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SMRF demands rollback of Tawang NHPC projects

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  9 Aug 2017 12:00 AM GMT

FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT

Itagar, Aug 8: The Save Mon Region Federation (SMRF) has asked the Central and state governments to fulfill its demand for immediate rollback of NHPC State I & II hydropower project from Tawang district.

The SMRF also threatened to go to the United tions Organisation (UNO) if the rollback is not done by the coming winter.

SMRF general secretary, Lobsang Gyatso, said the people of Tawang rejected the NHPC project during a meeting on February 14.

“Local MLAs Jambe Tashi and Tsering Tashi, the district DC, PRI leaders, GBs and land-affected people under the leadership of Thegtse Rinpoche attended the meeting, but Chief Minsiter Pema Khandu is keen on hearing the plea of Tawang’s citizens,” he said.

Gyatso said Rinpoche had submitted the closure report of NHPC hydroelectric power projects in Tawang district to the chief minister but no steps have been initiated so far to cancel the power extraction activities of NHPC Stage I & II.

He also threatened to resort to a rigorous democratic movement to protect their rights.

“Earlier, people did not know about the merits and demerits of a hydro project but are now aware and claiming their rights. Why then is the state government not willing to cancel the project?” Gyatso asked, adding they might have to knock the door of UNO for help.

Apart from the immediate rollback of the hydro project, SMRF demanded fincial aid for those who were injured during the Tawang firing incident on May 2 last year. The government had announced compensation for the victims.

“Two of them are still under treatment and spending Rs 27,000 per month as the state government has not kept its promise,” Gyatso said.

He added that family members of those killed in the incident were given regular jobs by former CM Kalikho Pul while Khandu has appointed them on adhoc basis.

Stating that the people of Tawang have already given enough land for 28 hydro projects, land for urban development and to defence forces within the district, SMRF said they are determined not to give their limited fertile land on river banks for hydropower projects.

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