the project site convenient for the people of both south and west Sikkim.
Chief Minister of Sikkim Prem Singh Tamang on June 5 laid the foundation stone of a 300-bedded hospital to be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 500 crore.
Meanwhile, condemning on the protest at Namchi over his statement over the hospital coming up at Namchi, Bhutia said, we have put forward a healthy criticism but the ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) is trying to suppress the issue with muscle power and terror.
“We have raised various issues and put forward criticism during earlier SDF-led government, we even protested at Jantar Mantar during the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) regime over the unemployment issue but they took it positively, and later they came up with the One Family One Job scheme, they didn’t burn the effigy. But this government (SKM) is trying to suppress the voices with terror and muscle power. We as an opposition fought for a ‘change’. The agitators have flouted the Disaster Management act yesterday, I would request the Chief minster to take stringent actions against the violators for flouting the restriction norms”, said Bhutia.
Flouting the covid restrictions, a group of women staged a protest against the comments of Bhutia over the new hospital project in Namchi. The agitated protestors also burned the effigy of Bhutia in Namchi on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, District Collector, (south) Bharani Kumar said, a Suo moto case has been registered under the disaster management act against the restriction violators. The incident was prompt and we could not trace the protesters.
” We have limited restrictions in the state and the shops are open between 7 am to 2 pm and the incident took place around 1:40 pm at the central park area of Namchi Bazar. Since the movement of people was allowed for essential commodities the protestors must have come under that pretext and gave result to such illegal activity, a clear violation, and today we have registered an FIR. It was not possible to identify each of them as they wearing masks but the Placards which they were holding are supposed to belong to a group called ‘ South Sikkim Nari Sangh’. We are also scanning the CCTV footages the inquiry has begun”, said Kumar.