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Sikkim to get airport by next year: Minister

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Gangtok: A domestic airport will be built in Sikkim by next December, Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Mahesh Sharma said here on Thursday.

“The airport will be opened in December 2016 and is going to boost the connectivity of the state in a big way,” he told the media after inaugurating the Fourth International Tourism Mart here.

Hosted by the Sikkim government, 27 countries are participating in the mart – a platform to showcase the northeast region’s tourism potential.

He said the airport would be set up in Pakyong, 35 km away from Gangtok.

Sharma also said that in January next year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi would declare Sikkim a fully organic state, which means only organic substances are used for cultivation.

The minister said the central government has released Rs 90 crore for the development of tourism in the state.

“Sikkim is a model tourist state in many ways. It has succeeded in achieving the targets of cleanliness, peace and hospitality. I appreciate its effort in turning the state into a no-smoking, organic, plastic free state,” he said.

Rumptek monastery will be added in the circuit to boost the Buddhist circuit tourism, he added.

The minister said in order to improve air connectivity to the northeastern states, Guwahati airport has been upgraded, while better facilities will be provided at Bagdogra airport as well.

The issue of “road and rail connectivity will be conveyed to the respective ministries and will be addressed soon”, he said.

Chief Minister Pawan Chamling said that they have adopted a holistic approach to the development of the state for the last 20 years.

“We are committed to achieving development goals without compromising natural resources. Our focus is clean air and we have succeeded in making the state completely organic. We have plans to introduce yoga in schools by 2016,” he said.

(IANS)

 

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Vikas Khanna’s Upcoming Book To Focus On Grains And Northeast

Khanna also prepared recipes using Quaker Whole Oats, a new variant made from "uncut A grade oats"

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Vikas Khanna's Upcoming Book To Focus On Grains And Northeast
Vikas Khanna's Upcoming Book To Focus On Grains And Northeast, flickr

Michelin-starred Chef Vikas Khanna, who was here for a masterclass and launch of Quaker Whole Oats, says his next book will focus on grains and will also talk about India’s northeast region which he feels still holds its rich culture intact through food.

“My next thing (book) is only about grains and about north east. They are a culture which inspite of being modernised still holds on to the value of their grains and how they do farming. I was obssessed with their fish paddy farming,” Khanna, also PepsiCo India’s nutrition ambassador, told IANS on the sidelines of the event here.

At the event, Khanna also prepared recipes using Quaker Whole Oats, a new variant made from “uncut A grade oats”.

With the aim to showcase oats as an appetising and nutritious breakfast option, Khanna’s masterclass took food enthusiasts on an experiential journey. He used two recipes.

The Thandai Oats was loaded with the richness of dry fruits and aromatic ingredients, layered together with overnight soaked whole oats, spinach puree and topped with candied nuts.

grains
grains, Pixabay

The Curd Oats with Parmesan crisp was a mix of dried herbs, spices, cherries, plums, and baby vegetables like broccoli, beans, beetroots, carrots, cauliflower and corn, which gave regular “dahi” a makeover and amped it up for a tastier version.

Asked about how aware people have become when it comes to not skipping breakfast, Khanna said: “I think because of Internet and because of media, there is whole lot of awareness… The industry is changing because of requirement of people,” he said.

Also read: Michelin Star Chef Vikas Khanna joins Amritsar Farmers for Diwali at ‘Organic Diwali Farmers Fest’

“Breakfast is essential and everybody needs to understand that if stomach is empty, brain starts becoming extremely aggressive,” he added. (IANS)

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