A two-day long workshop on Environmental Justice and Community’s Right to Information was conducted here at BL House.
The workshop has been organised to share experiences on how to use laws and legal laws and legal forums in addressing issues of environmental concerns.
Jointly organized by Affected Citizen of Teesta (ACT) and Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment (LIFE),
The members of Citizen Forum, SAFE, Sangha of Dzongu, Concerned Lepchas of Sikkim (CLOS) along with the other NGOs and the local people attended the seminar.
Two environmentalists from LIFE and KALPRAVRIKSH, Ritwick Dutta and Neeraj Vagholikar imparted their deliberations on various subjects pertaining to the importance of environment with human life. The significant topics to be dealt will be the use of the Right to Information Act 2005, in environmental matters, understanding the Environment Impact Assessment Notification 2006, relevant provisions of other forest and wildlife laws, legal redressal forums such as the National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA), Central Empowered Committee as well as practical experiences on use of such forums and authorities.
Ritwick Dutta, advocate in the Supreme Court and specialist in Public Interest Environment Law highlighted the experiences in using right to information Act for environmental issues while Neeraj Vagholikar, a member of Kalpavriksh Environmental Action Group spoke on the topic of environmental and social impacts of hydroelectric projects and understanding the environment impact assessment notification 2006 on environmental public hearings.
A substantive focus of Mr. Vagholikar’s work involves advocacy and research on the environmental decision making process for development projects and activities. He has provided support to NGOs, activists and communities to understand and engage with the environmental decision making process. Over the past six years he has closely followed environmental and social issues with respect to large dams in
Ritwick Dutta who has also been assisting environmental NGO, activists and other concerned groups to take up issues before the Supreme Court, the High Court, the Central Empowered Committee (CEC), the environmental appellate authority (NEAA) and other forums is also the convener of LIFE.
The Opposition in
“We are in no position to say as to what should be done considering the deteriorating health condition of the satyagrahis. Our action will be confined to see that the right as provided by the democracy is not trampled upon.
“Though we appreciate the cause for which your organisation has come forward we do not wish to become a part of the action of NGOs like yours for political gains,” reads the letter written to ACT president Athup Lepcha.
The five-page letter has been signed by Sikkim Congress chief Nar Bahadur Bhandari, BJP president H.R. Pradhan, CPM state secretariat member P.P. Koirala and general secretary of Sikkim Himali Rajya Parishad Tara Shrestha. It also lists the stand taken by the Opposition during the movement including courting arrests, the burning of effigies and rallies.
In Kalimpong, 10 Lepcha men today have began an indefinite relay hunger strike under the banner of Indigenous Lepcha Tribal Association (ILTA) at
Explaining the significance of Dzongu, Tamsang said everything Lepcha, from their traditional brew to the marriage ritual, originate there.
“In fact, for us there is no heaven and hell. When we die, our soul returns to Dzongu,” he said.
(Young supporters of ACT continuing their indefinite relay hunger strike at BL House.)