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Sikkim govt gives Rs 10,000 each to over 8,000 labourers as relief after GLOF

Gangtok: The Sikkim government has declared Rs 10,000 each for labourers registered under the building and other construction workers (BOCW) welfare board on Sunday as a relief after the Glacial Lake Outburst Flood across the Teesta River Basin in Gangtok.

Over 8,733 labourers affected by South Lhonak Lake GLOF were handed cheques by Chief Minister Prem Singh Golay at the awareness and distribution of distress relief assistance event in Chintan Bhawan in Gangtok.
The labourers work under various government departments such as building and housing, roads and bridges, and irrigation under the supervision of the State Labour Department.

CM Golay said in his address that the collective relief fund given by the State government amounts to over Rs 8.70 crore.
He stated, "Many people lost their lives in the GLOF, these are troubled times as our labourers are in distress, for losing their lives by the banks of the river. Most of the labourers are currently assisting in the relief work in the State".

"Hence, to acknowledge their contribution and provide relief, we raised the relief fund from Rs 5000 to Rs 10,000. The law states we must give Rs 5000, but we feel the amount is too little, hence we have increased the relief funds", he added.
CM Singh drew comparisons with the relief efforts and funds given during the 2011 earthquake by the previous Sikkim Democratic Front government.

Golay stated, "The opposition has now been demanding the government to give Rs 50 lakh as ex gratia to those who lost their lives. We are ready to give the amount. But if you compare it with the 2011 earthquake did the then government give that much amount?"

He further said, "If it was in the violation, those who lost their lives could have been given Rs 30 lakh, but they didn't. They declare that we should construct 5-storey homes for those who lost their properties. But when you draw comparisons with their relief effort, the houses granted under the rural housing scheme then we're in dismal condition. We ensure that we won't give such dismal reconstruction of homes."
The Sikkim CM asserted that the funds given today are only for labourers registered under the building and other construction workers welfare boards.

However, he acknowledged there are more labourers not registered under the board and accordingly they will also be given such relief funds.
Furthermore, the State Education Department will ensure books will be given to those students who lost their belongings in the GLOF.
Those directly affected by the GLOF and the ensuing flash floods will be awarded Rs 10,000 each, declared the Chief Minister. 

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