Namchi: Rabong Cho-Dzo Fest 2018, which is taking place between October 28 and 30 in Ravangla in South Sikkim, has come under fire from local residents over the excessive use of water that goes into filling the artificial lake around which the three-day spectacle takes place.
At a time when the area is already affected by an acute shortage of water supply, the the upcoming festival is only going to make matters worse, say local residents.
As per sources, the preparation for the festival has already started. The main objective of the festival is to promote tourism in Ravangla and to put it on the national and international map. The festival also aims to promote local talents by providing them a bigger platform.
Rabong Cho-Dzo is not a natural lake but has been modified to give it a structured shape.
Talking to EastMojo, a local resident said: “For the past ten days, there has been an acute shortage of water supply in the area. This has affected the businesses of hoteliers and restaurant owners. This is the second tourist season of the year in Sikkim but no one has been able to manage their businesses properly due to shortage of water supply.”
Requesting anonymity, a housewife said, "Every year, during the time of the festival, we have to face this problem. Our taps run dry for days. Water is our basic necessity and right. Adequate supply should be given priority over the festival.”
If water is an issue, say residents, the Rabong Cho-Dzo Fest can always be celebrated even without filling the lake. “The essence of the festival can be kept intact through other creative activities rather than making Cho-Dzo lake the centre of attraction,” said another local resident.