Concerns Over Hydropower Projects in Arunachal Pradesh are Beginning to be Raised

Environmental News from India: 

  • After years of muted voices, concerns over hydropower projects in Arunachal Pradesh are once again beginning to be raised.
  • Using art as a tool for recent protests has brought the issue to the forefront as the government push for building dams has increased.
  • With the central government giving the go-ahead for two major dam projects on the Dibang River in Arunachal Pradesh and the state government seems intent to push hydropower with renewed gusto, the state’s Pakke Declaration on climate-resilient development, appears contradictory.
  • According to State Chief Minister Pema Khandu, the state government is committed to taking up such projects “only once these concerns are addressed through a consultation process.” With the current level of technology and awareness, the probable negative impact of the dams on the environment can be easily mitigated, he said.

Ebo Mili remembers that he was perhaps in class six or seven when he began witnessing and hearing about the anti-dam protests in his home district of Lower Dibang Valley in Arunachal Pradesh. That period, from around 2008 to 2013, was when concerns and vocal opposition to plans for large dams were at their height in Arunachal Pradesh.

Over the years, as the government kept pushing plans to tap the hydropower potential of the state, voices against them have slowly lowered. However, recent developments have given a renewed energy to those voices. According to State Chief Minister Pema Khandu, the state government is committed to taking up such projects “only once these concerns are addressed through a consultation process.”

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Source: Mongabay

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