The Affected Citizens of Teesta (ACT) today announced that they will continue with the indefinite relay hunger strike unless their demand for scraping all hydro-electric power projects in Dzongu is fulfilled.
This was in response to the Review Committee formed recently by the State Government, which the ACT termed as “arbitrary” action.
The protestors have expressed their “disappointment” towards the State Government for “not taking any concrete steps to resolve the issue” even after the indefinite hunger strike was withdrawn by Dawa Tshering Lepcha and Tenzing Gyatso Lepcha.
“All the members in the Review Committee, including the State Chief Secretary as the chairman of the Committee is unacceptable,” said Dawa Tshering Lepcha, General Secretary, ACT, addressing a press conference here today.
Mr. Lepcha, who had broken his 63-day indefinite hunger strike on the personal request of the Chief Minister, said that ACT had not been consulted in the formation of the Review Committee or in the selection of Athup Lepcha (ACT president) as a member in the Committee.
“We were not consulted nor given any clue about who was going to be in the Review Committee. The Government has randomly nominated Mr. Athup Lepcha. We will not accept this,” he said.
ACT also rejected the Review Committee terming it as just an “eyewash.” The move has been substantiated by the point that that the review to be made for Panan, Rangyong, Lingzya and Ringpi power projects “does not hold water” as all these areas fall under the Khangchendzonga National Park.
It may be mentioned here that the Review Committee has also not mentioned reviewing the Teesta Stage II and IV.
“With these arbitarial works, it is concluded that the Government does not have any sincere intention of solving the issue,” ACT has said.
Earlier, ACT had demanded for independent and prominent environmentalists as members in the Review Committee and not necessarily people affiliated with the Government.
Apart from other conditions, ACT had also demanded for suspension of all Land Acquisition process till the review was done, which according to ACT was sidelined by the Government.
Sherab Lepcha of ACT said that the implementation of mega hydro projects in Dzongu is straightaway “a violation and the end of Royal Proclamation 3069, 1956, which provides protection to Dzongu and