Affected Citizens of Teesta started Satyagraha and went on hunger strike on June 22, 2007 at BL house premises, Gangtok. The campaign in the spirit of Gandhian Satyagraha was withdrawn after more than two years, on September 27, 2009.
Intermittently, the pioneers were hospitalized at STNM hospital maintaining their hunger strike. They were supported by ACT members, monks, students and other NGOs.
Chronicles of the campaign - and more - at weepingsikkim.blogspot.com
Dzongu is a protected area for the original indigenous tribe, the Lepchas of Sikkim. This fact has been there for more than hundred years now. The government with full knowledge of such issue has gone ahead with proposal to implement large scale mega hydro projects in this area.
On one hand, the Lepchas have been declared as Primitive Tribe by the state government and on the other hand, they are assisting capitalist companies to bulldoze, plunder and devastate the land that had been protected for decades for the Lepchas, in name of development. The need of the hour is protection and not mindless devastation through so called developmental projects. Seven mega hydro projects are planned in Dzongu. It is being devastated from head to toe.
Lepchas have been accorded the Primitive Tribe Group status by the Government of Sikkim. The primary aim, among others, is to provide protection. But the way things are planned for Dzongu is unjust. It is a plan to uproot the last bastion of the Lepchas.
The Ministry of Environment and Forest had laid a specific condition while clearing Teesta Stage V project that 'no projects in Sikkim will be considered for environment clearance until the Carrying Capacity Study of Teesta basin is completed. The study is yet to be completed in full form but several projects in Sikkim have been granted clearance. Why is the MOEF not complying with the condition?
The Environment Impact Assessment done by CISMHE for the company in the case of Panang 300 MW hydro power project, save for a single line, does not mention anything about the Lepcha tribe (under social and anthropological assessment). This shows the utter disregard for the Lepcha people and their survival.
More than half of Dzongu, especially the upper region, is inside the Khanchendzonga National Park (KNP) and Khanchendzonga Biosphere Reserve. The dam site of Panang project is within few kilometers of KNP. 4005 hectares of Biosphere Reserve is being offered to the company in the guise of Catchment Area, including portions of the core zone, the KNP.
Laws and Acts are thrown in the wind (expect the now favorite Land Acquisition Act). The KNP and KBR are conveniently put aside with 'however the projects do not fall inside the ...'
In spite of the Appellate Hearing going on against the Environment Clearance given to Teesta Urja in the National Appellate Authority, implementation procedures are being pushed ahead of Teesta Stage III.
The Land Acquisition Act is being challenged in the Supreme Court and the state government is receipt of orders to define the term 'public purpose' the excuse with which the Act is being enforced randomly.
On request of Mr. D. T. Lepcha, minister PWD, on the ground that it was the 'founding day', a rally comprising of more than 450 Lepchas from Dzongu and more from other well wishers group was called off on December 12, 2006 followed with assurance from the Chief Minister himself that the issue will be reviewed and looked into immediately.
Alternatives have also been suggested and offered with best of intention - mini projects and tourism.
Assurance after assurance followed at each followup meets. It is now clear that there will be no review let alone look into assurances.
Affected Citizens of Teesta will start Satyagraha and go on indefinite hunger strike until the projects are stopped and others reviewed. We request all to join us in this fight against destruction of environment, ecology, culture and humanity.
| 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.
| 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