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Khandu says no to single mega dam on Siang
ITANAGAR, Dec 3: Chief minister Pema Khandu today said that the state government will not accept the proposal to build a 10,000 megawatt dam on the Siang following opposition to the project from indigenous Adis.
In October, the NITI Aayog had proposed a plan to build a single 300-metre high dam with power generation capacity of 10,000 megawatts planned as part of the Multipurpose River Valley Project for Siang river, replacing the two planned 6000MW Stage-I and 3750MW Stage-II projects.
Opposition to the plan was voiced as soon as it was reported, with the Yingkiong-based Siang Indigenous Farmers’ Forum (SIFF) leading protests.
Speaking at a public rally at Yingkiong, Upper Siang today, Khandu said the government “will not accept the proposal of NITI Aayog keeping in mind local sentiments”.
He also said no other dams will be built in Siang river unless the confidence of the local people has been taken.
Khandu said that dams will not be forced on the people and that since he took over as chief minister the state government has not signed a single memorandum of understanding with any power developer.
“When many of the earlier MoUs signed are all messed up, there was no question of signing any new MoUs,” Khandu said.
Khandu also addressed the issue of the Siang turning muddy over the past few weeks.
Arunachal East Lok Sabha MP, Ninong Ering, recently wrote to prime minister Narendra Modi drawing concerns over possible construction activities on the Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibet that could be affecting the water quality of the Siang. The letter drew the attention of the national media and reportedly tests have been carried out that show an increase in the river water’s turbidity level.
While the accusation was denied by the Chinese media, it has not stopped people from making speculations over the issue.
Khandu today said that he “suspected Chinese activities on the upstream for the deteriorating quality of river water” and informed that a report on the ground situation from the administration of East and Upper Siang districts have been submitted to the Centre.
He informed that a letter has been sent to the Centre enquiring if any talks are being held with the Chinese government on the matter.