Seeking immediate winding up of all operations of National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) in the Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh, 27 affected villages have rejected the Tawang Chu Stage I and II hydel projects through a clutch of gram sabha resolutions.
The memorandum, submitted to Chief Minister Pema Khandu on June 5, contained resolutions signed by 80-100 per cent of villagers from each affected village, the secretary of the Tawang monastery, and local MLAs Tsering Tashi (Tawang) and Jambey Tashi (Lumla).
Under the Forest Rights Act (FRA) 2006, NHPC needs the consent of the gram sabhas concerned to go ahead with the projects.
“For Tawang Phase II, we already have the consent of seven affected villages while six gram sabhas are pending. For Phase I, we conducted three gram sabhas and 16 are pending. The chief minister will soon conduct a meeting and give directions. We hope to conduct the pending gram sabhas soon after,” said Gobind Baidya, executive director in-charge of Tawang, NHPC.
Both 3×200 MW Tawang Phase I and 4×200 MW Phase II have received environmental clearance. While Tawang Phase II has also got conditional forest clearance, it now requires the consent of the affected villagers under the FRA to meet a key condition of that forest clearance.
NHPC has already signed Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with four states to deliver electricity generated from these two projects.
Since 2011, both projects have faced stiff resistance from the monks of Tawang monastery and local villagers.
Last May, two people, including a Buddhist monk, were killed and 10 injured in police firing at an anti-dam gathering in Tawang.
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