NEW DELHI, June 28: Chief Minister Nabam Tuki on Thursday urged the officials of National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) to amend the proposed policies for Recruitment, Resettlement and Rehabilitation(R&R) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of its ongoing Power projects in Arunachal Pradesh. Of late, NHPC has been into troubled waters with resistance emanating from various cross sections of the society against its projects in the State. The ambitious Lower Subansiri and the Dibang Multi-Purpose projects are more or less stalled due to stiff resistance from the people.
Attending a high level review meeting with NHPC officials on Thursday afternoon, Tuki took detailed stock of the status of the Subansiri Lower Hydro Electric Project (HEP), Tawang-I HEP, Tawang II HEP and the Dibang Multipurpose HEP Projects.
“There is a communication gap between the power developers and the people. People of Arunachal are very simple. If they are properly made aware of the advantages of the projects including security of the local communities, they would never oppose,” Tuki observed while hinting at the lackadaisical attitude of the executing agencies in taking the people, especially those affected by the projects, into confidence and winning their faith.
While almost all construction works on the Subansiri Lower Project has been stopped, the Dibang project is facing hiccups at the Public Hearing stage.
The Chief Minister said he has full faith in PSU’s such as NHPC and NEEPCO and expressed hope that they would always work towards safeguarding the greater public concerns. He also suggested that besides implementing power projects in the State, the PSUs should chip in creation of infrastructure as and where necessary. In this regard, he Sought NHPC’s initiative to build tunnels on roads in Anini area that would help cut-short the distance.
“You have the expertise in constructing huge tunnels. Why don’t you use it and help us in construction of road infrastructure?” he urged.
Meanwhile, expressing grave concern over the stalemate in execution of the Subansiri Lower Project due to opposition from Assam base anti-dam groups, the Chief Minister reiterated his doubts over the intentions of the protestors particularly KMSS and said they were trying to hijack the development agenda of UPA in which power has been given highest priority.
“Floods are being modulated besides other benefits coming from the projects. I have no problems and rather happy if a neighbouring State benefits. The anti-dam elements have been routinely holding economic blockades which are causing a lot of hardship to the populace of Arunachal Pradesh. Who will take responsibility of the sky rocketing prices of essential commodities in the wake of economic blockades,” Tuki said and sought an early solution to the problems. On his part, he assured the State Government would address all pending issues at its end at the earliest.
To a request made by NHPC for carrying on basin studies the CM observed that basin studies are time consuming and should not be done separately. They should be simultaneously carried out with the project works, he added.
Earlier, NHPC CMD AL Srivastava made a detailed presentation on the status of the power projects in the State and answered various queries in the Interactive Session. This was stated in a press release.