Do not dishonor sentiments: PCWS
ITANAGAR, Nov 10: The Pasighat Citizens Welfare Society ( PCWS) has appealed the state govt not to dishonour the sentiments of indigenous tribal of Siang District on the Mega dam issue. The civilization of Adi people begun and may end with Siang River.
The PCWS had welcomed the proposed high level meeting convened by Prime Minister supposed to be attended by the union Forest & Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh,Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Water Resource Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, External Affairs Minister S.M Krishna and deputy Chairman of Planning Commision Montek Singh Ahluwalia to decide on the fate of several some ongoing and some yet to start Hydro Power Projects more than 137. But the meeting was hindered due to interference of state Chief Minister Dorjee khandu led Govt. The elected representatives do not necessarily empower them to play around with the sentiments of the people.
Whereas, the prime Ministerial meeting was realized based on the recommendation of the very rational and liberal Union Minister Forest & Environment Jairam Ramesh.
The Minister asserted in his letter to PM that protest of the tribal people was genuine, the reviews on MOUs/ MOAs was required, he also suggested to scale down the 2700 MW Lower Siang project to half 1350 MW, Dibang Project 3000MW to 1500 MW. The Govt. might be caught in a catch of 22 situations as against several of these projects under questions. It has already taken upfront money from the power developers to the tune of Rs. 1319.75 Crores so far the recent reports from PMO also confirmed that the centre has received reports about local protest likely to consider moratorium on any new dams as well as pause work on some existing dams till a cumulative Impact assessment, a comprehensive bio- diversity impact assessment and a downstream impact assessment is conducted.
The PCWS maintains that the Govt. must be people – friendly and act to respect and safeguard the Tribal sentiments, there must be a high level meeting in between the Govt. representative and people of entire Siang district at Pasighat to talk on the dam issue. It also suggests the Govt. to come out with man made disaster liability bill on hydro power towards the safety and security impact in the downstream.
The PCWS appeal the Siang people to think and re -think, develop within their heart and souls not only a second but also a third thought on mega dams as believed by Americans. The parents must look into faces of their sleeping children at mid night and imagine how their lives would be after 40 years, the young people must individually feel they are victims of major catastrophe and shoulder the responsibilities to safeguard their next generation to come. It is true, we need development but not at the cost of Socio – cultural extinction, loss of lives and properties. However, we encourage Mini dams with lesser impact and havocs. The PCWS welcomes the visit of Jairam Ramesh for a healthy discussion with tangible outcome on the big dam said PCWS president Mongol Yomso.
Source: The Arunachal Times