Organisations call for scrapping Dibang project

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Itanagar, Aug 8: Several organisations of Arunachal Pradesh have demanded the state government to scrap the 3,000 MW Dibang multi-purpose hydro power project, alleging that it could give rise to a catastrophe.

In a letter to the Deputy Commissioner (DC), the organisations appealed for immediate cancellation of the public hearing to be held at Anini, the district headquarters, on Wednesday, Aug 20.

''We will not allow the government to compromise with the ecological and social security of the upstream communities in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam by going ahead with the project,'' they said.

The organizations included the All Idu Mishmi Students' Union (AIMSU), Down Stream Anti Dam Committee for Dibang Multipurpose Project (DSADCDMP), All Assam Tai Ashom Students' Union (AATASU), Takam Mising Porin Kebang (TMPK), Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and Dam Affected Citizens Committee of Dibang Multipurpose Project (DACCDMP).

''The state government received huge financial advance from National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) despite the public consultation process not being completed and mandatory clearances not received for the project,'' they said.

They also alleged that Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had laid the foundation stone for the project before the public consultation was completed and the project yet to be evaluated for its viability through mandatory environment and forest clearances procedures.

''The foundation stone was laid just two days after people had strongly opposed the project in the public hearing held in Roing in January 29 because of its social and environmental impact,'' they added.

The Brahmaputra river basin is an ecologically and geologically fragile, seismically active and culturally sensitive region. Keeping in mind the unique features of the region, large dams would have very high social and environmental risk, they argued.

The floods in Lakhimpur district of Assam in June were aggravated by sudden release of water from the 405 MW Ranganadi Stage 1 Hydel project in Arunachal Pradesh, causing great damage to life and property in both the states.

The organisations claimed that even in the Dibang project, the company had studied the impacts only till seven km downstream of the project in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report.

UNI

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