|Chief minister Nabam Tuki greets minister of state for environment and forests Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi on Monday. Picture by UB Photos
Itanagar, June 30: Chinese tactics of showing Arunachal Pradesh as part of its territory in its recently released official maps appears to have had little impact on the ground as the Union ministry of environment and forests has decided to exempt environmental clearance for road projects within 100km of the state’s international border.
Meeting the minister of state for environment and forests Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi today, Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Nabam Tuki said the state will “benefit from this new norm in view of its long international border”.
Arunachal Pradesh shares a 1,680km international boundary with Bhutan, China and Myanmar.
Earlier, the NDA government had announced plans to spend Rs 5,000 crore to encourage villagers to come and settle in areas along the border with China.
The state has a capacity to generate over 50,000MW of power.
The state government has signed over 150 memoranda of agreements with various power developers. Most of these projects are currently in limbo because of opposition in parts of the state and because forest clearances have been denied to many of the projects. Developers have refused to work on projects citing lack of infrastructure.
Tuki had said in the final session of the last Assembly that the ambitious 1,811km Trans-Arunachal Highway, which will connect Tawang in the west to Kanubari in the east, has to be completed soon if the hydropower projects are to take off. When Tuki met Javadekar today, he stressed the “broader objective of harnessing the hydropower sector in the state” and called for “easing of existing norms and procedures of the ministry”.
In return, Javadekar said the ministry was “in the process of overhauling clearance mechanism to speed up implementation of hydropower projects” in the state.
He also told Tuki that he was expediting the forest clearance for the 3,000MW Dibang multi-purpose project.