SIFF demands apology from minister

Staff Reporter
ITANAGAR, Nov 1: The Siang Indigenous Farmer’s Forum (SIFF) on Thursday demanded that Power Minister Tamiyo Taga tender an apology within seven days over his comment on the construction of mega dams on the Siang river.
Addressing reporters at Arunachal Press Club here on Thursday, SIFF general secretary Tasik Pangkam claimed that Taga had during a public meeting in Pasighat on 28 October said that the people should allow construction companies to build dams over the Siang river, and had advised student unions, the civil society and the public not to create hindrances.
Stating that undermining of the rights of the people and the farmers would not be tolerated, Pangkam said either Taga should come to Yingkiong or Boleng to tender his apology or they would launch a democratic movement “which may damage his reputation as MLA and minister.”
Pangkam also reiterated the forum’s demand to the state government for cancelling the proposed 10,000-megawatt dam on the Siang river after merging the Siang Upper Stage II HEP I (3750 mw) and Stage I (6000 mw) dams.
He informed that Chief Minister Pema Khandu, along with Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and other ministers, during a meeting with the forum and others on 2 December, 2017, in Yingkiong had resolved to pursue cancellation of the proposed 10,000-megawatt dam with the NITI Aayog.
“However, the state government did not include the proposed 10,000-megawatt dam in the cancelled list of 15 hydropower projects which was published in local dailies on 5 July,” he said, terming it unfortunate that the decision taken at the meeting had not been implemented.
Reiterating their stand that no mega dam would be allowed to be constructed on the Siang river, Pangkam said no public hearing, meeting, etc, had been conducted before signing the MoU with the hydropower developers.
He further said they have no faith that the state machinery would implement the proposals in the MoU and the MoA.