The white paper tabled by the State Government on ‘development of hydropower resources of Sikkim’ has opined that the visible protest observed in Dzongu against the hydel power projects may not go well with the primary parameters of national security.
“A section of Lepchas of Dzongu in North district (under ACT) have raised vital issues related to the likely adverse impacts of hydro power projects on the conservation of their land, livelihood and environment. Their concerns need to be need to be examined from a very local perspective”, the white paper states.
The New Delhi based research agency, Entecsol International which had prepared the white paper for Sikkim government further highlights danger signs for the Lepchas in their last bastion, the protected reserve of Dzongu.
Dzongu area is a declared reserve area exclusively for the Lepchas with restrictions on other communities and tribes to settle in this area.
However, a survey conducted in 13 revenue blocks way back in 1981 showed out of total 1306 households (7745 population), the Lepcha households were only 737 (4331 population-56%), the white paper mentions.
“In today’s context this also meant that in the reserve area exclusively for the Lepchas also, the revenue blocks were swamped by other communities. This is a danger sign of shrinking demographic and topographic trend to this primitive tribe of Sikkim”, the white paper states.
“Since North district is surrounded by international borders, such kind of protest with strong undercurrent of ethnicity and socio-political deprivation may not go well with the primary parameters of national security. This definitely needs the attention of the government”, the white paper suggests.
source: Sikkim Express