ITANAGAR, Aug 27 � Nine years after the run-of-the-river scheme, Ranganadi Hydro Electric Project (RHEP) was launched in Arunachal Pradesh�s Yazali under Lower Subansiri district, the project authority, NEEPCO, is yet to enter any agreement with the State Government.
�Although commissioned in 2002, the 405 MW-capacity RHEP is yet to see a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the project authority, NEEPCO and the State Government.�
This startling revelation, made by Lichi Cher Ranganadi Project Affected Area Management Committee, courtesy the application of Right to Information Act, comes in the wake of protests against mega hydel projects proposed to be constructed in the State by people from both Arunachal and Assam. The people apprehend that these mega dams would not be safe in the region which lies in a high seismic zone with fragile geological conditions.
The NEEPCO, in a communiqu� to the Committee had on May 5 last said, ��.There is no memorandum of understanding/ agreement signed by NEEPCO with the State Government on RHEP.�
�It is quite surprising that a dam has been built without MoU, without public hearing and environmental impact assessment,� said the Committee, which comprises representatives from project affected areas such as Lichi, Lower Lichi, Bodin, Hawa Camp, Lower Sher, Nyokriang, Komasaki, Bada and Upper Jumi of Lower Subansiri district.
�The simple and easy-going citizens of downstream areas had initially welcomed the project (commissioned in 2002) keeping in mind the economic interest of a backward State like ours. And with the hope that the problems being faced by downstream people like heavy siltation, complete extinction of aquatic lives, floods and its effects on their life and property and frequent change of river course due to construction of dam would be addressed carefully by the project authority but it has not happened till date,� alleged Taba Baba, president of the Committee.
The Committee, meanwhile, accused the State Government and the NEEPCO of �robbing off� the livelihood of indigenous tribal populations living in downstream areas of Ranganadi by depriving them of waters of the river (which is locally called Panior). It demanded the project authority to release 50 per cent water of Ranganadi river in downstream areas to revive the aquatic resources in order to sustain the tribal people�s traditional right over natural resources besides facilitating them to take up farming activities, failing which they threatened to launch an agitation against the NEEPCO.