SMRF writes to govt, says no to Tawang-II HEP

ITANAGAR, Jul 23: The Save Mon Region Forum (SMRF) has written to the government of Arunachal Pradesh, seeking rollback of the NHPC’s 800 mw Tawang-II hydroelectric project (HEP), stating that the project would destroy the region’s cultural and natural heritage.
It reminded the government that on 14 February, 2017, a meeting which was attended by MLAs Jambey Tashi and Tsering Tashi, the Tawang deputy commissioner, the land-affected people, and representatives of the SMRF had resolved that the proposed HEP would be rolled back.
Later, the decision of the meeting, which had been held under the chairmanship of Thegtse Rinpoche, was submitted to the chief minister’s office.
The SMRF said though the decision of the meeting was made known to the government on many occasions, the state government is yet to act on it.
The organization, which is spearheading the movement against big hydropower projects in the Mon region, said the people of the affected villages – Khet, Kudung, Kungba, Sazo, Poyto, Dugumba and Sakiyur – have again raised objection against the hydropower project through a resolution adopted on 12 July, 2018.
“The villagers say their stand is to protect wildlife, forests and biodiversity, and to ensure that the adjoining catchment areas, water sources and other ecologically sensitive areas are adequately protected,” it said.
The SMRF said “any decision taken by our village assembly to stop activities that will adversely affect the forests, biodiversity and wildlife is complied with.”
It also alleged that some of the signatures of the villagers were taken fraudulently in favour of Tawang-II project in violation of the legal provisions under the Forest Rights Act.
It further said that the May 2016 firing incident was “a message of public resentment regarding the development of power by NHPC.”
The victim’s family has not obtained justice even after the passing of more than two years as there is no outcome of the SIT and the one-man inquiry committee, the SMRF said, and requested the government to hand over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation for through and impartial investigation of the matter.