Thursday, July 05, 2007

"Panan project no threat to ecology, Lepcha culture"

Gangtok: Sikkim Government yesterday sought to allay apprehensions that the 280 mw Panan Hydroelectricity Project in the protected Lepcha reserve of Dzongu in north Sikkim posed a threat to the Lepcha culture and the ecology of the area.
"All measures have been taken to ensure that the damage to the ecology is mitigated and as a special safeguard for the preservation of the Lepcha culture the union ministry of environment and forest has barred the developers of the project from setting up any labour colony within the Dzongu region," an official release said here.
The Panan Hydel Power Project is one of the seven projects proposed for Dzongu against which the Affected Citizens of Teesta (ACT) have been on a hunger strike for the last 15 days.
They have been demanding scrapping of all these projects because of the threat posed by them to the fragile ecology of the region and the culture of the Lepchas, the most primitive tribe of the state.
As to apprehensions that the Panan project encroaches upon the Khangchendzonga National Park, the release said that none of the project components fell in that area.