CM for Dzongu sanctity

Gangtok, July 16: Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling today said the sanctity of Dzongu has to be protected at any cost.

He said this at a review meeting at the conference hall of the Tashiling secretariat. The meeting was called to discuss the ongoing hunger-strike by members of Affected Citizens of Teesta (ACT).

The ACT members are demanding that all mega-hydel power projects, set to come up in the Lepcha reserve of Dzongu in North Sikkim, be scrapped and all similar projects across the state be reviewed.

This is the first meeting on the issue in the presence of the chief minister. Chamling was abroad when the fast began 26 days back.

According to a release issued by the state information and public relations department, the chief minister also said a high-level state committee has already been formed to look into the issues related to the hydroelectricity projects. The committee, headed by chief secretary N.D. Chingapa, has been instructed to meet the ACT representatives and to look into the matter at the earliest.

No other details of the meeting were forthcoming. The meet was attended by the minister for commerce and industries R.B. Subba, health minister Hishey Lachungpa, Dzongu legislator Sonam Gyatso Lepcha, political secretary to the chief minister K.T. Gyaltsen and senior state government officials.

Two previous meetings between the state government and ACT have ended in a stalemate since no decision could be taken in the absence of the chief minister. At the meet today, the chief secretary apprised the chief minister on the situation.

As the hunger-strike enter Day 27, a woman ACT member, Chungkipu Lepcha, had to be shifted to Sir Thutob Namgyal Memorial Hospital after her health deteriorated during the day.

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