MoEF seeks fresh info of various expert committees
Itanagar, July 4: To the relief of many, on June 22nd the Ministry of Environment
and Forest sought afresh the bio-datas of all chairpersons and members of the various
Expert Appraisal Committees (EAC) including information on ‘conflict of interest.’
This decision by the ministry came after P. Abraham was forced to resign from the
chairmanship of the MEF (EAC) on River Valley and Hydropower projects.
In a letter dated June 12th addressed to the Environment Minister, organizations
had pointed out the ‘conflict of interest’ in Abraham chairing crucial committee
which takes decisions on dams and hydroelectric projects seeking environmental clearance.
Abraham is on the board of several power companies’ whose projects come before the
EAC for environmental clearance.
Affected Citizens of Teesta (ACT), All Idu Mishmi Students Union (AIMSU), Peoples
Movement for Subansiri-Brahmaputra Valley (PMSBV), Arunachal Citizens Rights (ACR),
River Basin Friends, Idu Cultural and Literary Society (ICLS), Waterwatch Alliance,
Kalpavriksh Environmental Action Group, Matu Jansangathan and South Asia Network
on Dams, Rivers & People (SANDRP) reiterated that crucial decisions taken by the
Abraham committee in the past two years need to be reviewed.
Not a single project was rejected by this committee on merit and all projects were
either granted pre-construction or environmental clearances, in spite of serious
concerns raised in many of them by civil society groups.
Among others, the committee is accused of Illegal subversion of an April 2007 National
Environmental Appellate Authority (NEAA) order which asks for advance cumulative
impact studies of multiple dams coming up in a river basin. Where river basin studies
have been prescribed (e.g. Bichom and Lohit rivers in Arunachal Pradesh), these have
been ‘delinked’ from the clearance of individual projects, belonging primarily to
private sector companies, including in one case where Abraham is on the board of
one of the promoter companies.
The committee refused to prescribe detailed ‘downstream impact assessment’ studies
in over two dozen hydel projects in the Northeast, even though the issue has been
repeatedly raised by groups in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and elsewhere.
These organizations urged the MEF to do a comprehensive review of such decisions
of the Abraham committee in a transparent manner and take appropriate actions. Such
a review is necessary to restore credibility into the environmental decision-making
Affected Citizens of Teesta appeal to nation as Sikkim Satyagraha completes two years
A Gangtok report adds: On the occasion of the Union Power Minister, Sushil Kumar
Shinde, dedicating the 510 MW Teesta V hydroelectric project to the nation, the Affected
Citizens of Teesta have appealed to the nation to halt the indiscriminate juggernaut
of dams in the ecologically and culturally sensitive Teesta river basin. ACT and
other sister organisations have been on a Satyagraha since June 20, 2007 to raise
concerns about the juggernaut of over two dozen dams planned in the tiny Himalayan
state of Sikkim which are becoming a serious threat to the rights of the indigenous
communities and the ecological security of the Himalayan state.
In May 2008, Jairam Ramesh, who was then the Minister of State for Power, had raised
concern about the ‘MoU virus’ which had affected some of the north-eastern states.
He was referring to the rapid pace at which states such as Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh
were signing agreements (MoUs) with hydropower companies. This ‘MoU virus’ has also
created a serious environmental governance issue, which Ramesh in his present capacity
as Environment Minister needs to deal with urgently.
Teesta V project has involved serious violation of green laws too during the construction
phase. In 2007, the Sikkim Chief Secretary admitted to an environmental governance
crisis in the 510 MW Teesta V project in an affidavit to the Supreme Court-appointed
Central Empowered Committee. The affidavit said that the power company had “grossly
violated the terms, conditions and guidelines” of the Ministry of Environment & Forests
(MOEF) and dumped excavated material “into the river Teesta obstructing its free
flow causing thereby huge damage to the forest and environment.” Information received
through RTI by ACT reveals that project affected families increased to 928 as construction
progressed, even though clearances were obtained on grounds that only 72 families
are being affected! This number is huge considering the small population of the tiny
This increase in affected persons occurred because the extensive tunneling using
explosives in the fragile hill areas has led to huge landslides, drying up of water
sources used for drinking water and irrigation purposes and cracking of houses. Due
to the unprecedented impacts due to massive tunneling activities, which were hidden
from the people as a projected impact at the time of environmental public hearings
held before the Teesta V project was granted clearances, the power company NHPC had
earned itself the name of ‘uttani musa’ (mountain mouse) as it dug deep into the
fragile mountains. The callous manner in which work was carried out is also revealed
from the fact (information received by RTI) that at least 48 persons were killed
during the construction of the Teesta V project. Even after commissioning, the impacts
continue. The opening and closing of the reservoir gates during monsoon floods resulted
in sinking of lands around the reservoir area, which in turn damaged the properties
of people. Due to shabby ‘Reservoir Rim Treatment’ work around the reservoir, people
suffered loss of property during the last monsoons. Even the power generation (and
the related revenues) have been affected by the flood and heavy siltation during
the monsoons. This should have been obvious if a proper environmental risk assessment
was done prior to grant of clearances to the project. The Teesta V project was granted
environmental clearance by the MoEF in May 1999 on the condition that a carrying
capacity study of the Teesta river basin will be conducted. The condition stated
that: “no other project in Sikkim will be considered for environmental clearance
till the carrying capacity study is completed.” However, the MoEF not only considered
projects for environmental clearance, but granted clearance to at least seven projects
in Sikkim before the carrying capacity study was completed, in violation of its own
KKSU express concern at lack of teachers
ITANAGAR, July 4: Kargu Kardi Students’ Union (KKSU) toured five circles of Yomcha,
Tirbin, Liromoba, Darak and Kamba of West Siang district to inspect various educational
institutes and gather public view on the present education scenario.
The union alleged that no efforts have been put forward by the government and the
public to strengthen the quality of education. It also blamed the teaching staff
for the deteriorating education system.
The union alleged that most teachers don’t perform their duties but draw their monthly
KKSU further claimed that students of government higher secondary school Liromoba
and Yomcha appeared their board examination without any English teachers and Tirbin
government higher secondary school has been running without a political science teacher
since its inception.
Some primary schools have become defunct due to absence of faculty members and infrastructure.
The union said that Director of School Education T Taloh has assured to post teachers
at the required schools at the earliest.
ZPM objects to spree of inauguration
ITANAGAR, July 4: ZPM, Pumao Block Ngamka Wangnaw in a letter to Deputy Commissioner,
Tirap District regarding tentative inauguration programme of 10 numbers of government
official building at ADC headquarter Longding wanted to find out why the offices
were being inaugurated after it has been in use for number of years.
The Office buildings of Block Development Officer (BDO), Rural Work Department (RWD),
SDPO and Public gallery at general ground have been in use since last five years
or so. The question of inaugurating and display of inauguration sign board does not
arise as it is already in use.
The release further said that the general public and local leaders of the area opposed
inauguration of 10 numbers of government official building by local MLA in a Day.
It said that the concerned department minister or other high dignitaries could be
invited to inaugurate the buildings.
It appealed the Deputy Commissioner to direct the Additional Deputy Commissioner
to cancel the proposed inauguration programme on July 6.
ITANAGAR, July 4: Arunachal Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu who is in Delhi presently
has greeted the people of Arunachal, particularly the Apatani community on auspicious
occasion of Dree . In a message he wrote, “May the warmth and splendor, that are
a part of this auspicious occasion, fill your life with happiness and prosperity”.
Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee extended its greetings and wishes to Apatani
community on the occasion of Dree festival on July 5.
APCC hopes that the festival brings peace, progress and prosperity and also spread
the massage of communal harmony and feeling of brotherhood amongst all.
It prayed for showering of blessing to one and all.
MP Takam Sanjoy wished the people of Arunachal Pradesh in general and Apatani brothers
and sisters in particular on Dree Festival.
He said that he has been forced to miss the Dree celebrations because of budget session.
May this Festival brings peace, Joy and harmony amongst various sections of people
in the State. This festival will further strengthen the bond of friendship and usher
in prosperity, reports his PRO R N Lalum.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, Arunachal Pradesh State Unit while extending its Dree
wishes expressed the hope that the festival would usher in friendship, peace, harmony
and compassion for all.
AR organize health camp
Changlang, July 04 : Continuing their drive to uplift the standard of living of people
of Changlang, Assam Rifles today organized a free health check up camp for school
children at Holy Rosary School, Laktong, Changlang.
108 children and 06 teaching staff were checked and accordingly advised for their
medical problems. The main ailments of children were RTI, skin diseases, malnutrition
and water borne diseases.
The medical officer of 25 Assam Rifles also spoke on health and hygiene for teachers
and parents. The doctor told them how to take precautions against skin diseases.
He also educated them regarding importance of a balance diet, vitamin deficiency
and methods for their prevention by locally available natural resources. He also
explained the mode of spread of water borne diseases and some economical methods
like – sedimentation, boiling, chlorine tablets, filtering etc for their eradication.
The principal along with whole teaching staff and parents thanked the Commandant
25 Assam Rifles and requested them to organize such type of events periodically.(DIPRO)
Few takers for IUCD training programme
PASIGHAT, July 4: Few turned up to attend the 6 days long Intra-Uterine Contraceptive
Device (IUCD) Training program, imparted to the doctors of Arunachal Pradesh.
DC Onit Panyang regretted that only six Gynecologists, four MOs and one Sister Trainer
of the state could attend in this state level training program. He suggested the
local medical authority to obtain approval from the Minister and Commissioner (H
& FW), govt. of Arunachal Pradesh to organize one more the training program soon
so that more doctors and health workers could under go training.
Dr. Jayalal Mohan National level Master Trainer, New Delhi appreciated the trainees
for their courage and enthusiastic participation and apprised the house that the
Alternative Methodology in IUCD training for Gynecologists and MOs was conducted
under the prescribed guidelines and MOHFW (GoI). The training was emphasized on humanistic
model called ZOE before performing on clients and only trained doctors are permitted
to insert Cu-7380A after having such training Dr. added.
The DDHS Dr. B.C. Sarma said that population control is a national burden and such
training and implementation of IUCD would bring Behavioral Change Communication among
the physicians to provide quality health services to the community and regulate population
In his deliberation the Dr. T. Taloh DMO (Pasighat) said that the doctor should be
a role model to guide the common citizens of the country to make them socially responsible
and prevent unplanned pregnancies. (DIPRO)
AICC and APCC delegate tours Tirap
ITANAGAR, July 04: AICC secretary Sanjay Bapna who was on two days trip to Tirap
district advised the party workers to follow the party principles and ideologies
of the INC for a clean and healthy politics while addressing a gathering at Kanubari
on July 2.
He further stressed that INC is the only party to bring developmental activities
in the country.
ZPM chairperson R Maham elaborated on the present political scenario of the area.
He appreciated the visit of the leaders to the district and said that their visit
would give moral support to the party workers at the grass root level.
APCC secretary A Kallu addressing the public urged the party workers to work hard
for the coming elections so that INC party emerges as winner.
The frontal wings of block submitted their activity report to the party delegates.
At Deomali, AICC secretary Sanjay Bapna urged upon party workers and senior leaders
to maintain party norms and discipline to strengthen it from the grass root level.
Former minister Wangpan Lowang urged upon the party workers to be sincere and dedicated
towards following the principles and ideologies of the party.
He also apprised the visiting dignitaries about the problems faced by the party workers
as well as the public.
MLA Wangki Lowang also called upon the gathering to work unitedly for the greater
interest of the party.
Deomali block president C Hondique said that the visit of the party delegates will
encourage the party workers at the grass root level.
The delegates were accompanied by DCC president T Aboh and DYC president K Sumnyan.
NREGA norms be followed: PRIs
ITANAGAR: All ASMs and GPMs of Doimukh-II assembly Segment urged the concerned department
of NREGA to implement the centrally sponsored scheme in proper way and supply the
material after proper verification of work site.
It also urged the state government to decentralize the purchasing of materials for
NREGA and CGI Sheet, where a beneficiary get 30 numbers of CGI Sheet against Rs 38,000
or increase CGI Sheet to 40 numbers to the block level under strict vigilance of
It further suggested the education department to set examination papers of class
I-VII from DDSE level to ensure quality education and implement NCERT Books in all
schools to bring uniformity and lamented over inadequate school infrastructure and
school boundary walls.
The meeting also observed one minute silence and prayed for eternal peace of the
departed soul of former GPM Gumto Panchayat Tana Tapi, who died recently after prolong
Committee oppose handing over of CHC to NGO
ITANAGAR: Coordination committee of Deomali responding to a press release issued
by Panchayat members supporting handing over of CHC, Deomali to NGO, termed it unfortunate
and appealed the involved panchayat leaders not to mislead the public.
The committee claimed that the people of the area opposed handing over the CHC to
NGO and appealed the government to withdraw the decision for the greater interest
of the public.