People oppose proposed high altitude IAF firing range at Lali Ane

Staff Reporter
ITANAGAR, Jun 3: The people of Pipu and Gyawepurang circles of East Kameng district have opposed the proposed high altitude firing range at Lali Ane, ‘as sought by the Indian Air Force (IAF) for undertaking live bombing for 45 days from 8 June next, as part of its practice session.’
The denizens of the circles under the aegis of the Pipu Gyawepurang Social Organisation (PGSO) sought the intervention of the chief secretary (CS) to restrict the IAF from practicing firing and bombing and not to issue the NOC for establishment of the firing range.
The PGSO, in a representation to the chief secretary on Wednesday, while opposing ‘tooth and nail’ to the proposed establishment of the firing range, pointed out that Lali Modi, the main migration route of most Nyishi clans, is a historically very important place as “it is associated with the civilization of the community.”
“The mountain range has been an inseparable part of our socio-economic life and considered as a sacred mountain to which we are culturally and emotionally attached,” the representation said, adding that: “The mountain range unifies and binds the Nyishi people inhabiting the districts of East Kameng, Kurung Kumey, Kra Daadi, Papum Pare and Lower Subansiri.”
The PGSO added that the place is the store house of rich flora and fauna. It said that any damage to the mountain range would jeopardize the lives of villagers who are directly or indirectly dependent on it.
“It is also the main source of major rivers like Pachi, Pacha, Pania, Panior, Paling, Pare, Ladu, Papu, Pakke and Laching, whose waters are likely to be contaminated in case of bombardment and the downstream villages will be severely affected besides causing damage to aquatic lives,” the representation pointed out.
The representation further said that “Lali Modi is one of the unique mountain systems in the middle zone of the state with altitude ranging from subtropical to alpine, housing numerous rare fauna including the red panda, goral and serow.”
It also said that the area is a densely populated so possibilities of collateral damages and loss of life are high due to supersonic speed of fighter planes.
The PGSO, in its representation, further alleged that the public of the area, who are going to be affected, was never taken into confidence nor any public hearing was conducted by the district administration, “which is the basic pre-requisite for any land acquisition as per the Arunachal Pradesh Land Acquisition Act.”
“We stand by the IAF’s concern for national security and the need for honing the skills of the fighter pilots but not at the cost of losing our streams, rivers, flora and fauna upon which our entire river valley civilization is dependent and evolved down the ages,” the PGSO said.
It is pertinent to mention here that with establishment of the firing range, the villages including, Flago, Doka, Ladu Sulung, Pania Sulung, Pipu headquarter, Chege, Bokar, Lochung, Tabri, Fachang, Kapu Dada, Lozi, Dafri, Wotte Cheda, Jotte Cheda, Lasak Cheda, Dabowa Cheda, Tareh Sulung, Derung Sulung, Hari Nablam, Rogowa, Rigom, Likwa Gyadi, Dipu Lamgu, Dokre, Miri, Papiwa Sulung, Isab Langta, Myomey, Tagang Warrang and Richi Lamgu would be severely affected.