Resolution demanding smooth traffic along NH 31A adopted

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Gangtok, Mar 10 (UNI) Sikkim Legislative Assembly today adopted a resolution urging the West Bengal and the Central government to evolve an early and a permanent solution to maintain vehiular traffic on NH 31A to and from Sikkim at all times.

The disturbances on the national highway, which happens to be the lifeline of Sikkim, has caused immense inconvenience to the people of the state, with normal traffic of private and goods vehicles along the Highway being disrupted recurrences, Urban Housing Development Minister D D Bhutia said, while moving the resolution.

''Repeated strikes and badhs in Darjeeling have made it difficult for the people of the state and we demand from the West Bengal Government and the Centre to immediately ensure regulation of traffic on the National Highway.

This Himalayan state shares it borders with China, Nepal and Bhutan and with its getting disconnected from the rest of the nation exposes it to the outside world with no way to regain its in-flow of food and emergency services from the Centre or from any other of the country.

Presently, Sikkim does not have rail or air links.

The frequent snapping of communication links seriously affects economic activities in the state, especially the tourism industry, he added.

''Sikkim has suffered a loss of hundreds of crores since the agitation began in Darjeeling in 1985,'' the resolution stated.

''This loss to the state deserves to be compensated,'' Mr Bhutia demanded in his resolution.

The Sikkim government has also accused the two governments of being apathetic towards the issue. The resolution highlights the recent problems that Sikkim faces due to bandhs called by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in Darjeeling.

The matter has been taken up at various levels with the West Bengal Government and the Darjeeling district authorities, but passengers and goods traffic to Sikkim remained blocked, said Mr Bhutia.

''In spite of the assurances by the governments, life in Sikkim continues to be severely affected by bandh-related disruptions on NH 31A,'' he added.

UNI BG LL RN1842

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