Skip to main content

Demand for moratorium on all hydro projects in Arunachal Pradesh following death of two anti-dam activists

By Our Representative
Coming down heavily on the May 2 police firing leading to the death of two anti-dam activists – Monk Nyima Wangdue and Tshering Tenpa – in Arunachal Pradesh, the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) has made this the occasion to demand a complete moratorium on all 250 hydro dams being planned in the North-Eastern border state.
The NAPM, in a statement, said, the hydro dams in Arunachal and the North-East are sought to be implemented without proper public public hearings and are based on “half-baked and unscientifically conducted Environmental Impact Assessment keeping communities often in dark.”
“The overall planning of hydro development in the state and Himalayan region needs a thorough examination keeping in mind the people’s interest first, until then put a moratorium on the planned projects”, it said.
The NAPM, which is led by top anti-dam activist Medha Patkar of the Narmada Bachao Andolan, said, “When world over the big dams are being done away with, it is extremely unfortunate that we are till trying to harness the hydro power in the most environmentally sensitive regions.”
“Our own experience of struggle against the Narmada, Tehri, Waang Marathwadi, Gosi Khurd and other dams across the country have exposed the false claim of clean energy by hydro power projects”, the NAPM said, adding, “Big dams are destroying rivers, villages, townships, lives and livelihood of millions.”
Criticizing the state government's “apathetic” attitude in this backdrop, the NAPM said, “Even as Tawang district in Arunachal Pradesh continues to reel under the shock of police firing, state chief minister Kalikho Pul at ASSOCHAM forum in New Delhi in a complete insensitive statement has advocated for fast-tracking environmental clearances for hydropower projects.”
In fact, the NAPM noted, how the chief minister suggested “single window clearance to the hydro project developers”, which shows “complete contempt for the sufferings of the people and environmental destruction and concern for corporate profiteering.”
The death of two anti-dam occurred when hundreds of people were protesting against the arrest of Lama Lobsang Gyatso, one of the most vocal opponents of hydropower projects in the Tawang region and secretary of Save Mon Region Federation (SMRF), an organization of the Monpa Community in the Mon-Tawang region of Arunachal Pradesh.
SMRF, suggested the NAPM, is not the only organization which is opposing the hydro projects in Arunachal Pradesh. “The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) has been opposed to the Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Project, which would threaten the livelihood of more than five lakhs of fishworkers, farmers and others dependent downstream”, it said.
“It needs to be noted that even though a eight member expert committee report is awaited the construction on the dam has started once again, facing challenge from people”, it added.
Demanding an independent judicial commission, under the Commission of Inquiries Act, headed by a sitting or retired judge, to investigate the whole incident, including role of police officials, local MLA and other politicians, the NAPM insisted that the police officers involved, including the superintendent of police, the divisional commissioner and others should be suspended with immediate effect.

Comments

TRENDING

Bill Gates as funder, author, editor, adviser? Data imperialism: manipulating the metrics

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD*  When Mahatma Gandhi on invitation from Buckingham Palace was invited to have tea with King George V, he was asked, “Mr Gandhi, do you think you are properly dressed to meet the King?” Gandhi retorted, “Do not worry about my clothes. The King has enough clothes on for both of us.”

Stagnating wages since 2014-15: Economists explain Modi legacy for informal workers

By Our Representative  Real wages have barely risen in India since 2014-15, despite rapid GDP growth. The country’s social security system has also stagnated in this period. The lives of informal workers remain extremely precarious, especially in states like Jharkhand where casual employment is the main source of livelihood for millions. These are some of the findings presented by economists Jean Drèze and Reetika Khera at a press conference convened by the Loktantra Bachao 2024 campaign. 

Displaced from Bangladesh, Buddhist, Hindu groups without citizenship in Arunachal

By Sharma Lohit  Buddhist Chakma and Hindu Hajongs were settled in the 1960s in parts of Changlang and Papum Pare district of Arunachal Pradesh after they had fled Chittagong Hill Tracts of present Bangladesh following an ethnic clash and a dam disaster. Their original population was around 5,000, but at present, it is said to be close to one lakh.

Anti-Rupala Rajputs 'have no support' of numerically strong Kshatriya communities

By Rajiv Shah  Personally, I have no love lost for Purshottam Rupala, though I have known him ever since I was posted as the Times of India representative in Gandhinagar in 1997, from where I was supposed to do political reporting. In news after he made the statement that 'maharajas' succumbed to foreign rulers, including the British, and even married off their daughters them, there have been large Rajput rallies against him for “insulting” the community.

What's Bill Gates up to? Have 'irregularities' found in funding HPV vaccine trials faded?

By Colin Gonsalves*  After having read the 72nd report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on alleged irregularities in the conduct of studies using HPV vaccines by PATH in India, it was startling to see Bill Gates bobbing his head up and down and smiling ingratiatingly on prime time television while the Prime Minister lectured him in Hindi on his plans for the country. 

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

India's "welcome" proposal to impose sin tax on aerated drinks is part of to fight growing sugar consumption

By Amit Srivastava* A proposal to tax sugar sweetened beverages like tobacco in India has been welcomed by public health advocates. The proposal to increase sin taxes on aerated drinks is part of the recommendations made by India’s Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian on the upcoming Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill in the parliament of India.

Turkey meet tries to 'resurrect' Maoism, seeks to apply people’s war concept universally

By Harsh Thakor*  An International Maoist Symposium was organized by Umut Publishing on 6-7th April in Turkey commemorating 130th birthday of Mao Tse Tung. On the first day of the symposium two sessions were staged. The first session started with Volkan Yaraşır’s presentation on “Dialectics of the Chinese Revolution and Mao Zedong”.

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).