Monday, August 06, 2007

***Please circulate widely amongst your collegues, friends and relatives***
Call Sikkim CM Pawan Chamling office and Sikkim Governor Rama Rao's office urging them to stop ASAP, the ongoing Teesta V hydel dam work and initiate direct talks with fasting protesters in sikkim

what this email for:
1. this email is to request you to spare a few minutes of your time and call the Chief Minister's office of Sikkim and the Governor's office of Sikkim and to register your protest against the callous and brutal way in which the government of sikkim is conducting itself with respect to building of hydel electric dam in teesta river in sikkim.
2. urge the CM office and Governors office to take immediate steps for direct talks with the fasting Dawa, the 33rd year old filmmaker and Tenzing Lepcha a 20 year old student who are on indefinite fast for past 45 days.

why dam should not be built. what are its negative consequences:
downtoearth article and its "no safe play" subsection gives you a good picture of the situation. like numerous proposed dams in india that tout 'development', this dam is also being bulldozed across the throats of the local people who live there apart from the flawed environment impact assessment(eia). as sandrp puts it, "There's fear of the entire river disappearing underground for large stretches affecting life and livelihood. This is because such projects require diverting the river through 6-12 km long tunnels dug through the mountainside and dropping it from a height to turn turbines. And the locations of some of these projects are barely a few kilometres apart"

only in india, can we kill a river and the people who depend on the river so blatantly, with the river and the local people licking the deadly wounds and the resulting 'development' being enjoyed by the elite who live in cities, hundreds or perhaps even thousands of kilometers away.

who should i call:
Governer's office of Sikkim.
Shri. N.D. Bhutia
Dy. Secretary (Household)
Raj Bhavan , Gangtok, Sikkim
Mobile: 91-9434011174
Phone: 91-3592-227156 (Residence) / 91-3592-202756(Office)

CM office of Sikkim
Mr. Pawan Chamling,
CM Sikkim,
Chief Minister's Secretariat,
Gangtok, Sikkim, India
Phone: 91-3592-202536, 202304, 221122(Residence) / 91-3592-202575(office) .

some talking points during your call:
some talking points to explain politely are below.
1. the government should initiate direct talks with the fasting protesters, Dawa and Tenzing and listening to their demands
2. the sikkim government should stop immediately the construction of the teesta V dam and the other numerous dams that is being planned on the crucial ecosystem of the teesta river basin.
3. the government should do a honest, open and fully participatory environmental impact assessment (eia) involving the local people, tribals and experts.
4. the sikkim government should stop destruction of sikkim rivers, forests and culture in name of fake and unsustainable development right away without any dilly dallying or evasive answering.

what links can i read to come to speed on this issue: (continous update on the fast happening in sikkim) (hindu report) (google news)

as a finish line, we should remember the legendary John Muir's anguish while damming hetch hetchy in yosemite national park, california. he said and i quote "Dam Hetch Hetchy! As well dam for water-tanks the people's cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man".

thanks for your time and let John Muir's memorable words act as a motivation for your call.


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