There is still no confirmation from press releases as reported in the daily papers or other sources about the two sides heading to the negotiating table.
Meanwhile the main opposition party, Congress, burned an effigy of Governor V Rama Rao on Saturday in front of Congress Bhawan for his alleged lack of attention towards the hunger strike of ACT. The incident triggered following a recent meeting of the Joint Action Committee with the Governor on July 25, wherein a memorandum was submitted to him to intervene and exercise his powers provided specially under Article 371F(g) of the Indian Constitution. 3 people have been arrested following this incident so far.
Mr Ashok Bhattacharya, Urban Development Minister of West Bengal and speaking on behalf the Communist Party of India (CPI (m)) also extended support to ACT at a function here in Sikkim to mark the 30 year old rule by the left front in West Bengal. Ironically, the Teesta Lower Dams fall in his area of influence!!
Besides, another opposition party in the State, has asked the Government for a white paper on the proposed hydel projects seeking to get a better and more comprehensive understanding of hydel projects. Pointing out that more than 75% of the total hydro electric power projects in Sikkim were non-fuctional(from a BJP assessment made in May 2006), many of the new projects coming up may meet the same fate!
The hydel projects named as non functional are:
1. Chatten Hydel Power Plant
2. Rabum Hydel Power Plant running at sub optimum level
3. Lagyap Hydel Power Plant running at sub optimal level
4. Jali Hydel Power Plant
5. Topakhani Hydel Power Plant
6. Nimtar Hydel Power Plant
7. Rothak Hydel Power Plant
8. Rimbi Hydel Power Plant
The offical website of the Energy & Power Department of the Government of Sikkim, http://www.sikkimpower.org/
TEESTA STAGE V DAM at DIKCHU
NDTV is presently giving coverage to the indefinite hunger strike by ACT and issues associated with it throughout the day in its hourly news updates. Banu Haralu, one of North Eastern India's senior journalist is covering it on behalf of NDTV.