Gangtok: Affected Citizens of Teesta (ACT) and Save Dzongu held a meeting at Hee Gyathang Panchyat Ghar in North Sikkim on Friday to register protest against the implementation of 510-MW Teesta Stage IV hydroelectric project.
Gyatso Lepcha, general secretary of ACT, expressed gratitude to those who came from outside Dzongu to support the cause and reiterated that ACT has been fighting against the project for the past 12 years.
“Our battle against the project started in 2007. Since then we have faced lot of challenges and learnt from it too,” he said. He further informed that a rally will be organised soon in Gangtok and appealed all the young generation to come forward and “help in saving our ancestors soil of Dzongu.”
Kalzang Dorjee Lepcha, CLC president Dzongu cum Save Dzongu member, said, “We are gathered here to save our motherland and we are ready to die for the cause.” He recalled that during elections, a petition was submitted to chief minister PS Golay, minister Kunga Nima Lepcha and minister Sonam Lama. “They had promised us to scrap it once their government is formed but till today no action has been taken to stop NHPC stage IV. If the government fails to stop this project then I am ready to resign from the post of CLC president Dzongu constituency, as this post is not compared to the protection of my land and ancestors.”
Tenzing Lepcha, ACT member, added that in 2007 students were accused of being anti-government for supporting the cause, which was very unfortunate. “Lepchas are nature worshipers and dependent on rivers, lakes and mountains. We cannot let such projects destroy our present and future,” he added.
The meeting started by offering puja at Ring Khola by Bongthing (faith healer) Tshering Lepcha to appease the guardian deity for the safety of Dzongu and its people.