Sikkim to develop Nathu La trade route museum

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Gangtok, Mar 5 (UNI) Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling today sanctioned Rs 50 lakh for starting a Nathu La Trade Route Museum.

'' Our ultimate aim is to integrate trade and tourism through Nathu La pass. It is in this context, I would like to earmark Rs 50 lakhs for starting a Modern Museum at Nathu La,'' he said while tabling the annual budget 2008-09 today at the state Assembly.

Nathu La border trade between Sikkim and Tibet Autonomous Region had resumed in 2006 after a gap of 44 years.

'' We are now persuading the Centre to make this route a normal transit route and also make the trading arrangement with China on a Most Favoured Nation basis under the World Trade Organization regulations,'' said Mr Chamling.

Regarding the proposed museum, the Chief Minister said the state might seek support from experts and professionals of UNESCO. The state culture and heritage department will be handling the museum project.

The museum had been earlier recommended by the state government commissioned Nathu La Trade Route Study team in 2005. The report had stated that the places that were used by Younghusband Mission to Tibet in 1903 located in and around Nathu La could be declared as memorials and a national heritage status granted .

This memorial could also have a modern museum that would house all the artifacts, archival materials, memoirs and other objects related to various missions, agreements, physical exchanges regarding Nathu La trade, the report stated, Mr Chamling said.

UNI BG KK BDP HS2117

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