SMRF brings Tawang dam issue to global attention

[ M Doley ]
ITANAGAR, Sep 6: The Save Mon Region Federation (SMRF) on Wednesday brought the eminent danger posed by the upcoming dams in Tawang to global attention.
SMRF, which has been spearheading the fight against construction of dams in Tawang, highlighted the impending danger posed by the upcoming dams in Tawang during the first conference of North East Indigenous Peoples’ Forum in Guwahati on Tuesday.
The Forum criticized the policy makers for their alleged callous attitude and signing as many as 31 MoUs with NHPC for construction of dams in Tawang alone in spite of the people’s stiff opposition.
Highlighting the cultural heritage, the holy sites, rich flora and fauna that Tawang boasts of, the Forum said that all these will be lost once the dams come into existence.
The Forum also expressed serious concern over possible change in demography due to influx of laborers from outside the state. This may lead to increase in law and order problem.
The Forum alleged that the voices of the local indigenous people are being suppressed by the authority using forces and arbitrary policy decisions. The Forum said this while citing the example of deaths of two people due to police firing on ‘peaceful’ protestors.
It also accused the government of failing to comply with the United Nation’s mandate of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) while building mega dams.
Stating that 96 percent of the people of Tawang voted against the construction of dams, it appealed to all concerned to ponder upon the issue and support Tawang in its movement against construction of dams that may pose serious threat to the very existence of the people.