Save the Teesta


Teesta River, is a 315 km (196 mi) long river that rises in the eastern Himalayas, flows through the Indian states of Sikkim and West Bengal through Bangladesh and enters the Bay of Bengal. Teesta River is a crucial part of the state, culturally extremely important to the people of Sikkim, revered as one of the deities of the land. The land itself holds caves, mountains, lakes and rivers that are objects of worship for the people of Sikkim, mainly the indigenous Lepcha people. Located in the northwest of Sikkim, since early 60’s Dzongu has been reserved for the Lepcha community and borders the Kanchendzonga Biosphere Reserve. The river is considered by the government as a literal “white-gold mine” and the vast hydropower resource has a potential estimated to about more than 6000 MW in power and thousands of crores (10 million) in capital (rupees).

Affected Citizens of Teesta, is a forum which consisted mainly of indigenous Sikkimese (Lepchas) have been advocating and fighting against the hydropower projects since early 2004, since the proposal of hydropower projects and dams near Dzongu. The hunger strike that went on in 2007, 2008 and 2009 which was historic in Sikkim led by ACT against the instalments of big Dams in the local rivers spoke in volumes that led the charge. After the long period of strike, the government decided to scrap 4 projects of the 6 most destructive ones in Dzongu. 510 MW Teesta HEP stage IV and the Panam HEP 300 MW was withheld for many years. The new government formed in Sikkim has announced the supposed approval of the Stage IV dam. To save the last free-flowing, untouched stretch of Teesta, the campaign Save Teesta has started.

To get involved in this campaign, visit:

To listen to more stories about the Teesta River and its significance, follow the video links below: