GANGTOK, Jan 1 – Sikkim Governor has urged the State policy makers to make judicious choices keeping in view concerns of ecology and culture while taking up hydro-power projects in the State.
The Governor was delivering the inaugural address on International meet on the subject of ‘Globalisation and Cultural Practices in Mountain Areas: Dynamics, Dimensions and Implications’ organised by Sikkim University.
“Development in mountain regions is marred by geographical constraints. Keeping this in mind, it is highly imperative that instead of blanket policies we evolve more imaginative strategies to tackle the developmental challenges as well as to suit the needs of mountain people”, the Governor said in his address.
“Policies for fragile mountain environments require a holistic approach that adequately addresses the economic, social and environmental concerns. The stress should be on sustainable development in the long-term” , the Governor further said.
The meet saw the participation of internationally renowned ecologist Prof PS Ramakrishnan whose report on Rathong-Chu had forced the ruling SDF Government to scrap the controversial Rathong Chu Hydro Power project in the year 1997.
“This region (Yuksom-Tashiding) has a number of glacial lakes in the higher reaches. These are sacred lakes. The Rathong Chu, itself a sacred river. Besides, the river in the Yoksum region itself is considered to have 109 hidden lakes.
“The Platform for Joint Action Against Ting-Ting, Tashiding and Lethang Hydropower Projects has welcomed the observation made by the Governor which assumes significance where the ruling SDF Government is indiscriminately pushing hydro-power projects in Yuksom-Tashinding region at the expense of valuable Buddhist treasures and natural heritage.
The platform urged the Governor to invoke his powers under Article 371 F of the Constitution and ask the State Government to scrap Ting-Ting, Tashiding and Lethang Hydropower Projects”, said the Convenor of Sikkim Bhutia Lepcha Apex Committee (SIBLAC).