Inhabitants of 27 villages in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang district have vehemently opposed the Tawang Chu Stage I and II power projects and demanded that the state government immediately wind up operations of National Hydro Electric Power Corporation (NHPC) from the border district. About 80 per cent of the inhabitants of the 27 villages opposing the two power projects tooth and nail signed a resolution and submitted it along with a memorandum to Chief Minister Pema Khandu on June 5, official sources said here today.
The resolution was also reportedly signed by two MLAs from the district – Jambey Tashi (BJP) and Tsering Tashi (Independent). A monk Thegtse Rinpoche, who is the chairman of the committee constituted by the people, signed the 20-page memorandum, the sources said..
The memorandum said that the Tawang deputy commissioner, Sang Phuntsok had called a public meeting on February 14 this year to discuss the hydroprojects. The meeting was attended by panchayat leaders, villagers and representatives of Save Mon Region Federation (SMRF), a local activist group which is spearheading the movement against the power projects.
The 11-member committee, which include the two local MLAs, the zilla parishad chairman and representatives of the Tawang monastery and SMRF besides the Rinpoche too attended the meeting. “The people out rightly rejected the power projects and the committee was asked to communicate the decision to the state as well as central government,” the memorandum said.
The 3×200 MW Tawang Phase I and 4×200 MW Phase II have received their environmental clearances. While Tawang Phase II has also got conditional forest clearance, it now requires the consent of the affected villagers under the Forest Rights Aact to meet a key condition of that forest clearance.
National Hydroelectric Power Ccorporation has already signed the power purchase agreement with four states to deliver electricity generated from these two projects. Both projects have faced stiff resistance since 2011 from the monks of Tawang monastery and local villagers. During May last year, two people including a Buddhist monk were killed and 10 injured in police firing at an anti-dam gathering in Tawang.