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Consequences of infrastructural development: a study on the environmental impact of a hydropower project on the Teesta River in North Sikkim, India

Author Affiliations

  • 1Doctoral Student Office (DSO), Tata Institute of Social Sciences, V.N. Purav Marg, Deonar, Mumbai 400088, Maharashtra, India

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 7, Issue (7), Pages 49-55, July,22 (2018)

Abstract

Dams have long been heralded by many as a harbinger of development. However, since the late 1980s, owing to its socio-cultural and environmental cost, the construction of dams has drawn criticism from diverse sections of people from different parts of the world. Construction of large dams or diversions of rivers destroys not only aquatic habitat but also contribute significantly to the destruction and extinction of fishes and other aquatic species, and the overall loss of the ecosystem services on which millions of humans seek their livelihood. Sikkim, a tiny Himalayan state, where several such dams are being proposed and constructed is an ecologically sensitive region. These projects encompass widespread tunnelling in a landscape which is geologically very fragile, the environmental and social impacts of which are often neglected. The construction of such projects causes serious problems like drying up of natural water sources, landslides, pollution, land degradation and cracks in houses and other structures are very common. The current study seeks to study the environmental impact of the Teesta Stage III hydropower project of Sikkim, keeping some of these issues in mind.

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