Lachen Dzumsa, a traditional self-governing institution of the Lachen village in North Sikkim, writes a letter to the Chief Secretary of Sikkim expressing their dissatisfaction with the government’s response to the glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) of South Lhonak Lake on October 4, 2023.
“With utmost respect, we, the public and Pipon of Lachen Dzumsa, would like to state that three months have passed since the GLOF of South Lhonak Lake. Lachen is still in the same condition as day one after the flash flood, and it has even worsened because Lachen is still cut off from the rest of the world in multiple places, and public aggression is increasing day by day,” reads the letter.
“People have made it very clear that if the government does not act or show concern, the public is determined to come to Gangtok with black flags. Until today, the Pipons and Dzumsa executives have tried convincing the public, but now it has become almost impossible to control,” adds the statement.
The letter highlights four main issues: the inadequacy of the road at Zeema Chu, commitments made by BRO GREF, lack of assessment of private holding lands, and the closure of businesses. It requests proper road alignment, resettlement for those affected, incentives for businesses, and urgent provision of animal feed.
Lachen Dzumsa asserts that if these issues are not addressed promptly, they cannot be held responsible if the public protests in Gangtok with black flags against the government. “If these are not fulfilled at the earliest, then we shall not be responsible if all the public comes to Gangtok with a black flag against the Government,” added the letter.