LAKHIMPUR: At a time when the people living in the downstream area of the Ranganadi river in Lakhimpur district have become the victims of massive devastation caused by the unprecedented floods that took place due to the release of excess water from the dam of Ranganadi Hydro Power Plant (RHEP) located at Yazali in Arunachal Pradesh, operated by North Eastern Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO), the same power generating company silently started the production of electricity in Pare Hydro Electric Project after completing its construction.
People are speculating the magnitude of devastation that might happen in the district from another direction in the coming years. RHEP, since the day it was commissioned in January, 2002, has changed the character of Ranganadi and its floods have claimed human lives and destroyed land and property of people living in the downstream of the river.
The Pare Hydro Electric Project is built on Pare river at Doimukh in Papumpare district of Arunachal Pradesh. The river is known as Dikrong in Lakhimpur, which is one of the tributaries of the mighty Brahmaputra.
NEEPCO, as it declared, has taken up this project in order to harness the hydro power potential of Dikrong which is flowing through Hurmutty and Bihpuriya before uniting with Ranganadi to meet Brahmaputra. This river is also utilized as the Tail Race Discharge of the 405 MW RHEP stage. As the run of the river scheme, the project has a 63-metre high concrete gravity dam and 2.818-km long Head Race Tunnel while the RHEP dam is 68 m tall with a 10.1-km Head Race Tunnel. The installed capacity of the Pare Project is 110MW and its catchment area is 824 square km with design head of about 67.36m.
Now the big question that the people of Lakhimpur have put forward is will the Pare HE Project be posing another threat to the district like the RHEP? Strangely, the Lakhimpur district administration does not have any information about the project till now. The State government has also disclosed nothing about it to satisfy the anxious people of the district.
Though Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Nagaland are showed as the beneficiary states of the project, what amount of electricity will be distributed to Assam or to other States is still not clear.
Only Arunachal Pradesh is getting power from the project where generation of electricity for commercial purpose started from May 21 without ensuring the security of the downstream people living in Hurmutty and Bihpuriya in Lakhimpur and the island district of Majuli. Under such circumstances, these innocent people might have to face another NEEPCO-created havoc in the near future.