DMP-affected families remind authorities of compensation issue

[ Karyir Riba ]

ROING, Oct 9: Clans and landowners affected by the NHPC’s Dibang Multipurpose Project (DMP) in Lower Dibang Valley (LDV) district have once again knocked on the doors of the authorities concerned, reminding them of the long pending land compensation issue related to the project.

On 6 October, an organization called Save Arunachal Save Indigenous (SASI) had convened a press conference at the press club in Itanagar, where the SASI members demanded timely payment of compensation, and also sought clarification on the status and definition of forest lands in Arunachal, in order to do away with the ambiguity created by the NHPC over the ownership of the land and the forests by the indigenous people.

The project-affected families (PAF) praised the SASI “for taking up the issue in the larger interest of the people of AP.”

“Amidst the rude shock given to us by the NHPC’s repeated filing of writ petition, and being subjected to a non-stop circus like inept handling of the compensation issue by the NHPC and the secretary (LM), we are thankful to SASI for giving a voice to our concern which was landing only on deaf ears so far,” said the PAFs.

“The question in our mind is, why is the state government showing apathy and utter negligence towards the DMP, which was once publicized as a harbinger of prosperity for the state, with crores of rupees in annual revenues,” they said.

So far the state government has only succeeded in alienating the stakeholders, which may brew trouble for the project in the near future, they said.

 In a letter to the chief minister, the PAFs said that, although the government and the NHPC have agreed that the land acquisition is legally and technically sound, “they have only dragged the PAFs” with no valid reason. “So, we have decided to officially invite the SASI to LDV to lead us in a democratic movement if the land compensation for LDV is not paid immediately,” the families wrote, and urged the CM to take urgent action in the LDV compensation issue.