DMPAC serves ultimatum to NHPC over compensation issue

ROING, Aug 18: The Dibang Multipurpose Project Affected Committee (DMPAC) has served an ultimatum of 15 days to the NHPC Ltd to “solve the Dibang Multipurpose Project (DMP) compensation issue in Dibang Valley district,” failing which it said it would resort to “other democratic movements.”

The project affected families (PAF) have strongly criticized the NHPC’s second written petition (filed first on 01.05.2019 and again on 01.07.2020) which claims that the land under the DMP is part of an unclassed state forest (USF) area that does not belong to any individual as it is not a private land, and that the entire land has been illegally acquired by the government of Arunachal.

The angered PAFs said that earlier they had viewed the “construction mafia’s” petition as a challenge to the land owners’ right to fair compensation. However, now the repetition of the writ petition is a mark of serious threat to our rights on our land and a threat to our tribal identity, not only for the people of Dibang Valley but for Arunachal as a whole, they said.

DMPAC acting president Nogoro Melo said that if the NHPC continues to drag the poor affected beneficiaries to the court, they would be forced to launch a movement of ‘no compensation, no dam’.

“They will have to withdraw their case from the court and pay our due compensation. Instead of doing that, they are only causing atrocity and harassing the affected tribal people, which is not at all acceptable,” said Melo.

The DMPAC also said that it has lost all faith in the state government in this matter.

“We see no interest from the side of our state government, and we consider this attitude of our government as the reason why this compensation issue remains unresolved for years despite our repeated pleas for early settlement of the issue,” it said.

The DMPAC said that it had on numerous occasions tried to approach the chief minister, who is also the land minister, regarding the issue. However, the DMPAC members were never allowed to meet the chief minister to place their grievances, it said.

“The matter was instead diverted to the DCM, who is the power minister, while the problem could only be solved by the land minister. This has left us sentimentally hurt, and we believe that the delay has been caused due to this lackadaisical attitude of the state government,” it said.