GUWAHATI, Aug 24 - The Save Mon Region Federation of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh has made an appeal to the members of the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) for River Valley and Hydroelectric Power Projects to reject the 780-MW Nyamjang Chhu project in its current form and also to hold public consultations with the locals prior to accepting the recommendations of the Tawang River Basin Study.
This particular study was undertaken by the North Eastern Hill University (NEHU) to assess the cumulative impacts of the multiple hydel projects proposed on the Tawang river basin. The Federation reminded the EAC members that the Rajya Sabha had on May 9, 2012 discussed the issue of opposition of the locals and monks to the Tawang hydel projects and had unanimously agreed that hydropower development should take place in the Tawang Valley only after holding consultations with the locals. The EAC is meeting tomorrow to discuss the issue.
The Federation said in its letter to the EAC members today that the barrage of the Nyamjang Chhu project is proposed to be located right in the middle of a wintering site of the Black-necked crane, which is both ecologically and culturally important.
It said in its appeal to the EAC members it is surprised that the Government of Arunachal Pradesh has not included two other small hydropower projects which are part of the 780 MW Nyamjang Chhu hydroelectric project--- namely the 7.5 MW Khangteng and 3.0 MW Shyaro Nala in the Tawang River Basin Study. These are being developed by NJC Hydropower Ltd to provide construction power for the 780 MW Nyamjang Chhu project and part of the same MoA signed for the larger project. The environmental and social impacts of these small projects is part and parcel of cumulative impacts due to the 780 MW Nyamjang Chhu project as well as the cumulative impacts at the Tawang river basin level, it said.