Wednesday, June 27, 2007


GANGTOK, June 27: The State Government has said that it is “concerned” about the on-going hunger strike called by Affected Citizens of Teesta (ACT) protesting against mega hydel power projects in Dzongu in North Sikkim.
According to a press release from the IPR Department on behalf of the Home Department, the State government has sought to clarify “on the onset that all necessary action in regards to the hydro electric projects was taken as per the procedure established by law and only after mandatory clearances from the Ministry of Environment & Forest, Government of India.” “There is no question of any administrative intimidation and all that has been done is with the full consent of the people,” it says.
“The State Government would also like to place on record that the MLAs and Panchayat are public representatives elected through free and fair elections held by the Election Commission of India in the case of MLAs and the State Election Commission in respect of Panchayat members. The Hydro Electric Projects are in public interest and shall provide opportunities of gainful employment to the un-employed youth of the State.”
The press release further says that the State Government “remains committed to address any concerns or misgivings in respect of the Hydro Electric Projects.”
“Accordingly, a meeting was held by the State Government with the members of the ACT here on June 25 chaired by DD Bhutia, Minister. The members of ACT submitted a memorandum to the Government and discussed about their grievances. It was emphasized that the State Government has the highest concern for the rights and interests of all sections of the people of Sikkim and the Government, under the leadership of Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, will under no circumstances do any act that would adversely affect the interests of the people and the State,” the press further mentions.
Meanwhile, the State Government has requested the ACT to call off their strike in the interest of maintaining peace and tranquility in the State, the press release adds.