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Students body asks Jairam Ramesh to reconsider setting up of hydro projects

Sunday, 12 September 2010 - 1:44pm IST | Place: Thiruvananthapuram | Agency: PTI

Adi Students’ Union has appealed to Jairam Ramesh to reconsider setting up of hydroelectric projects in Adi belt of Arunachal Pradesh as the area falls under seismic zone V.

A students body has appealed to the Union minister of environment and forest Jairam Ramesh to reconsider setting up of hydroelectric projects in Adi belt of Arunachal Pradesh as the area falls under seismic zone V.

Out of the 137 MoUs signed for setting up of hydel projects in Arunachal Pradesh, 35 are in Adi dominated eastern region of the state comprising East Siang, West Siang, Upper Siang and some portions of Lower Dibang valley district with an installed capacity of 20,066 mw, Adi Students’ Union (AdiSU) sources said today.

The Union minister cancelled his proposed trip to Pasighat
yesterday following inclement weather. A delegation of the
AdiSU called on Ramesh on Friday and submitted a memorandum on the hydroelectric projects in Arunachal Pradesh.

The minister assured the delegation to visit the state whenever weather permits to have free and fair interaction on dam issue.

Describing the Arunchal Pradesh government’s decision to set up so many dams in Adi belt, which falls under seismic zone V, as too "excessive and superficial", the memorandum said that the "region was not feasible to construct dams of such magnitude, which witnessed 87 major to minor tremors in a span of 67 years (1929 -1993) and flash flood like that of year 2000."

It demanded immediate scrapping of some mega dams like Lower Siang Hydel Project (2,700 mw), Pugging Project at Upper
Siang (6,000 mw), Upper Siang II in Siang river (3,700 mw), Siyum Project in Siyum river of West Siang (1,000 mw), Dibang Multipurpose dam (3,000 mw).

"Construction of so many dams would lead to submergence of vast areas resulting in loss of forest and cultivable land. In the event of natural calamity like Earthquake, flash flood, which are beyond the control of human, the vast cultivable land of three districts of Siang Valley would be destroyed beyond repair," it said.

The memorandum also described some MoAs signed between Arunachal Pradesh government and various power developers as

"Some MoAs are prepared in such manner that either party will not be responsible for any losses arising out of force majeure situation, such as earthquake, flood, fire, epidemic, cyclone, external invasion, civil commotion, riot, and landslide, it said.

It appealed to the Union environment and forest minister to check such "irresponsibility attitude" on the part of both the state government and power developers. It also urged the minister to investigate that how and where the state government got the environmental clearance for signing MoUs and MoAs with various power developers.

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