Orgs write to Centre, opposing 11,000 MW project on Siang

ITANAGAR, 8 Jul: Organisations have written to the union power minister, opposing the proposed 11,000 MW Upper Siang multipurpose storage project in Arunachal Pradesh.

The Siang Indigenous Farmers Forum, the Dibang Resistance, and the North East Human Rights in a representation to the minister said that, instead of mega projects, the Indian government should explore alternative energy solutions that align with the state’s unique ecological context.

The organisations reminded the government that the Teesta dam breakage in Sikkim on 4 October, 2023 serves as a stark reminder of the potential risks associated with large-scale hydroelectric projects.

They also reminded the government of the negligence of the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation.

While calling for a dialogue, the organisations said that they are “deeply concerned about the 11,000 MW Upper Siang

multipurpose storage project as being considered of national importance that could imply that none of the environmental concerns matters to the government of India.”

Reminding the union government about the vulnerability because of climate change and glacial lakes, the organisations stated that the Dibang valley, home to the 2,880 MW Dibang multipurpose dam and the 3,097 MW Etalin hydroelectric project, faces increased risks due to climate-induced changes.

The organisations further said that, “rather than exploiting the rivers further, sustainable alternatives such as solar and wind energy should be explored,” adding that “the government should support small, medium social enterprises for rights-based energy partnership with indigenous people.”

¬†They also called for “revisiting the Arunachal Pradesh State Hydropower Policy 2008 and amending it to suit the interests of the people of the state, rather than transnational corporations and exploitative profit only-oriented companies.”