Sikkim chief minister Prem Singh Tamang has warned that stockpiling and overcharging of any goods “will not be accepted” while reiterating the state government’s efforts to provide aid in the wake of flash floods, resulting in the loss of at least 27 lives and causing widespread destruction.
As per the official data, more than 140 people remain missing in the aftermath of the disaster, triggered by a cloudburst in the Teesta river on Wednesday.
While the National Disaster Response Force, and the state authorities race against time to speed up rescue efforts, to support their work, Tamang announced three key measures including relief packages, subsidies as well as checking corruption.
Special package for four districts
The state government has announced a special relief package for the four most affected districts, in addition to the existing aid announced for them. “The state government, in collaboration with Sikkim Urja Limited, has formulated a special financial relief package…We have allocated a relief package of Rs. 25 crore for Mangan District and Rs. 15 crore each for the Districts of Gangtok, Pakyong, and Namchi. This allocation is in addition to the relief aid provided by both the state and the central government,” Tamang said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).
He added that the government will offer subsidies to those who transport essential commodities, vegetables, and other food items. The move aims to mitigate the impact of longer travel routes on the selling prices. He further warned that stockpiling and overcharging of any goods “will not be accepted.” “Those found in violation of these regulations will face the permanent revocation of their licenses,” he noted.
Tamang had earlier said that the loss of infrastructure may run up to thousands of crores of rupees but exact details will be assessed only after a committee is formed for a survey. A day before, home minister Amit Shah also approved an advance relief fund of ₹44.8 crore from the Central share of the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to Sikkim.
As many as 7,644 people displaced by the floods have been sheltered at 26 relief camps in four affected districts, the state disaster management authority said. Overall, 25,000 people are said to be affected while about 1,200 houses, 13 bridges have been washed away in the floods. The NH-10, considered the lifeline of the state, connecting it with the rest of India, has also sustained extensive damage.