The indefinite hunger strike by satyagrahis and members of ACT has crossed 88 days. While Ongchuk Lepcha has been withdrawn by ACT after going hungry for 81 days, Dawa and Tenzing continue their hunger strike. While the relay hunger strike since June last year has crossed the 350 day mark, the second indefinite hunger strike continues.
Ongchuk Lepcha was withdrawn from the indefinite hunger strike because of him developing further complication due to jaundice. He also has a throat infection due to the ryles tube, which had started resulting in severe pain.(Onchuk Lepcha withdrawing from the indefinte hunger strike after 81 days )
Tenzing Lepcha has joined Dawa and Tenzing Lepcha in the indefinite strike in place of Ongchuk Lepcha.
(Tenzing Lepcha replacing Ongchuk Lepcha )
Meanwhile there has been no response from the government. In spite of this ACT says that it will continue with the protest until there is a concrete step towards scrapping the projects Dzongu.
The independent team who visited Sikkim, is getting the final report on the mega hydro projects scenario in Sikkim ready, which they will than submit to all concerned Ministries and authorities with a follow up meeting with them. ACT has also been sending follow up memorandums to all Ministries, Commissions regarding the hydel issue in Sikkim.
Meanwhile, residents of Dikchu are spending sleepless nights as the temperamental and unpredictable Teesta rises slicing away portions of the protection wall of the dam reservoir of the Teesta Stage V.
Around 50 ft towards the left bank of the reservoir wall of the Teesta Stage V power project below Dikchu New Market at the boundary of Phodong Gompa has collapsed.
This is the second time that the protection wall lining the reservoir has given away in less than a week. A major portion of the wall was washed away on June 1 following incessant rains and a sudden rise in the level of the Teesta waters.
The residents of Dikchu have complained that NHPC has not fulfilled any of the promises made to the people in constructing strong protective walls. They allege that money sanctioned for the said walls have not been utilized.
The Area MLA and concerned officials have also been meeting the residents and criticizing NHPC for their negligence but it is rather ironic that these are the same people who are proponents of dams and policy of dams in Sikkim and have been hoodwinking people into submission to these destructive projects in the name of development.
This incident is just the tip of the ice berg on the possibilities of such disasters to come. With more and more such projects being forced unto the people in the name of development, such possible disasters will and should be an annual feature in our local dailies in the years to come!