(ABOVE - Map of Sikkim with location of hydel projects coming up. Most projects are within or in close vicinity of the Khangchendzonga national Park and Biosphere Reserve as alleged by Affected Citizens of Teesta and environmentalists while the Government of Sikkim does not agree to the same)
The Affected Citizens of Teesta has asked for copies of the reports with regard to hydel projects particularly pertaining to Dzongu, sent by the Chief Secretary’s office and the Secretary, Power and Energy Department to the National Commission for Minorities and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes.
The Commissions had earlier asked the State Government for information/reports regarding the ‘Sanctity of Dzongu’ among Lepchas and ‘protection of the holy land among the Lepcha tribe’. The replies sought has had the concerned departments/authorities ask for extension of dates for submitting the said reports.
Consent by far has not been democratic and public hearings/_ usually are a sham with state machinery working overtime to ensure that protests are not welcome.
Weeping Teesta now nothing more than a little dry stream.......... stolen of its life, glory and beauty. These pictures are taken a little downstream Teesta Stage V (510 MW) at Dikchu. Commuters along National Highway connecting Sikkim to the rest of India are these days greeted by such sights. A series of more big and mega dams are coming up in the near future. One a little after Singtam, 2 low dams at Rambi and Kalijhora down south and some more upstream of teesta Stage V in and around Dzongu......!!!!
Future generations of Sikkim and other nature enthusiasts and nature lovers will not be able to admire the high and mighty Teesta and its beautiful tributaries in all its natural flow and the life that this most beautiful river supports in its journey meandering through the great mountains. The rape of Teesta has now officially begun.......................she weeps to her untimely death.....................
Sreelatha Menon: Reaping the rivers
EAR TO THE GROUND
The government's move to declare some rivers as national assets to exploit their potential defies logic.
The Government of India wants to declare some rivers as national assets as it feels that the states are not equipped to exploit their potential enough. Union Minister for Water Resources Saifuddin Soz said this week that the proposal, which has already been examined by a Group of Ministers headed by the Union agriculture minister, is to go before the Cabinet soon.
The rivers which are to be given this special status are the ones associated with international treaties and have national dimensions. This might include almost all Himalayan snow-fed rivers, like the
Rivers are a state subject, but this hurdle would be crossed by the Centre by declaring its control not on the entire stretch of the river but on portions of it. Soz says these would be "national projects" on rivers which would still belong to the states.
Whether states would accept it with a smile is yet to be seen. But the Centre does not seem to be worried for the moment. It says the intent is noble and for the national good. But the question is whether national good is the same as good for the people. Second, it is hardly true that the states have not been exploiting the potential of their rivers. Soz gives the examples of two rivers — Yamuna and Teesta — to justify the plan. The Yamuna, he says, has been with the states but they failed to keep it clean, or to use it for drinking water or generating hydel power.
Soz could not be more misinformed. In the last 30 years, the people of
In fact, what flows in
What magic formula does the Centre have to clean this cesspool or to generate hydel power from this? The strategies being suggested to localise sewage treatment and to avoid big treatment plants have never been heeded. Soz is not even talking of it and the matter is not in his hands anyway.
As for the Teesta, the Centre's logic of exploiting its potential would have made sense if the
Already, 30-odd hydel power projects are taking the life out of the river, even as the surrounding mountains are being dynamited.
What more potential does the Centre see? In the Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh, the Son river is being exploited for sand mining. The mountains around have already been razed for rocks. After another 20 years, the river may disappear just as the mountains around it have almost vanished.
The Centre has not set up a group of ministers to review the ongoing exploitation of rivers. Instead, it wants to join the forces that are raping the rivers of this country.