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  • 19 January, 2023

  • 5 Min Read

Etalin Hydroelectric Project

Etalin Hydroelectric Project

  • Recent non-compliance with the FAC's (Forest Advisory Committee )requirements and the massive opposition to the project in the area prompted the FAC to request that the Arunachal Pradesh government submit a new plan for forest diversion and the development of the Etalin hydropower project (EHEP).
  • The strategy combined two run-of-the-river plans with little room for storage and called for concrete gravity dams on the Tangon and Dri rivers.
  • Since its inception in 2008, it has encountered a number of problems due to worries about ecological harm, forest invasion, and tribal displacement.

Etalin Hydroelectric Project (EHEP):

  • It is a 3,097 MW hydroelectric project that is set to be built in Arunachal Pradesh's Dibang Valley.
  • In terms of installed capacity, it is one of the largest hydropower projects that have been planned in the nation.
  • It is suggested that EHEP be created by combining two run-of-the-river projects.
  • On the Tangon and Dri rivers, which are tributaries of the Dibang river, concrete gravity dams are being built as part of the project.
  • The project region is located in "one of the biggest biodiversity hotspots of the globe" and the "richest bio-geographical province in the Himalayan zone."
  • The Idu-Mishmi tribes' indigenous population predominates in the project region.
  • The only tribe that resides in the Dibang Valley district of Arunachal Pradesh is the Idu-Mishmi Tribe.

About Idu-Mishmi Tribe:

  • They are the only people that live in the Arunachal Pradesh district of Dibang Valley.
  • It’s a significant branch of the Mishmi tribe.
  • Mongoloid race that speaks a particular variety of Tibeto-Burman.
  • Distinctive haircuts, traditions, and clothing with creative patterns describe them.
  • Historically, adhere to animism.

About Dir and the Tangon River:

The Dir and Tangon rivers, which are both tributaries of the Dibang River (a tributary of the Brahmaputra), are significant for the reasons listed below:

  • Hydrological: By supplying water for cultivation and hydropower production, both rivers contribute to the region's general hydrology.
  • Ecological: The Dir and Tangon rivers are home to a wide variety of unique and endangered plant and animal species.
  • The beautiful grandeur of the Dir, Tangon, and Dibang rivers, as well as the Dibang, is a popular tourist attraction.

About Dibang River:

  • Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam are traversed by the Dibang River.
  • It’s a Brahmaputra tributary upstream.
  • Originates in the Upper Dibang Valley district of Arunachal Pradesh, close to the Keya Pass, which marks the Indo-Chinese border.
  • The Sisar, Mathun, Tangon, Dri, Ithun, and Emra are important tributaries.
  • Along the upper reaches of the Dibang River lie the Mishmi Hills.

Concerns Raised Around the Etalin Hydel Project:

  • A sizable portion of forest and wildlife habitat would be submerged if a dam was built on the Dibang River.
  • Local communities might be uprooted as a result, which would have a substantial negative influence on the biodiversity of the area.

Local Community Displacement:

  • Numerous indigenous communities that depend on the Dibang River would have thousands of people displaced from their homes and means of subsistence.

River Ecosystem Affect:

  • The proposal will alter the river's natural flow and have an adverse effect on fish migration and reproduction, harming the local residents that depend on fishing for a living.

Geological and Seismic Dangers:

  • In 2015, as the project was undergoing environmental clearance (EC), the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers, and People (SANDRP) emphasised the geological and seismic risks as well as threats to biodiversity.

Forest Advisory Committee:

  • It is a statutory organization that was established by the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.
  • The Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change is responsible for its formation.
  • It weighs the pros and cons of diverting forest land for non-forest purposes such as mining, industrial development, and township construction, and it gives government policy advice on the topic of approving forest clearances. Its function is advisory, nevertheless.

Way Forward

  • It is important to do a thorough analysis of the project's effects on the local ecosystem.

Source: The Hindu

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