NEW DELHI, Nov 22 – The hue and cry over mega dams in Arunachal Pradesh notwithstanding, the Centre has said 50 per cent of the works on the Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Power Project has been completed, while plans have been firmed up for implementation of Siang Upper (stage I) and Lower hydro projects.
The confirmation in the Parliament came on a day, when the National Alliance for Peoples Movement (ALPM) staged a demonstration at Jantar Mantar demanding halt to mega dam projects, relief and rehabilitation of affected people. The demonstration and a symbolic march to Parliament was joined by Asam Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (AKMSS) led by Akhil Gogoi.
In a written reply, Union Minister for Power, Sushil Kumar Shinde said that couple of hydro projects on River Siang have been identified for execution in Arunachal Pradesh.
The 2700 MW Siang (Lower) executed by Jaiprakash Associates Limited has been cleared by Central Electricity Authority (CEA) in February. The Project is yet to be cleared from the Environment and Forest angle by the Ministry of Environment and Forest.
The NTPC Limited has prepared feasibility report for 6000 MW Siang Upper Stage – I and 3750 MW Stage – II by avoiding submergence of important towns like Tuting and Yingkiang, as desired by the Arunachal Pradesh Government.
About Siang Lower Hydroelectric Project, Ministry of Environment and Forest has accorded sanction to terms and reference for installed capacity of 2700 MW for carrying out detailed Environmental Impact and Resettlement of displaced persons due to submergence, impact on flora and fauna, impact on bio-diversity of area and impact on ecology. Further, Central Water Commission (CWC) would be carrying out comprehensive EIA studies for Siang sub-basin, Shinde said.
About reports of China’s bid to construct dams on river Yarlung Tsangpo impacting the flow of water in the downstream area in India has been taken up with the Chinese authorities at the highest level. The Chinese side has categorically denied that it is constructing a dam on Brahmaputra River for the purpose of diversion, he claimed.
Shinde in reply to an un-starred question by Biren Baishya admitted that several groups including KMSS, All Assam Students Union (AASU) and Takam Mising Porin Kebang (TMPK) are opposing construction of Subansitri Lower Hydropower Project and other big dams proposed to be constructed in Arunachal Pradesh.
The work on major components of the Subansiri hydro power project is in advanced stage and almost 50 per cent of the work has been completed. An expenditure of around Rs 4263.67 crore has already been incurred, Shinde said.
On the direction of Government of Assam, a comprehensive Downstream Impact Study was awarded to a Group of Experts from IIT, Guwahati, Gauhati University and Dibrugarh University by NHPC, which submitted its draft report in June. NHPC has already sent the detailed comments on the draft report to the expert group for finalizing the report, Minister said.
Meanwhile, in a separate report progress of hydro power projects in North Eastern Region (NER) targeted for commissioning in the 11th and 12th Plan is being reviewed periodically by the Power Ministry at different levels and other concerned agencies like CEA and CWC for their expeditious implementation. Moreover, progress of hydro electric projects in NER is also reviewed at periodic intervals by Planning Commission, Cabinet Secretariat and Ministry of North Eastern Region, Shinde said.