3 Dzongu GPUs demand fresh Gram Sabha on Forest Rights Act for Teesta Stage-IV

Mangan, 08 Jan:

The Panchayats of three Gram Panchayat Units of Dzongu Lum-Gor-Sangtok, Lingdong-Barfok and Hee-Gyathang have placed a memorandum to the District Collector [North] for again conducting the Gram Sabha on Forest Rights Act (FRA) for 520 MW Teesta Stage lV hydro electric project of Dzongu, North Sikkim.

A memorandum on halting the land acquisition process for the said project was also placed stating that the process be stopped immediately as three out of four GPUS on the right bank have rejected the project.

The memorandum also alleges that documents were forged during the second Gram Sabha held for Lum-Gor-Sangtok GPU.

The document, which has been the reference point for the environmental and social assessment (SIA) and planning of multiple hydro power projects, has been the carrying capacity study of Teesta basin completed in 2008.

That study has already recommended that the 520MW Teesta IV should have no “pondage” of any duration. Therefore it has said it should not have a reservoir. Teesta Stage-IV HEP, however, has a bigger reservoir submerging over 4.3km of Teesta and 600 metres of Rongyong Chu. Therefore, the land sought to be acquired for the reservoir violates the recommendation of the carrying capacity study, it is being argued.

The memorandum also demands that this stretch of the river between two mega projects, 1200 MW Teesta III and 510 MW Teesta V, should flow free.