Dzongu plea reaches Delhi

RAJEEV RAVIDAS
http://www.telegraphindia.com

Kalimpong, Aug. 28: The protest against hydel power projects in the Lepcha reserve of Dzongu in North Sikkim made itself heard in New Delhi today.

A joint delegation of the Rong Ong Prongzom (Lepcha Youth Organisation), Darjeeling, and Concerned Lepchas of Sikkim met Mani Shankar Aiyar, the minister in-charge of the department of north-eastern region (DoNER) in Delhi today and urged him to help save Dzongu, which is sacred to the Lepchas.

The 11-member team also submitted a memorandum to the DoNER minister. Lepchas of Darjeeling and Sikkim have been on a relay hunger strike here and in Gangtok demanding the immediate scrapping of the hydel power projects at Dzongu.

President of the Prongzom and the leader of the delegation, Dorji Lepcha, told The Telegraph over phone from Delhi that Aiyar heard them out and advised them to meet minister for environment and forests.

“He also told us that he was not aware of the protest spreading to the neighbouring Darjeeling hills as well,” said Lepcha.

The delegation will be camping in Delhi for some more days in an effort to meet UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. They are scheduled to meet tribal affairs minister P.R. Kyndiah tomorrow.
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