Dzongupanchayats reiterate opposition to Teesta-IV hydel power project

Dzongupanchayats reiterate opposition to Teesta-IV hydel power project
Fri, Nov 8, 2019

SE Report
Panchayats of four GPUs located in Dzongu along the right bank of Teestariver have reiterated their strong opposition to the proposed NHPC Teesta Stage-IV hydel power project. The four GPUs are Heegyathang- Sangdong, Lum-Gor-Sangtok, Lingdong-Barfokand Passingdang-Safo.
These four GPUs in Dzongu stand to be effected by the 520 Mw hydel power project and has been opposing the mega power project since it was proposed. The same was reiterated during the meeting convened by the Dzongu SDM.
According to a press release, the meeting was for nominating panchayat members of the four affected GPUs for empanelment in the expert group for examination of Social Impact Assessment (SIA) study report for land acquisition for the project.
At the outset, the Dzongu SDM briefed the panchayat members and informed about the need to nominate panchayat members in the expert team.
In response, the panchayat members submitted a memorandum to the SDM recording that they have vehemently opposed the said process of land acquisition from the initial phase itself and hence, denied to nominate any panchayat member to the expert group.
They have also pointed out to a writ petition in the High Court of Sikkim on SIA for the Teesta Stage-IV by the concerned landowners from the right bank. Since they are not a part of the SIA from the initial phase and hence, ruled out any nomination in the expert group for examination of the SIA study report, it was submitted.
The panchayats further pointed out to a letter addressed to the north district collector dated January 8, 2018 wherein they have denied of any participation in the conduct of the SIA study. The letter asserts that the process of land acquisition is fruitless as the concerned Gram Sabha have clearly rejected the same as per the provision of Scheduled Tribes (and Other Forest Dwellers) Recognition of Forest Rights  Act 2006 in the acquisition of forest land. The letter also points out that the negative impacts of the project as per the environmental concerns far outweighs the positive impacts of the project, it was submitted.

Area: 7096 Sq Km
Altitude: 5,840 ft
Population: 6.10 Lakhs
Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 ft. to over 28,509 ft above sea level
Summer: Max- 21°C ; Min – 13°C
Winter: Max -13°C ; Min – 0.48°C
Rainfall: 325 cm per annum
Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi