A mini series that brings to light the stories of India’s dams
📍Teesta Dams-West Bengal, Sikkim
तीस्ता बांध – बंगाल, सिक्किम
The Teesta river originates in the Eastern Himalayas and flows through the states of Sikkim, West Bengal and through Bangladesh before it enters the Bay of Bengal. It has a beautiful blue-green tinge owing to the presence of dolomite and limestone in this river. There are 6 hydroelectric projects being developed on the Teesta River, spread over the states of West Bengal and Sikkim.
तीस्ता नदी 414 किमी लंबी है।
There are five parts to the Teesta Hydro power project. The Teesta-VI hydroelectric power project is expected to be commissioned in 2024.This project is to be situated in Sirwani village of Sikkim and is undertaken by Lanco Teesta Hydro Power (LTHPL),which is a subsidiary of the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC).With a capacity of 500MW,the Teesta-VI hydroelectric power project is expected to utilise the potential of this river basin to produce a lot of electricity for Sikkim and it neighbouring states.
What are the consequences that come along?
There are numerous dams on this mighty river. They have already tampered with the natural flow of this river, causing erratic and extreme bursts of rainfall in those areas. The soil has also become less fertile over a period of time. Not only this, Teesta has lost over 15 species of fish that used to inhabit this river.
Constructing more dams will increase the pressure on the Darjeeling-Sikkim sensitive seismic zone triggering earthquakes.Teesta carries high sediment load and rise in water-table will also make the towns and cities on the lower reaches more vulnerable and prone to disasters.
A survey published by the International Mountain Development Society reveals that most participants belonging to the Teesta river basin had a negative perception of such projects. They stated that it lead to loss of jobs and quality of life, decreased their feeling of security as they would be more prone to floods and landslides.