Saturday, June 30, 2007

Dzongu MLA questions the “legal position” of ACT


“Hydel projects initiated by the Government keeping in mind the total interest and future of the people of Dzongu and the State”:Sonam Gyatso Lepcha

GANGTOK, June 29: Ten days after the Affected Citizens of Teesta (ACT) started their indefinite hunger strike against hydel power projects in Dzongu, the area MLA has finally broken his silence on the issue.
Sonam Gyatso Lepcha has, for the first time, expressed his opinions on this issue, preferring it through a press statement released to the media here today.
“As the elected representative of the Dzongu Constituency and being born and brought up in Dzongu, I am fully aware of my responsibilities and will always protect the rights and interest of the people of Dzongu.”
“I would like to state that in interest of the people of Dzongu, the Government has taken every step necessary as required under the law regarding the hydro project in Dzonguin Dzongu. The acquisition proceedings were conducted comprehensively and in full consultation with the people of Dzongu. Required formalities have been fulfilled to ensure that the environment, culture and the ethnic character of Dzongu are fully protected. This project was initiated by the Government keeping in mind the total interest and future of the people of Dzongu and the State,” he says in the press statement.
Mr. Lepcha goes on to say that “the people of Dzongu have expressed their satisfaction and freely given their consent to the Government to initiate the hydel project in Dzongu.”
“As a matter of fact, in Kazor Salim Pakyal, Saffo Singhik, parts of the compensation has been received by the public to their satisfaction,” he reiterates.
“Although the Project in Dzongu has been initiated by the Government in the interest of the people and implemented in a democratic manner, it is unfortunate that a handful of people with vested interest are trying to send a wrong message to the people thereby misusing the protections provided under the Constitution of India. As a matter of fact, I fail to understand the legal position of the organization so called Affected Citizens of Teesta. Under what capacity do they represent the people of Dzongu or who has authorized them to speak of act on behalf of the people of Dzongu? I am also of the knowledge that several false allegations have been made against me, the Panchayats Members of Dzongu and the Government, which I fully deny and condemn such false allegations.”
“Such reports, actions and activities of the members of ACT go to show that the entire drama of Satyagraha is politically motivated.”
“Since the project in Dzongu has been initiated in a very democratic manner, as per rule of law and in the interest of the people the activities initiated by ACT is questionable. In view of these facts, I humbly appeal to the peace loving people Sikkim not to get influenced or misled by such activities initiated by people with vested interest.
The Government has opened the line of communication with the so called activities of ACT and held table discussions and ready to hold further discussions to allay their scepticisms. The activities of the so called ACT should realize that the projects have been initiated by the Government and not by any individual at his or her sweet will. The activities of the ACT are nothing more or less than obstruction and hindrance to development. I appeal all concerned to abide by the rule of Law and operate for development of Sikkim as a whole and Dzongu in particular,” Mr. Lepcha says, adding that the “Government is working towards a positive solution in the interest of the people and the State.”