ACT to approach UN against power projects in Lepcha reserve

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Gangtok, Dec 19 (UNI) Affected Citizens of Teesta (ACT) is preparing to take its protest against the proposed mega hydel power projects in the Lepcha reserve of Dzongu, North Sikkim, to United Nations.

ACT general secretary Dawa Lepcha said that ACT is preparing its presentation to UN. '' We need some documents and then we will be submitting our memorandum to UN shortly,'' he told UNI today.

The 33-year old ACT general secretary had sat on a hunger strike for 63 days this year starting from June 20 protesting against 'the intrusions' in Dzongu, which Lepchas consider as a holy place from where the indigenous tribe originated.

The relay hunger strike by ACT at BL house premises reached its 182nd day today and Mr Lepcha said that the body remains firm on its stand that the proposed projects in Dzongu must be scrapped.

Talks between the state government and ACT collapsed in September.

The state government on September 4 constituted a review committee to look into all aspects of the projects and had halted project related works for five projects in North Sikkim, including the 280 MW Panam project, being developed by a Hyderabad company.

The committee headed by the Chief Secretary was to submit its report within 100 days.

ACT, in turn, had termed the review committee as 'eyewash' and rejected the offer to join the committee.

A combination of ACT and other Lepcha associations from the neighbouring Darjeeling region had recently staged a two day dharna at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi.

AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi has us to send a high level fact finding Congress team to Dzongu,'' said Mr Lepcha.

The Congress team is expected early next year, he said.

UNI

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