Reckless muck dumping damages project by Bhartia Infra Projects Limited in Lower Dibang Valley district
ITANAGAR: Reckless muck dumping by Bhartia Infra Projects Limited (BIPL), the road-constructing firm in Lower Dibang Valley district of Arunachal Pradesh, have caused major damage to a headwork of micro-irrigation channel in the Mekong river, according to the affected villagers.
In a letter addressed to the Deputy Commissioner of the district, the affected villagers have stated that the project manager and engineers of the BIPL who have undertaken the contract work of the construction of approach road from Dambuk to Sissiri Bridge along the new NH-13 (part of Trans-Arunachal Highway in Eastern Arunachal) have been apprised of the probable damage to the headwork of the micro-irrigation channel if muck dumping is done in the upper stream of the river, well in advance on November 29 last year, much prior to the start of earth-cutting work.
“The executing agency had turned deaf ears to our repeated pleas and recklessly dumped the debris of the earth-cutting work in the river thereby violating the laid-down guidelines given by the government to maintain soil and water conservation during the construction work,” the villagers wrote in the letter.
Moreover, the letter said, it is reported that no prior notification of dumping was given to the affected farmers of the area.
The dumping in the Mekong River have caused siltation and extensively damaged the headwork of the micro-irrigation channel resulting in diversion of the river water and drying up of the headwork and the irrigation channel as a result of which the affected farmers are not able to cultivate their wet rice cultivation field till date despite the cropping season, the villagers pointed out.
The affected farmers feared that if the siltation is not cleared in time, they would not able to cultivate their cultivation fields on which produce their family members depend for their food for the whole year.
They also feared that if the river water increased, their cultivation fields would be inundated by the siltation caused by dumping and the GI Pipes used for drawing water in the irrigation project would also get rust and damage if no water flows through it.
It was also stated that the irrigation project which was constructed in the last year through government funding would cover about 32 hectares of orange garden in the KS Motam area on extension of the projects as the orange plants get dried up during dry season.
“These orange orchards are the only source of income for many poor farmers of Dambuk,” the letter stated.
The water from the micro-irrigation channel is also used for drinking purpose by the labourers and cattle engaged for farming, it said. However, they said due to dumping, the river water also became muddy and non-potable causing hardships to the farm labourers and cattle.
The affected villagers have requested the district administration and the executing agency — NHIDCL and the BIPL to clear the siltation caused by reckless muck dumping and to restore the damaged headwork and irrigation channel of Mekong River at the earliest.
They have requested to start the restoration work within seven days of receipt of their letter and further stated that if no action are taken within the given time frame, they would be left with no other option but would have to take up the matter to the high court for justice, though they do not wish to hinder the road construction works, the letter stated.
Also read: Arunachal news