Mandatory Public Hearings as per the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification 1994 have been completed for Teesta Stage III (1200 MW) and Stage VI (500 MW) hydroelectric projects. These public hearings were procedurally flawed and the EIAs and EMPs for the projects were incomplete and inadequate. Indigenous people from the area strongly protested against the construction of the project during the pubic hearings and also gave written submissions indicating their concerns. The EIA for Teesta Stage III was a shabby document, which did not have any details about the basic issues that an EIA is supposed to address. It did not contain the mandatory four seasonal (winter and monsoon periods) studies. These and several other several anomalies were highlighted to the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB). Affected citizens also issued a Legal Notice challenging the Public Hearing and seeking to declare it null and void. Despite this these projects are currently being considered for grant of environmental clearance by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), and a decision is likely to be taken soon.
Though these are portrayed as Developmental projects the serious negative impacts of these mega projects on the Fragile Environment and the poorest of the Poor Citizens have seriously affected and are further likely to affect the rich bio-Diversity of the state. It will also seriously erode the cultural sensitivities and homes of the in indigenous populations in the State.
All the voices of popular discontent, concerns and apprehension have been totally ignored and the saga of sufferings of the people and the destruction of the environment carries on.
Instead of projects of development and National interest these projects have become projects of environmental destruction, genocide and of commercial interest only.
Traditionally, the people of Sikkim consider the womenfolk as their honour and concerted efforts have been made to safeguard the dignity of women in light of their exploitation, particularly of the women from poorer sections of our society.
Much to our astonishment and anger, the EIA report states in section 5.3 on 'Ethnographic aspects' that:
"The tribal society, as in most of the other tribes of India, imposes rigid restrictions on marriage in terms of clan exogamy and community endogamy. The society does not permit marriage outside the group. However within the group, relatively relaxed norms are followed. For instance, unlike other non-tribal communities, chastity of women at the time of marriage does not hold a lot of importance. Pre-marital and extra-marital relationships are not uncommon. The women are not bound by many restrictions and have more freedom."
To the people of Sikkim, the above statements of the EIA report are seriously offensive because they undermine the dignity of the womenfolk and are also untrue. In this context, does the project developer and the Government of Sikkim intend to bypass the issue of honour and dignity of our womenfolk in pursuit of so called economic development? Should we tolerate such blatant disrespect of our mothers, sisters, daughters and womenfolk in general?
| SATYAGRAHA |
Warriors for a Cause
"I will die but won't allow the mega power projects in Dzongu" - Dawa Lepcha.
Two Lepcha youths from Dzongu rocked the state of Sikkim and the world with their selfless stand against the hydro projects. Dawa T. Lepcha and Tenzing Lepcha went on hunger strike in the spirit of Gandhian Satyagraha from June 22, 2007 to September 27, 2009.
Chronicles of the campaign - and more - at
| TEESTA |
Will the Teesta river survive? In order to construct one kilometer of tunnel, approximately 150 tons of dynamite are required. Imagine how much blasting will be done for 30 power projects! Seventy percent of the river to flow underground!
| DZONGU |
Dzongu in North Sikkim is the holy place for Lepchas spread all over the world. Process has begun for seven mega power projects spanning the length and breadth of this protected area.
| ENVIRONMENT |
Environment Impact Assessment (EIA)
Blatant violations of procedural and environmental norms. Get the distressing facts at our EIA-page.
| TEESTA STAGE V |
Much went wrong during design, assessment and construction of Teesta Stage V HEP. For a truly sustainable and adapted development, a different approach is required.
| VIOLATIONS |
Environment Protection Act (EPA) as well as Forest Conservation Act (FCA) were repeatedly violated by the companies involved. A non-exhaustive listing for Teesta Stage V only (NHPC).
| DOCUMENTS |
• Statements, appeals and proceedings by ACT
• Scientific papers substantiating ACT's concerns
• Press reports covering disproportionate projects in Sikkim and ACT's struggle for protection
| MEDIA |
• Collection of Documentaries