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Arunachal NGO against hydro-power projects

By Correspondent

TEZPUR, Jan 12 � The �Save Mon Region Federation� (SMRF) has opposed the 15 hydroelectric power projects that are under construction in Tawang district in Arunachal Pradesh for generating 3,500 MW power.

Seeking the Central Government�s intervention in this regard, the SMRF submitted a memorandum to the Union Minister of Environment and Forest on January 9 last.

Raising strong allegations of shaking the peace and cultural roots of the State by the Arunachal Government under the Congress party led by the Raju DasChief Minister, the organisation stated that the government is planning a large number of hydro-power projects. �It is learnt that the government has entered into 133 secret MOUs without following the mandatory procedures under the law with various power developers, maximum of which are private developers.

Alleging huge corruption and under the table dealings, the SMRF said that the MOUs with the power developers for the projects in Tawang district have been signed without taking the affected people�s consent.

The memorandum submitted by the agitating organisation pointed out that Tawang is inhabited by the Monpas having a population of less than 3500 people. Consequently, the influx following project development will change the demographic profile and wipe out their culture and tradition and make the Monpas a minority as has happened with the tribal people in Tripura, Assam and other places.

The government has no system in place to check the influx, though they promise of the same and the people will have to suffer as history has proved in many places. Further, the fragile Himalayan region fall under a high seismic zone and the experts have advised against going for mega dams in the region. The organisation also stated that there has been no assessment of the cumulative effect of the dams generating 40,000 MW power in the State.

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