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Meet on NE dams deferred to Oct 18
Published on 14 Oct. 2010 1:01 AM IST
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The meeting on the hydro power projects of North-east convened by the Prime Minister has been postponed. The meeting convened on October 13 is now scheduled to be held on October 18.
The meeting has assumed importance because of a note by union environment and forest minister, Jairam Ramesh, who has called for a moratorium on sanction of hydro power projects in Arunachal Pradesh and review of all sanctioned projects. The meeting is to be attended by all concerned Ministries including the Environment and Forest, Power, Water Resources among others.
Sources said the meeting that was postponed twice, is now scheduled to be held within a fortnight.
Meanwhile, the spate of memorandums has landed in the Prime Minister’s office. Today, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) has shot off a memorandum to the Prime Minister calling for suspension of all work on Subansiri Lower Hydro Power projects and the Prime Minister should with hold permission for all hydro power electric projects in Arunachal Pradesh.
Yesterday, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), urged the Prime Minister to evolve a mechanism to address all issues related to construction of hydro projects in Arunachal Pradesh.
In a memorandum, AGP has said that the recent devastation in the downstream of the ‘three Gorges Dam’ in China that killed over 100 people should be an eye opener for any such mega dam projects in the up stream areas of the neighbouring State and also in Bhutan.
The Centre has given green signal to 135 river dams in Arunachal Pradesh. But the implications of these dams have not been carefully considered before giving sanctions. “We also express our concern over the adverse downstream affects of the Ranganadi and Kopili projects of NEEPCO,” the Party said.
Referring to the expert committee report, AGP urged the Prime Minister to adopt a scientific approach.
In a memorandum address to PM, the NCP said the need of the hour is to constitute a mechanism involving all stake holders including project, affected people, policy experts, members of scientific community, environmentalist, sociologists, dam experts to address all issues relating to dam.
The memorandum said real concern is not anti-dam or pro-dam, but the reckless manner in which the MOAs were signed without maintaining transparency and taking public into confidence. 135 MOAs were hurriedly and secretly signed without the free, prior and informed consent of the people especially the traditional village authorities and the three-tier Panchayati Raj Institution, the memorandum claimed.
It further said before inking 135 MOAs in a short span of three to four years, the State Government should have carried out a cumulative environmental impact assessment studies as well as comprehensive biodiversity studies. The present tactics of obtaining NOC by the private companies from various state Governments Departments are not only seen as postmortem exercise and an eye wash.

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