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Protests against NEEPCO planned
-TDP News Desk
ITANAGAR, May 19: Angered by the apparent “lackadaisical attitude” on part of the NEEPCO authorities, families and villagers affected by the 405-mega watt project at Ranganadi have announced a slew of protests and demonstrations beginning next week.
The NEEPCO project built on the Panyor river in Lower Subansiri district was commissioned in 2001 and built without a memorandum of agreement. Villagers from the affected area have been campaigning the state government to sign an agreement RHEP MoU Demand Committee.
Villagers claim that those affected by the project have not been treated fairly and have listed a set of demands including a review of relief and rehabilitation of families, job guarantees for affected families and implementation of the National Hydropower Policy, 2008.
Since the project was commissioned on the basis of a meeting held on August 28, 1990 and completed in 2001, the project does not fall under the purview of the 2008 policy. However, critics argue that it is hypocritical of NEEPCO authorities to not apply the policy retroactively although they willing to adopt new technologies to keep the project functional.
Speaking to reporters at the capital Itanagar today, members of the RHEP MoU Demand Committee informed that land donors and project affected people have “decided to launch vigorous democratic movement”.
The members alleged that NEEPCO authorities “have turned a deaf ear” to their “genuine demands, which should have been addressed a decade ago without any hesitation”.
They also said that there has been no positive outcome to their demands even after assurances given by the chief minister during a meeting on March 30 this year.
The committee had also submitted a list of their demands around a month back and accused NEEPCO authorities of ignoring them.
Announcing their plans, the RHEP MoU Demand Committee informed that the first phase of their protests will begin on May 22 with a “peace dharna” at the project’s complex, after which they will step up their move by forcing the shutting down of the project’s operations for 24 hours from June 19. They have warned of further drastic measures that could follow, including an indefinite closure of the power plant.