February  26

Stage set for Nyokum

Celebrations at RGU, Basar, Tezu

ITANAGAR, Feb 25: Arunachal Pradesh Governor General (Retd) J J Singh and Chief Minister Nabam Tuki today greeted the people of the State on the festive occasion of Nyokum Yullo.

In his message, the Governor said that Nyokum, like all other tribal festivals of Arunachal Pradesh, provides an opportunity to the members of the Nyishi community to demonstrate the diversity of Arunachalee culture”. The celebration helps in developing better understanding and appreciation of different cultures and communities. The vastness of our cultural diversity and pluralism is its singular hallmark and the foundation of its unity and integrity. The community torchbearers and youth have to recognize and internalize the positive values of our cultural pluralism, the message said.

While conveying his best wishes for successful celebration of the festival, the Governor called upon every member of the different tribes to contribute in the conservation of rich cultural heritage of Arunachal Pradesh and its traditions.

Tuki, in his message, expressed the hope that the festival would foster peace and bonhomie amongst the various tribes of the state.

“Nyokum is our festival. On this occasion let us extend best wishes and convey our love and respect to all communities of the state as well as outside,” the Chief Minister said.

Tuki urged all communities, irrespective of all man-made barricades, to join the festivities and send the message of peace and brotherhood.

“Our festivals should become the source of inspiration for peace and development, which is the vision of my government,” he added. RONO HILLS: Nyishi fraternity of Rajiv Gandhi University Rono Hills celebrated Pre-Nyokum yesterday with traditional gaiety. More than 500 people participated in the programe including chairman Central Nyokum Committee Nabam Rebia, general secretary Kholie Tath, Vice Chancellor Dr David R Syiemlieh.

Legendary singer Bengia Hemento and Tana Tati enthralled the gathering with their songs.  

In his speech, Organising Secretary Bamang Taniang Kioge appealed to the educated and upcoming youth of the Nyishi community to work together sincerely to preserve and promote the rich culture and tradition.

Rajiv Gandhi University Nyokum Yullo celebration committee chairman Dr Hui Tag said that it is the duty and social responsibilities to preserve culture and traditions in the form of celebration and practices at home.

Traditional dances were presented by students from Dera Natung Government College, Itanager, Don Bosco College, Government Secondary School, Polo Colony and RGU campus Secondary School and RGU PG students.

Traditional Sport and volleyball competitions were also conducted as part of the celebration.

BASAR: The students of Tomi Polytechnic College, Basar celebrated 6th Pre Nyokum  at College playground with traditional pomp and gaiety yesterday.

Attending the socio-agriculture festival, Arunachal Pradesh Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board Chairman Jalley Sonam extended his Nyokum festival greetings to the Nyishi community on the occasion.

He called upon the Nyishi community to work collectively to preserve Nyokum Yullo while adding that through hard work and discipline, we can contribute to the growth and prosperity of the state.

He advised the students particularly the students of Nyishi community to maintain peace and peaceful co-existence among various tribes studying in the College.

He called upon the students to give up aggressive attitude and show their love and hospitality to their student colleagues, locality, and staff of the institute and also called upon one and all to participate in festival of every community enthusiastically since festivals reflect one’s own culture and tradition and also strengthen the feelings of brotherhood.

He further advised them to use the hard earned money of their parents judiciously and devoted in their study.

While highlighting the importance of Agriculture and Horticulture, he said that we should not run after the limited government job. We should engage ourselves in Agri-Horti activities for sustenance and must propagate positive attitude to achieve a positive image of the community and the state.

Chairman of the institution, Tomi Migo Basar while briefing the importance of preserving own tradition and culture said that we must not mix up the culture and tradition with the religion. The celebration and preservation of one’s own festival, tradition and culture is must as it’s a community’s identity and we ought to protect and preserve it irrespective of our religious beliefs.

He also exhorted the student to study hard besides opting co-curricular activities in the institute.

Further, briefing the social activities of his students, he advised them to maintain the same spirit and extend their cooperation and support to the needy people.

Later, Sonam distributed prizes to the winners of various Nyokum literary, cultural, games and sports events on the occasion.

Tomi Polytechnic college Nyokum celebration, chairman Jile Techi Tara, secretary Anil Tallang also spoke on the occasion.

Tara read out  Nyokum mythology. Both Tara and Anil also urged their brethren studying in the college to devote time in their studies.

Cultural display by students and community feast were the other highlights of the day-long festival.

Officers, All Arunachal Pradesh Workers Union executive members of West Siang District Unit including AAPWU Basar unit, PRIs, GBs also attended the festival.

Tezu: The Nyokum Yullo festival was celebrated at Botanical Garden ground today at Tezu with religious fervour and traditional gaiety by the Nyishis residing in Lohit and Anjaw districts. People in good numbers attended and participated in the festival.

Pill Takur, chairman of the Nyokum Yullo celebration committee, Tezu highlighted the mythology of Nyokum Yullo.

G.K Paul Choudhury, EAC, Tezu, who attended the programme, extended his congratulations on the occasion as it is the most auspicious occasion where one’s culture and tradition are displayed. He advised the younger generation to preserve one’s own tradition and culture.

W.Khimhun, ADC, Tezu addressing the gathering,  appreciated the objective of the celebration which is being done for well-being of mankind and good harvesting. He urged everyone irrespective of the tribe, class or community they belong to, to  participate in such festivals as they foster unity among people.

The day-long celebration included  display of traditional folk dance, Rikam Pada of Nyishi and folk dance of other tribes, community feast and merry making.


China objects to AK Antony’s Arunachal visit

NEW  DELHI / Itanagar, Feb 25: The Chinese foreign ministry has objected to the recent visit of Defence Minister AK Antony to Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing claims to be its own, reports Times of India.

The ministry spokesman Hong Lei said today evening that India should refrain from taking any action that could complicate the border issue.

The official Xinhua news agency said Hong was reacting to reports of “Indian officials participating in activities organized by the so-called 'Arunachal Pradesh' region.

Hong asked India to work with China in maintaining peace and stability in border areas. China advocates seeking a fair and rational solution through equal and friendly negotiations, the spokesman said.

China had opposed the earlier visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Arunachal Pradesh.

Put simply, Beijing does not want the central government to become more popular with the people of Arunachal Pradesh as it would make it difficult for China to press its claims over the region in future.

Antony pledged to guarantee the ‘safety’ of the strategically important region, Xinhua noted  while referring to Antony's participation in  the silver jubilee celebration of Arunachal's statehood.

The Defence Minister said: “It was a top priority for the Centre to make the country's frontier in Arunachal Pradesh secure and non-porous.”

He also underlined the need for speeding up development of border areas and land, air connectivity to the hilly state characterized by rugged and thickly forested terrain that makes the task difficult for security personnel.

Antony further said that India is taking care of strengthening the capabilities to protect national interest from any kind of challenges. “The importance of a secure, non-porous international border must continue to be the topmost priority. It is our collective duty to ensure that our border areas are as developed as any other part of the country,” added Antony.

Arunachal Pradesh shares over 1,680 km of international boundary with three countries of which 1,080 km is with China.



A year-long wait

Amar Sangno

ITANAGAR, Feb 25: The Directorate of School Education vide advertisement no. ED.2/126/Advertise/2011 on 21st February, 2011 invited the citizens of India to fill the grade ‘C’ ministerial and non-ministerial and grade ‘D’ posts which included 19 posts for Lab. Assistant, three upper divisional clerk, 24 lower divisional clerk, 28 peon/ chowkidar and seven Lab Attendant.

Three days after the advertisement was published, the Director of School Education came with a corrigendum on 24th Feb. 2011 as per the government notification No. AR-85/2009 dated 4th June 2010 with a correction that for Grade ‘D’ posts, requisite qualification would be matriculation for APST and Non-APST candidates instead of Class VI for APST and Class VII for Non-APST.  

It also re-corrected pay band of the posts. Interestingly, the Director went on to modify the advertisement by exercising the power of government notification No. AR-175/2010/11 dated 27/01/2011, on 28th March 2011 saying that 25% of the total advertised posts for Peon/Chowkidar and Lab. Attendant is reserved for in-service contingency staff who have put in a minimum 20 years in the department having requisite qualification of Class X passed. Moreover, it was notified that eligible candidates for the posts have to appear written test followed by viva voice instead of walk in-interview.

 All of sudden the department once again did a U-turn from  its earlier decision with a circular  dated 24th August 2011,  in which it changed the place of interview  from Directorate of School Education office to  Deputy Director of School Education of respective districts. It also said the Directorate will have no responsibility for the conduct of interview and further added, “This is issued with the approval of the government”.

Director of School Education T. Taloh informed this correspondent that due to technical mismanagement it is taking longer than usual time and department is working round the clock to conduct the interview as early as possible.

However, according to official source, the fixation of date and place was rescheduled due to cabinet intervention and bureaucratic hassle over the distribution of posts to the respective districts. Source also says that interview is supposed to be held somewhere at the end of February 2012, however no call letter has been received by applicants so far.

One is bound to ask why it takes more than year to conduct the interviews. Why did not the department gave wide publicity to the modifications made in advertisement.  Thousands of applicants have been waiting eagerly for their respective call letters.

The department has to put things in public domain so that there is no confusion what so ever.



Six houses gutted at Gobuk

ITANAGAR, Feb 25: Six houses were gutted and eight partially damaged in a fire accident at Gobuk village, 22 km away from Yingkiong, Upper Siang district yesterday.

The cause of the fire, which broke out at 12 noon, is not yet known.

Local MLA Alo Libang and Deputy Commissioner Liyon Borang along with a few officers and public leaders rushed to the spot and handed over immediate relief to the  fire victims in the form of both cash and kind.

The MLA assured to provide CGI sheets while the DC assured to extend all possible help for their quick rehabilitation. He also asked the district relief committee to submit the report after assessing the properties lost and damaged in the fire accident to the Govt. at earliest for necessary action.

The Agriculture department and Horticulture department offered six thousand in cash and few numbers of blankets to the victims respectively as immediate relief to the victims. The duo appreciated the prompt action of the fire brigade and neighbouring villagers in dousing the devastating fire, reports DIPRO.

Fire devours house, vehicle

Meanwhile, a dwelling house of one Takar Dudda was gutted in a devastating fire at Bosso colony, Seppa yesterday night.

According to Arunachal Teachers’ Association East Kameng district unit, the fire which broke out at 11.30 pm also completely damaged a car. However, there was a no report of any casualty and the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.

The East Kameng ATA unit appealed to the entire teaching community of the district to extend all possible help to fire victim Dudda, who is also executive member of the ATA unit.



Know Your Legendary Artistes

ITANAGAR, Feb 25: As part of Know Your Legendary Artistes, today we present the only Arunachalee to be ever nominated for Grammy Award Geshe Ngawang Tashi Bapu, popularly known as Lama Tashi and another prominent singer Sokhep Kri of Lohit district.

Born on 22nd February 1968 at Thembang village, West Kameng district, Lama Tashi stormed into the world of music with his Buddhist chants performance.

Lama Tashi began the formal Buddhist philosophical studies in 1983. The field of study were - “The Major Texts,” namely, Pramana, Prajna-Paramitta, Madhyamika, Vinaya and Abhi-Dharma-Kosha. Besides these, Lama Tashi also perfected the Monastic Sacred Dance and the Sacred Chants, popularly known as “Tibetan Buddhist Multi-phonic Voice”, a multi-phonic singing technique being used in sacred prayer. Sixteen years later, his extra ordinary talent led him to rise as Principal Chant Master of Drepung Loseling Monastery.  On completion of Buddhist philosophical studies, he was awarded the Geshe Degree in 2004.

Due to his rare talent, he was chosen as one of the monks to travel the world on the ‘Sacred Music and Sacred Dance/Mystical Arts of Tibet Tour.’ He travelled throughout United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Singapore, Malaysia and many other countries giving teachings on Buddhist/Himalayan Culture and Philosophy and performing Chants, Ritual Arts and Sacred Dance on the tour. While on “The Mystical Arts of Tibet” tour Lama Tashi performed for H. H. the Dalai Lama in Curitiba, Brazil, alongside renowned Brazilian artist Gilberto Gil. Later the same year he led Multi-phonic chant before H. H. the Dalai Lama at the “World Festival of Music” at the Hollywood Bowl in Pasadena, California and at the Central Park, New York City, before over 80,000 audience. Lama Tashi is regarded as one of the great multi-phonic chanters currently active and has performed with many well-known musicians. He appeared twice at New York City’s Carnegie Hall in 1997 and 1998, performing with many notables, including Philip Glass, Natalie Merchant, Micheal Stipe of R. E. M., Patti Smith, Ben Harper, Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkin and Sheryl Crow. In 1998, he performed with Philip Glass at the premier showing of the Award winning film “Kundun” at Lincoln Center in Ney York City. However, his biggest moment came in 2005 when he got nominated for Grammy Aaward for his chanting album “Tibetan Master Chants” in the “Best Traditional World Music’” category.  Through this achievement he created a history of being first Buddhist monk and only Arunachalee to have Grammy Nomination in solo performance. At present he is Principal of the Central Institute of Himalayan Culture Studies (CIHCS), Dahung, West Kameng.

 Sokhep Kri is one of the renowned singers of Mishmi community. Born on 10th May 1973 at Tezu, Kri has sung more than 60 songs. He completed master in history but music remained his first love.  He dubbed many Mishmi songs for All India Radio, Dibrugarh from 1992 to 97.  He also contributed song for AIR Itanagar, Tezu and DDK, Itanagar in Mishmi dialect. His most popular music album includes Kosa Bul and Ritmai Marai. At present he is working as State Editor ( Gazetters) with government of Arunachal.



Arunachal Festival 2012 -- a festival for the elites

Taba Ajum

ITANAGAR, Feb 25:  As Arunachal festival concluded last night at IG Park, majority of Arunachalees are wondering whether it was a festival for only the elite section of the society. During the entire festival, VIP culture was on display all over. Defence minister AK Anthony who attended the opening day was surrounded by politicians and their ‘chamchas’ during his brief cameo appearance. Though hundreds of ordinary citizens turned at park to listen to him, he did have even a single second to talk with them.

 The silver medallists and meritorious students who were invited to park for felicitations were not provided seat and were forced to stand for quite a long time. Adding insult to the injury they were made to wait till chief guest left the venue and had to accept the medal in front of an empty park. The organizing committee seemed more concerned about VVIPs than those heroes who brought laurel for the state.

The food stalls were supposedly set up to expose our tribal’s food to the rest of the world. However the skyrocketing price of items at food stall was too much for the comfort of even visiting tourist.

“Instead of Arunachal Festival, it should better be termed Loot Festival” quipped a visiting journalist from Delhi.

A mineral water bottle which usually costs Rs 15 in market was being sold at Rs 40 a bottle. However the most interesting aspect of festival was as night falls, the prices of item also soared. The consumers had to pay Rs. 80 for a bottle of mineral water after midnight which was sold at  Rs 40 per bottle at 9 pm.The basic idea behind celebration of Arunachal Festival is to expose our rich tradition and culture to the outside world.  But this festival was going the opposite direction and instead seems like promoting western and Bollywood music.

 On the concluding night of festival, Mukul Sangma, the chief minister of Meghalaya attended the festival. Large number of B-listed Bollywood celebrities like Tanushree Dutta, Yana Gupta, Meiyang Chang along with forgotten playback singer Kumar Sanu entertained the people. Apart from them, couple of more small time artistes from Mumbai also performed. Large number of crowd including locals and many tourists jam-packed the IG Park. To the utter disbelief and disappointment of everyone present, there was not a single performance by any local artistes. Many tourists specially attended the last night of festival, hoping to get glimpse of Arunachalee tradition and culture. For that matter, Meghalaya CM might have also been disappointed for not getting chance to have a closure look at Arunachalee culture.

 Even on the last night of festival VIPs hogged the limelight. The frequent movement of VIPs along with their large entourage of bodyguards and ‘chamchas’ in and around the main stage, distracted many poor citizens who  with great difficulties managed to get inside venue to have glimpse of their favourite Bollywood stars. The security personnel present at the venue were at their worst behaviour. Just to make sure that VIPs are safe and happy, they roughed up many ordinary citizens without any reason.

“My children wanted to eat something and therefore we went to food stall. After a while when we were about to go back, security forces stopped us. They told us that route of entry has been changed. The crowd was huge and my three children were getting pushed from all over. I begged them to let me enter as my children started crying but they did not,” told a woman visitor.

In fact an official from Arunachal Pradesh Police made an irresponsible comment to her, “Knowing that today there will be large crowd, you should not have brought your children here.” The police officials seem to have forgotten that the festival was held not only for VIPs and their family. Well, if state government want to have Arunachal Festival for only VIPs and elite section of society, then Banquet Hall situated just adjacent to the Chief Minister’s bungalow is the best venue. As per the idea of promoting Arunachal Festival on the line of famous Hornbill Festival of Nagaland, still we have miles to go. But it is never wrong to dream and yes let us keep dreaming that someday ‘Arunachal Festival’ will get limelight like that of Hornbill Festival. Dream Arunachal, dream!!



Civilian shares golden moment with friends of the hill people

Aalo, Feb, 25: To commemorate 50 years of its dedicated service to the Nation, the 20th Bn ITBP Aalo organized a glittering function at Nanak Cultural Complex on February 24.

Participating in the programme, Parliamentary secretary, Home, Geology  and Mining, Gadam Ete  said that it is a proud moment for every Indian. 50 years of dedicated service of the ITBP in manning the border, maintaining internal security, fighting against insurgencies and launching Civic Action Programme in inhospitable terrains of the country is a unique feat, he said.

Expressing his happiness to be a part of the Himveer family, he urged the ITBP jawans to keep intact its reputation of being a force to be reckoned with and continue to curve a niche for itself in the security arena in tune with civilian population. Since, ITBP is keeping in touch with the civilians in the remotest and difficult locations, he appealed them to give focus on core issues like education and health for the poor and deprived sections.

Saluting the force on behalf of people of West Siang in particular and state in general, he assured to tie up with the Govt. for any kind of help needed by the force. The Parliamentary Secretary also gave away various prizes to the participants of cultural show.

Earlier, the Commandant ITBP, Anuj Kumar Singh who maintains a close rapport with civilian population, elaborately highlighted the role and responsibilities of the force. He disclosed that the Himveer-50 Relay LRP will move from Aalo today to Menchuka via Tato and the snow leopard has been chosen as mascot for the golden jubilee year of ITBP, not only to signify the valour of the force operating in the tough gorges and snow clad mountain peaks ranging from 9000 to 18,700ft but also for creating awareness on conservation of this rare species.

The cultural programme on the theme “Unity in Diversity’ with a rich blend of traditional and modernity presented by school children of Darka Secondary school, Kendriya Vidyalaya, ITBP school and children from Aalo township area were simply captivating and spell-binder in the truest sense of the term. The short documentary film on ITBP from 1962-2012 presented on the occasion threw a better light on the multifarious role and responsibilities rendered by the force in the last 50 years of glorious service to the Nation. (DIPRO)



Christian brethren join traffic awareness campaign

NAHARLAGUN, Feb 25: With PHQ (traffic cell) continuing its campaign to bring mass awareness on traffic rules to check avoidable injuries and causalities to the commuters, Christian believers led by their leaders pitched in to join the mission today, realizing the disastrous impacts of accidents on the society.

The almighty god never intends to take anybody’s precious life until and unless the person violates the established and nature’s laws to invite punishment, said Christian Revival Church missionary Rev Dr N Tassar to the gathering in the church premises.

“How do you blame the god for your mistakes?,” he went on explaining the wishes of the god and the destiny with which the human being are born, punctuated by praise for the Lord (Halle Luya). He quoted the Bible that clearly conveys Lord Jesus’s kindness for every living being, saying realize and rise to the occasion and lead a live to please the Lord, who would in turn take care of your all agonies and sorrows.

Citing examples of sensible local people causing accidents and demanding fines, Arunachal Pradesh Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board chairman Jalley Sonam called upon one and all, particularly the Nyishi community to shoulder a greater responsibility in ending the attitude to disrespect the laws so as to send a louder message to the rest of India that Arunchalees are law abiding citizens of this proud nation.

A single death is a great loss to the state having very low population, Sonam said, and urged the parents to not spoil their children in the name of love and facilitating accidents as most of the youths resort to stunts on their bikes on the NH.

After explaining the consequences of accidents through a PowerPoint presentation that included grotesque pictures of past accident victims, which particularly left a lasting impact on the gathering, especially left the mothers weeping, DIGP (Traffic) Robin Hibu exhorted everyone to join the mission to make Capital Complex accident-free.

Such camping among  believers other religions would be part of the campaign, Hibu added.

Arunachal State Hospital CMO Dr Moji Jini was equally impressive for his heart-touching deliberations that cautioned everyone as to actions needed immediately after any accident, beside pre and post-accident care.

Pastor Hillang Taya administered the oath to obey the traffic laws to the gathering, who vowed to spread the message, among their near and dears and teach their children the basic of traffic rules.  



Raising anti-dam voice in New Delhi

Nava Thakuria

New Delhi, Feb 25: While anti-big dam protesters have assembled in eastern Assam for a mammoth public rally at Thekeraguri, serious concern is expressed in the national capital in an intense discussion. Addressing the rally at North Lakhimpur on February 23, organized by various anti-dam groups, eminent environmentalist and Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar reiterated her stand that the people living in the catchment areas own a river and hence their interest must not be sacrificed to please the corporate players while going for larger hydro-electricity projects in India.

Meanwhile, attending a dialogue in memory of pioneer environmental journalist and activist of international repute, Anil Agarwal, and various speakers put forward their fears that the hydro-electricity projects in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam would leave a devastating impact on the northeastern part of India and also in Bangladesh.

Organized by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE)  at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, the two-day event on February 24-25 started with a keynote address by Sunita Narain, editor of Down To Earth, a CSE publication, where over 150 environment activists and journalists across the country have participated. "The dialogue is expected to being various issue and concerns on green clearances with all the stakeholders including the government, industry and civil societies and go ahead with it,” added Narain, who also functions as Director General to CSE.

Making his points in front of the gathering, Akhil Gogoi of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samity insisted that the Central government has maintained the tendency to exploit the resource of northeast India without accountabilities. “New Delhi is expecting over 65000 MW from our region, but the government has not taken the people into confidence. The process of public hearing for environment clearances becomes so much undemocratic. So one can find the environment impact assessment looks like a project report of the concerned company,” said Akhil.

The young activist from Assam concluded saying that there should be an independent consortium of both regional and national experts, set-up to conduct environment impact assessment studies. Before conducting studies, the experts should also have a mandate from the local communities. Under no circumstances should such studies be funded by project proponents. Advance downstream impact assessment and public consultation in the entire Brahmaputra floodplains in Assam should be mandatory for upstream dams, he asserted.

Earlier addressing the gathering, Partha J Das of Aaranyak (Guwahati) highlighted the overview of the government policy for Green Clearance to various hydro-electricity projects in northeast India. He revealed in his presentation that already 147 MoUs (out of 168 planned large HEPs in the region) had been signed with the Arunachal government (till July 2011).

“At least 55 projects have obtained scoping clearance and 12 projects (LSHEP for 2000 MW at Subansiri, Ranganadi-I for 405 MW at Ranganadi, Kameng for 600 MW at Kameng, Siyom /Middle Siang for 1000 MW at Siyom, Demwe Lowe for 1750MW at Lohit, Tawang-I for 750 MW at Tawang, Tawang-II for 750 MW at Tawang, Pare for 110 MW at Pare/Dikrong, Tato-II for 700 MW at Siang, Khuitam Lewuitkare for 66 MW at Gang/Bishom/Kameng, Gongri for 90 MW at Kameng) have received the final Environment  Clearance in the bio-diversity hotspot region,” Das pointed out.

He however argued that the environment impact assessment process, based on which the clearances are given, are inferior and misleading.

Moreover, the cumulative environment impact assessment is not done in-spite of the fact that the basins of each major river would have multiple projects. Similarly, the adequate study on downstream impacts is ignored jeopardizing ecosystems, lives and livelihoods, he added.

Moderated by Himanshu Thakkar of South Asia Network on Dams, River & People, the session was also addressed by Chandra Bhushan of CSE and Bimal Bhai from Matu Jan Sangathan where Pema Lepcha of Affected Citizens of Teesta from Sikkim, Vijay Taram of Forum for Siang Dialogue from Arunachal Pradesh, Arwat Challam of  Samrakshan Trust from Meghalaya and Neeraj Vagholikar of Kalpavriksh interacted and highlighted about the environmental and social concerns on the huge hydro-electricity projects in northeast India.

Speaking to this writer, Neeraj Vagholikar argued that several large hydropower projects in the Northeast were granted green clearances without prior downstream impact assessment by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) in New Delhi. “This serious lacuna in environmental decision-making is one of the root causes of the ongoing conflict in Assam. However, no lessons seem to have been learnt by the MoEF through the Lower Subansiri experience,” said Vagholikar adding that the authority had recently granted wildlife clearance to the 1750 MW Demwe Lower project and again asked for post-clearance downstream studies.

“In light of this short-sighted decision-making, this dialogue on green clearances in New Delhi is important. Both academics and activists from the Northeast have highlighted the serious social and environmental concerns in current green clearances being granted to large hydropower projects in the region,” he warped up.

Mentionable that the CSE carried out a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the clearances granted in the last five years - and the findings are nothing less than startling. In the last five years, the country has seen more clearances than those planned for even during the 11th and 12th Five Year Plans, asserted Chandra Bhushan. He also rubbished that a viewpoint is currently voiced in some forums in India that environmental and forest clearances are hampering economic development by delaying various projects in the country.

Two arrested in forgery case

ITANAGAR, Feb 25: Koloriang police has arrested two people in connection with a forgery case. The arrests were made after Kurung Kumey unit of All Nyishi Youth Association (ANYA) lodged an FIR with police regarding a forgery case amounting to Rs.2.50 crore, according to ANYA district unit release.

The arrest led to revelation of the main culprit behind the scam. The  person,  according to them, is the Kurung Kumey district art and culture officer, Oshon Borang who is presently absconding, the release said.

While demanding immediate arrest of the officer, ANYA also urged the deputy commissioner not to transfer him until the case is settled and the amount is recovered.


Visitors lauds NERIST exhibition stall

ITANAGAR, Feb 25: Thousands of people visited the NERIST exhibition stall set up in the just concluded five-day Festival of Arunachal at I G Park here.

The stall with the theme ‘Technology for Tomorrow’s North Eastern States’ showcased various  development orientated programmes and devices like water quality testing, low cost vermi-composting technology for organic farming and its effective utilization, bio-diesel for economic development in rural areas. Apart from this, valuable publications of NERIST were also displayed and almost all the visitors including high-ranking dignitaries applauded the exhibition stall.


Re-poll demanded

ITANAGAR, Feb 25: Three candidates for Aalo East IYC assembly segment alleged unfair means and casting of bogus votes in IYC election held at Likabali polling booth yesterday.

Demanding immediate re-election in the segment, IYC candidates Gebom Doji, J Lollen and Kento Ngomdir in a complaint letter to election PRO claimed that three lady voters did not participate in the election process but their votes were cast by some unknown persons at the polling booth.


Training programe

ITANAGAR: Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Momong, Lohit  conducted a three days training programme on “Vermicomposing as an Enterprise” for the rural youths of Kumari Khampti village from February 23. The NABARD sponsored  training was attended  by total of 30 rural youths.

In recent time, it has been well recognized that vermicomposting is an environmentally safe, economically viable and technically adaptable method of converting organic waste into useful manure. The economic viability of the technology is well witnessed from the large scale commercialization of this technology in many countries of the world including India. Increase in the living standard of people, growing awareness about the ill effects from large scale use of chemicals in the agricultural sector and growing demand for organically produced commodity clearly shows the market potentiality for improved quality organic manures not only for field crops but also for crops with high economic value like tea in the international as well as domestic market. So, production of vermicompost can be taken as enterprise for livelihood, said a release from KVK.


PTC, Khyoda Dungne win men’s and women’s title

ITANAGAR, Feb 25: Police Training Centre (PTC), Banderdewa and Khyoda Dungne lifted the Men and Women’s title in the volleyball competitions organised as part of the Nyokum Yullo celebration at Nyokum Lapang ground here today.

While PTC defeated  Takam Tatung Team by 3-1 sets Khyoda Dungne beat  Tarh Dungne by same margin  (3-1) to lift the coveted trophies.

Mr. Neetu of PTC was declared best player while Ha Welfare Society  under the captaincy of Ha Yani was adjudged the best disciplined team.


Govt lauded

ITANAGAR, Feb 25: Deputy Director Art and Culture and singer Jomnya Siram while appreciating the gesture of the Chief Minister, who felicitated 20 local singers and performers last evening, said that such act will go a long way in encouraging the talents in the state. The artistes were felicitated as part of the celebration to commemorate the Silver Jubilee celebration of Arunachal statehood.   


Restart of hydel project demanded

ITANAGAR, Feb 25: Claiming that the Patta hydel project, Papu Valley under Pijirang circle  has been lying defunct since last two years, All Papu Valley Youth Welfare Association (APVYWA) has demanded the civil power department, Wessang, East Kameng district to restart  the generation of power from the hydel project immediately.

The youth association further demanded the BSNL authority to improve the poor mobile network coverage at Lumdang by properly maintaining the mobile tower and rectifying defects, if any.


Bandh suspended

ITANAGAR, Feb 25: United Nyishi Organization (UNO), in a release, informed that the proposed 12-hr Lower Subansiri bandh on February 27 in support of its demand for transfering the executive engineer, PWD Yazali division has been suspended temporarily till April following assurance from local MLA Likha Saaya to address the organization’s demand.


Doordarshan DG and ADG  in city

ITANAGAR, Feb 25: Director General Door-darshan Tripurari Saran and Additional Director General  B M Bakshi are on a two days visit to Itanagar beginning today. The DG will be attending the Nyokum festival of the Nyishi community at Doimukh tomorrow. The DG has been declared a state guest by the Arunachal Pradesh government during his visit.


US trade missions to NE soon: Burleigh

Guwahati, Feb 25: United States Ambassador Peter Burleigh today said trade missions from his country will visit the north eastern region soon to explore possibility of investment in key sectors.

"Trade missions of US to India's major cities are going on and we are in the process of expanding it to other areas including the north east," he told reporters here.

"We are learning about increasing business opportunities in the N E region and American companies have shown interest for investments," the envoy, who is on a visit to Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, said.

Climate change and renewal of energy were being focussed on by the USA, Burleigh said his country was, however, open to collaboration in almost all major areas of interest. "We are open to exploring virtually any area for investment."

USA was currently participating in a conservation programme at Kaziranga National Park in Assam, he said and expressed satisfaction at the 'amazing' pace of development activities taking place in the state and its congenial atmosphere for investment. PTI


India taken off polio endemic list by WHO

New Delhi, Feb 25: India, which has been polio-free for over a year now, was today taken off the list of polio endemic countries by the World Health Organisation.

This announcement was made by Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad at the polio summit 2012 here in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Azad said he has received a letter this morning stating that the "WHO has taken India's name off the list of polio endemic countries in view of the remarkable progress that we have made during the past one year."

There were only four countries in the WHO endemic list, including Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan.

After being removed from the list, India will have to remain polio free for the next two years to achieve the polio-free status with concerted efforts and an emergency preparedness and response plan, WHO representative in India Natela Menabde said. PTI


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