|The under-construction project site at Tawang I. Telegraph picture
Tezpur, Jan. 11: The Save Mon Region Federation (SMRF) has opposed the 15 hydel power projects that are under construction in Tawang district in Arunachal Pradesh for generating 3,500MW of hydel power.
Seeking the Centre’s intervention, the SMRF submitted a memorandum, signed by its president, Geshe Lobsang Choedhar, to the Union ministry of environment and forest and the Prime Minister’s Office on January 9.
“It is learnt that the Arunachal Pradesh government entered into 133 secret MOUs without following the mandatory procedures under the law with various power developers, most of which are private developers,” the NGO alleged in the memorandum.
It also alleged that the MOUs for power projects in Tawang district were signed without taking the local people into confidence.
The power projects in Tawang include Tawang stages I and II by NHPC Ltd for 1,500 MW scheme, Nayamjung Chu stages I, II and III by Bhilwary Energy Ltd to generate 900 MW, Nayuk Chu Rong Chu Rho and Mago Chu by SEW Energy/ EDCL Ltd for a total of 3,500MW.
The federation had earlier staged a procession at Tawang last year opposing the power projects.
The memorandum submitted by the organisation also alleged that 3,500 Monpas inhabit Tawang but it still faces the problem of influx. “Influx will change the demographic profile and wipe out the culture and tradition of the indigenous Monpas and make them a minority as it happened with the tribals in Tripura, Assam and other places,” it said.
Geshe Lobsang Choedhar also said the government had no system in place to check the influx, though they promised to do so.
“The experts have always advised against building mega dams in ecologically sensitive places like Tawang but the Arunachal Pradesh government has ignored the experts’ warning,” Choedhar said.
Referring to the recent Uttarakhand devastation, the organisation alleged that there has been no assessment for the cumulative impact of the dams being planned for generating 40,000 MW power in the state.