Gorkhatimes

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Sikkim asks Centre to ensure smooth traffic on Sikkim highway

Posted by Ramesh Khati on June 18, 2009

Gangtok (PTI) 17 June: Sikkim government has asked Centre to ensure uninterrupted traffic on its sole highway connecting the landlocked state with the rest of the country, fearing reports that Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) may soon call bandh in Darjeeling hills demanding separate statehood.

The Himalayan state has been hit by the periodic spells of disturbances and bandhs on political issues in Darjeeling for the past several years resulting in blockade of the sole and arterial highway of the state, Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling has said to union Home Minister P Chidambaram.

The 92-km long National Highway 31-A connects Gangtok, capital of Sikkim, and Siliguri in Darjeeling district of West Bengal.

“The Centre should look into ways and means to bring about an amicable and permanent solution so as to ensure uninterrupted flow of traffic between Siliguri and Sikkim via NH 31-A,” Mr. Chamling told Chidambaram on Tuesday at New Delhi.

The people of Sikkim had to suffer untold hardship for days together due to shortage of essential supplies even as the state’s economy, particularly the tourism industry, had been hit hard, due to frequent blockades in the highway, the chief minister said.

Mr. Chidambaram assured Mr. Chamling that the Centre would provide all assistance and support to the border state regarding issues related to the road connectivity, an official release said today.

Source: PTI

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