Dimapur, August 30 (MExN): A number of organizations from Arunachal today expressed shock at what it called the “present trend” of the signing memorandum of agreements for construction of mega dams in Arunachal Pradesh by the state government with private power developers “which even doesn’t comes under CAG.” “In the failure of the government to come out with a white paper, we shall be compelled to initiate vigorous judicial activism in the public interest,” the organizations warned.
The organizations Siang Bachao Andolan, Human Right Law network-Arunachal Unit, Global Human Rights Organization Nefa Indigenous Human Rights Organization, Women Power Connect-AP and Arunachal Citizens’ Rights issued a joint statement today denouncing the actions of the Arunachal government.
The joint statement said that the land owners or the “to be affected people” have never been informed of the plans for construction of the dams. These dams are going to deprive thousands of tribal villagers, of their livelihood, agricultural assets and lands, virgin forests and rivers. “In the mad rush for receiving unaccounted ‘upfront payment’ through the signing of memorandums, the government of Arunachal Pradesh in particular and the government of India have forgotten to plan any systematic means to tap the numerous water resources of the state in any form,” the organizations stated.
The civil society groups expressed serious concern ‘as to how so many inexperienced, never-heard-of private companies have been awarded very sensitive projects of construction of dams, which in fact and actually requires vast experience and expertise to go ahead’. “We are really astonished to see some of the Arunachal Pradesh Firms and most interestingly, even Tours & Travels Pvt. Ltd. have been awarded the construction works without any open tender or bid and above all without any expertise and experience in the field of dam constructions so far,” the joint statement said.
In the interest of the public, the organizations have asked the government of Arunachal Pradesh to come out with a white paper on the upfront payments received so far from the private dam developers and also the expenditure statements of the same money, so citizens ‘know where the money received against their lands, rivers, waters and forests have gone’. Within a short span of time, the Jarbom Gamlin government, sworn in on May 5 has signed seven memorandums without the knowledge of “to be affected people”, the statement said.
“All of the 7 MoAs have been signed on Siang Basin, flowing in West Siang and Upper Siang districts. Pertinent question remain unanswered is-what’s the rush?” the organizations added