Committee opposes proposed IAF firing range in Lali Ane, seeks CS’ intervention

ITANAGAR, Jun 11: The Deve-Tengri Environmental Conservation Committee (DTECC) has strongly opposed the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) proposal to establish a high-altitude firing range in Nyishi Hills (Lali Ane) and adjoining Baddane Ane, and appealed to the state government to forbid any air-to-ground armament practice there.
In a representation to the chief secretary, the DTECC on Thursday said, “As per the letter served by Tejpal Singh, Air Commodore, Air Officer Commanding, vide Letter No 11W/2009/2/Wks, dated 20 May, regarding the land acquisition for air-to-ground armament practice at high-altitude range (Nyishi) or Nyishi Hills, locally known as Lali Ane, and its adjoining areas of Baddane Ane Myodi, it needs to be mentioned here that some portions of the land belong to people of Deve Gollo and Tengri Solung villages which fall under Pakke-Kessang district.
“The given coordinates of the planned target area cover a huge chunk of area, covering 2800 hectares and 28 sq kms. The proposed live bombing area is the storehouse of rich flora and fauna where mountain garlic (myodi diteh), Coptis teeta (rangka), Aconitum ferox (omio), tadey demi and many more plants are found upon which people of said two villages and other adjoining villages depend for their livelihood,” it said.
The committee said that Lali Ane and its adjoining areas of Baddane Anne are the main catchment area of the Mumme, Mulling, Khaduwa, Tafio, Langbia, Khadubung, Delangso, Putey and Puching rivers, which are main sources of the Papu river.
“If any bombardment happens to be executed in this hill range, then the water of above streams/rivers will be contaminated and people of nearby villages will be severely affected, besides huge damage to many varieties of flora fauna,” it said.
“The members of DTECC have been preserving the natural flora and fauna in the said area for many years by prohibiting hunting, fishing and encouraging reforestation. If live bombing is carried out in the area, then all our conservation and preservation activities would go in vain,” the DTECC added.
It appealed to the chief secretary to issue an order to the Pakke-Kessang deputy commissioner, “directing him not to implement the letter of permission/issuance of NOC to the IAF, vide letter No LM 308/2016, dated 1 June, 2020, served by the department of land, GoAP, to the deputy commissioners of Papum Pare, East Kameng and Pakke-Kessang at the earliest.”
It also urged the CS to pass an order to the Pakke-Kessang DC, directing him against implementing the NOC issued to the IAF or any other private and government agencies in the area in question without conducting public hearing in future.