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1750 MW Demwe Lower project under scanner

ITANAGAR, Sept 10: Even as the centre and state governments look at Hydro Power Projects in Arunachal as remedy to power and resources crunches, there have been some voice of resentment within the state. One such organisation that has managed to thwart any move by the powerful state govt and NHPC to go ahead with the Dibang Multi Purpose project is All Idu Mishmi Students Union. The latest of dissent has come from Lohit and Anjaw. In a letter to the Member Secretary, Arunachal Pradesh State Pollution Control Board,  former Minister Khapriso Krong and four others said that Public hearing for 1750 MW Demwe Lower project should be re-scheduled after completion of comprehensive impact assessment studies and compliance of all norms under the Environment Impact Assessment  (EIA) notification 2006.

They alleged that proper notice of public hearing was not given to the affected people and access to all information is minimal. APSPCB has not informed the Gram Panchayats about the public hearing. Even the circular dated July 16th  (published in ‘The Eastern Mail’ on July 19th) issued by the Deputy Commissioners’ of Lohit and Anjaw fails to inform people downstream living on the left and right bank, they alleged.  

One cause of concern for these individuals is Pending implementation of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006. The implementation of the Tribal Forest Rights Act may significantly change the nature of the rights people have on the forest land impacted by the project. This will therefore also impact the process of determining the impacts on peoples rights due to land lost in the process, as well as the compensation due to people.  Therefore, it will be appropriate to hold this hearing after the prior implementation of this law, they said.

The current EIA report is inadequate on many issues, they said while adding that ‘it is absolutely vital that the public hearing is held only after proper studies are completed’. They alleged that there is No downstream impact study.

The EIA report has collected data only 10 km. downstream of the project and analyses downstream impacts only between the dam and the powerhouse! This is shocking when the issue of ‘downstream impacts of dams’ has assumed such significance in recent times both in Arunachal Pradesh and neighbouring Assam.  

The river waters devoid of sediments will also cause increased scouring in downstream areas, which is a matter of grave concern for areas downstream such as Chongkham, Alubari, Kherem and Sunpura already impacted by erosion. Boulder mining will also be done in the downstream areas (approximately 2 lakh truckloads), the impact of which has not been studied, especially considering that boulders are the first line of defence against floods, they said.

The EIA report estimates that impacted land is 1590 hectares.  A careful perusal of the ground situation indicates that impacted land is grossly underestimated. In addition to the submergence, land use restrictions will also apply in the Catchment Area of the reservoir as per mandatory norms to reduce the siltation and increase the life of the reservoir. As per the reports, the project involves loss of 1409 ha of forest land. This will require 2818 ha of “degraded forest land” to be brought under Compensatory Afforestation (CA). Which land will be brought under CA? What about impact on people’s jhum fields in these areas? Further, if Unclassified State Forests (USFs) brought under CA are declared as Protected Forests (PFs) as per forest laws, we will further lose our rights over more land, the added.  

The existing studies have completely ignored the serious impacts the project will have on two extremely sacred sites for the Mishmi community – Nimkey and Tailung. Both these sites are absolutely critical to the spiritual life of the Mishmis. While Nimkey will be submerged, Tailung is immediately downstream of the dam and will be impacted due to massive alteration of natural flow regimes in the river.  

Tailung, is also known as Parshuram kund to the Hindus and is an important pilgrimage site.  The dam will have a major impact on this area immediately downstream of the dam. Provision of water flow through a tunnel at Parshuram kund (as has been suggested in the Environment Management Plan), cannot be a substitute for the free-flowing river at this site considered sacred by lakhs of people, they reminded.  

Inadequate environmental risk assessment  and non - completion of the Lohit river basin study (cumulative impacts) are other concerns.

The public hearing for the 1750 MW Demwe Lower project should be held only after completion of a full Lohit river basin study. It is important for the people of Lohit and Anjaw districts to full understand the cumulative impacts of the 11 hydro projects planned in the Lohit river basin (including tributaries) before we take a decision on the Demwe Lower project.

The cumulative Lohit basin study will be completed in the end of December 2009, while the public hearing for one of the mega projects in the river basin (Demwe Lower) is taking place five months before that in August 2009!

We are also extremely concerned that another Athena promoted project, 1200 MW Teesta III, has been severely criticised by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) for major variations from the approved plan in some construction features (Reference: energylineindia.com, January 1, 2009). What is the guarantee they will not change the design in the Demwe Lower project after start of construction, thereby endangering the downstream areas? We need a proper assurance on this issue from them and the government, they asked


Upper Lego Banggo celebrates Solung

ITANAGAR, Sept 10: Upper Lego Banggo celebrated its central Solung festival at Bilat, East Siang District from September 4-6.

Speaking on the occasion as Chief Guest, SE Power, Rokom Bado appreciated the organizing committee and urged the people to preserve one’s own culture and tradition.

He further appreciated the Ponung Miri Tanyo Dupak and the Ponung teams.

Upper Lego Banggo Central Solung Festival Celebration Committee General Secretary Ellison Siram, Head Gaon Bura and other guest highlighted on mythology of Solung celebration and its importance in the Adi society.On the occasion, Tum Aje, Jainy Siram of class X, Opang Padung, Jesoya Riba of class XII were felicitated for their meritorious academic achievements.

Meanwhile, Oity Koyu has been adjudged as Mrs Upper Lego Banggo with Asing Nonang and Sosoli Taloh as the 1st and 2nd runner up respectively.

Along with traditional folk dances, modern dances were also displayed on the occasion by Ponung parties and Mikong Tapu party.

The Solung was also celebrated at newly created Mopom administrative circle, under Mariyang Sub-division, Upper Siang District.

DTO Yingkiong and CRCC Yingkiong attended the function as Chief Guest and Guest of Honour.


Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal in Nov

Dharamsala, Sep 10: Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has planned a visit to Arunachal Pradesh in the second week of November, an aide said Thursday.

The Dalai Lama had to cancel his visit to the state last year after the Indian government refused to grant him permission.

The Dalai Lama's office here is keeping the Nobel laureate's trip to Arunachal a low key affair because it is feared that this could upset the Chinese who claim the region has historically been part of Tibet.

Last year, the Arunachal Pradesh chief minister visited Dharamsala to invite the Dalai Lama to visit Tawang to inaugurate a hospital. The Dalai Lama has contributed Rs.2 million for its construction.


Relief Committee appreciates

ITANAGAR, Sept 10: Nyigam Village fire accident Relief committee and ZPM Basar Kenmar Basar thanked Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu for immediately sanctioning an amount of Rs. 27 lakhs and MP Takam Sanjay for announcing Rs. 5 lakhs from MP LAD fund for immediate relief to the fire accident victim of Nyigam Village of Basar circle.

It further thanked state government officers and officials, TT Foundation, NGOs from Itanagar and districts, who had contributed an amount of Rs. 4.59 lakhs for the relief activities and also to the Galo Welfare Society who had donated an amount of Rs. 1 lakh.

The committee also thanked student’s organizations, Tourism Department, societies and public leaders who had contributed cash and kinds to the villagers in the dire distress arising out of devastating fire accident.

The committee said that although it may not be possible to mention the name of all the donors, however, their wishes and contributions in the time of need will be remembered and acknowledged.

Meanwhile Arunachal Pradesh Trinamool Congress contributed a sum of Rs. one lakh to the fire victims of Nyigam Village and Rs. 5000 to Ipi Basar for her efforts to save life and property during the fire accident.  


Universal Brotherhood Day

ITANAGAR, Sept 10: Vivekananda Kendra Arunachal Pradesh would celebrate Universal Brotherhood Day on Sep 11 at Vivekananda Hall, RK Mission Hospital to commemorate Swami Vivekananda’s epoch making speech at Chicago.  Even after 116 years of his speech today the world is facing similar problems of fanaticism, sectarianism etc. making his speech relevant in this era, a release read.

On the day, state level class X toppers and National Award winning teachers would also be felicitated in the programme.

Governor of Arunachal Pradesh Gen (Retd) J J Singh will be present as chief guest. Rekha Davey, All India Joint General Secretary of Vivekananda Kendra, Dr. Joram Begi, Prant Pramukh and Dr. Tejum Padu Sah Prant Pramukh will also be present.

On the occasion, the Mobile Science Laboratory will also be inaugurated by the First Lady Anupama Singh. This science laboratory is meant to take science to the far flung interior areas. This Mobile Laboratory is donated by Indian Oil Corporation.


Ex-servicemen rally at Deomali

DEOMALI, Sept 10: An ex- servicemen meet was organised by 19 KUMAON Regiment on behalf of DAH DIVISION at Deomali, Tirap District under 181 Mountain Brigade.

Around 500 former ex-servicemen from the Army, Navy and the Air Force participated in the meet.

Brig Ranbir Singh, YSM, Commander 181 Mountain Brigade met veterans and enquired about their well being. Speaking on the occasion Commander said, a large number of new schemes including old age Pension, Widow Marriage, Assistance of Orphan Daughters have been introduced.

Colonel Ashok Mishra, Sena Medal, Commanding Officer 19 KUMAON reiterated the importance of the occasion which involves dissemination of information and addressing of concerns pertaining to large interest of the veterans. Various stalls pertaining to ECHS, Banking, LIC, Automobiles, Recruiting, Agricultural and Fisheries Information Cell, Know Your Army and Postal were set up in order to facilitate dissemination of information and one point contact for the ESM.

Handouts and leaflets with valuable information about ex-servicemen welfare were given to all ex servicemen. Veer Naris and poor widow were given financial assistance and presented with shawls.

Specialists from civil and Army doctors extended necessary medical help and advice to the ex-servicemen. Free medicines were distributed. The occasion was marked with excellent cultural show consisting of Bihu Dance and Nockte dance by the local youth of Deomali and Digboi.

The Rally was well received by the veterans who appreciated the colossal efforts put in by 19 KUMAON Regiment. They suggested that similar meets should be organised frequently.


Trends of a tradition

--Obang Tayeng

As her supple body sways in tune with the riveting music of a modern song, the enthralled audience consisting of the old and the young, clap passionately. The moment the dancer, with a face just as charming and gorgeous finishes her dance, a rousing applaud greets her. It is followed by cries of ‘once more, once more!’

The episode, which befits a sequence in a Bollywood movie, is however, that of a late night cultural programme in a Solung festival. Elsewhere, a festival committee conducts painting and literary competitions. Similarly, a maiden fashion show introduced in some other festival venue draws all and sundry alike. And still somewhere else-- a football match, a modern dance competition and so on apart from the customary events.

These developments show that despite our commonly held penchant of ‘preservation of culture’, a popular craving for entertainment and pursuit of contemporary creative activities—particularly of the young section--predominate even ethnic festivities. These glaring signs of the present times indicate that ‘tradition as it is’ is incompatible with the time; a certain amount of reformation is essential to keep alive the old values. It shows us that change is an indispensability for growth, not an obstacle in the life cycle of a tradition.

Many of the participants in the essay competition organized by the Naharlagan Solung Festival Committee this year (Do we need to reform our traditional practices of Solung Festival?) offered enlightening views. Some of them came down hard on apong and slaughter of mithuns. Their opinion, with which the contributor almost sees eye to eye, is a minority in the present society, sadly. Apong and meat is a natural ingredient of tribal festivity and will remain so until the people are ready to find alternatives.

Lest we forget them

Many of the dedicated persons of the contemporary society who worked selflessly for the cause of Solung and Adi culture are sadly no more with us, though hopefully their legacy will continue to nourish it. Apart from Golgi Bote Talom Rukbo, Taluk Tamuk, a versatile folklorist, Komeng Dai, a pioneering artist, Oyem Yomso, a creative artist and singer, and Takir Taying, a renowned rhapsodist, have rendered the society poorer with their demise. Each of them was talented in their own way and contributed immensely in enriching present Adi culture. The best tribute the society can pay to them is to acknowledge their service and carry on from where they have left.

‘No No’ to hybridism

The natural journey of a tradition is not always in a straight line; this is evidenced from an ‘Adi Agom Luki’ (Adi language speaking) competition held in this year’s Naharlagan  Solung. Bound by the rules of the competition to speak on a particular topic in pure mother language in front of a critical audience and a discerning judge, most of the participants including this columnist had a harrowing time behind the mike. An officer participant asked to speak on importance of agriculture was faulted on three counts when he used ‘goru’ (cow, ox), instead of the forgotten ‘hoii’ despite his vehement defence of the word. Uttering of ‘Mane’, ‘aru’, and similar hybrid words that have commonly been assimilated in Adi were vociferously booed upon; even a ‘Hello Hello” by an elderly speaker to check the mike before his actual performance, was not spared by the heckling crowd. I had to part with Rs forty for uttering ‘lagidung’ four times instead of ‘midung’, which I thought was comparatively easier than most other challenges.

Astonishingly, four speakers emerged unscathed and triumphant in the tricky competition. They delivered the purest and the most brilliant of speeches in the mother tongue as if they recited poems. Three of them were awarded with cash collected as fines from defaulters who naturally formed an absolute majority.


DMs clamp prohibitory orders

ITANAGAR, Oct 10: District Magistrates of West Kameng, East Kameng and Tawang have clamped prohibitory orders to maintain the law and order and peace and tranquility during the Assembly election period and for the peaceful conduct of the election.

Carrying of all types of weapons including licensed arms has been prohibited. The citizens have been asked to deposit their arms at the nearest Police Station.

In Tawang and West Kameng, , the DC cum Collector Excise has also declared the dry days to be strictly adhered to. Thorough checking of trucks and other vehicles would also be done to ensure that no undesirable elements or arms and ammunitions are smuggled into from outside.

Aalo: The West Siang Deputy Commissioner cum District Election Officer Amjad Tak, IAS had a meeting with ROs and AROs to discus poll preparedness.

Further, he asked the ROs and AROs to conduct Consultative Committee Meetings with representative of Political Parties, Strict adherence to defacement Act, standing order for allotment of Govt. Bungalow to Political Parties and Maidans.

SEPPA: A coordination meeting with all Administrative officers and Police personnel held here at DC's chamber with regard to Poll preparedness under the chairmanship of Pige Ligu, DC cum DEO, Seppa.

The meeting discussed on various issues like Porter arrangement, movement plan, Identification of critical polling stations, Law and order, Communication and Transportation, Training schedules for polling officials on EVM.

The DEO said that it is a team work; hence everyone's effort under any circumstances is required at this crucial time.

He further requested all the Officers to exercise their service and duties with full dedication and sincerity which would make the Assembly Election a grand success in East Kameng District. (DIPROs)


“Literacy is not just signing ones name”

Literacy day observed in Wakro

WAKRO, Sept 10: International Literacy Day was celebrated in Wakro jointly organized by the VT-AWIC Youth Library Network Lohit, Lohit Saksharata Samity, Tezu, ASSET, Wakro and the Govt. schools of Wakro circle with a series of literacy related events.

Addressing the public, teachers and students, Lewesi Mele, CDPO, Wakro stressed that for building a vibrant Arunachali society, our rural women too must become literate. “Literacy is not just signing ones name, but the ability to absorb new ideas by selective and purposeful reading.”

She also lauded the APNE Library for conducting contests such as Read Aloud A book, Handwriting, painting and Rangoli making.  

The highlight of the programme was the speeches by Luckyso Rangmang, Sanianso Tayang, Manisha Halai, Diumlu Appa, and Amonlu Halai, young readers of the Apne Library, Wakro on various aspects of Literacy. They reminded the audience on the vital need to develop a vibrant Mishmi language by adopting a script, which alone can stabilize reading habits in rural Arunachal.

Narrating the inspiring life-story of 2 outstanding personalities – late V.T. Bhattathiripad of Kerala and Babi Halder of Delhi ( author of ‘A Life Less Ordinary’) who rose up from illiterates to renowned authors,. S. Mundayoor, Coordinator, VT-AWIC Youth Library Network Lohit, urged the students and educated youth of Arunachal to promote literacy among the villagers and to create a literature based on Arunachali languages.

Earlier, the Chief Guest gave away the Beena Ghose Roy Award to Binu Nguso for having stood first amongst students of Wakro Sec School in the CBSE cl. X examination of March 2009.  This annual award is instituted by ASSET in gratitude to late Beena Ghose Roy, a saintly mother from Bengal, and a patron of education in Wakro circle.

Preeti Tindia, Vice-Chairperson, ASSET gave away the prizes of various contests held during the Literacy Day.


Teachers’ training on girl child education held

TEZU, Sept 10: The 2nd Annual Teachers Training Programme on Gender Sensitization was held at Medo, Wakro under the guidance of DDSE-cum-DPO K Rina. Altogether 20 teachers from 5 schools took part in the training programme organized by Sarva Shiskha Abhyan, Lohit District.

Inaugurating the training programme on Sept 3 last  S Chopra, gender co-coordinator and chief resource person underlined the need to ensure good quality education to girl at the elementary level.  S. Mundayoor, Educational Advisor to ASSET expressed his happiness over the creative training programme on reusing polythene bags and calendars as learning materials for elementary classes.

Rohinso Krisikro, Chairman ASSET  said, such training will certainly keep teachers updated and the creativity initiated and demonstrated by Gender coordinator, SSA will certainly  bring the  teachers and children nearer.

Several methods of Mathematics, Science & English teaching  and practical demonstration on reusing polythene bags in teaching learning process  were the part of the programme. Maya Bhattacharjee, teacher extended all help to make the programme a grand success. DIPRO


Clash of teen titans

U-16 D.N. Memorial Football Tournament

ITANAGAR, Sep 10 : There is no doubt, the soccer loving people of Capital Complex will witness a tussle of talent and row power when two formidable teams -- Lower Subansiri and East Kameng lock horns with each other in the title clash of Under 16 Dera Natung Memorial Football Tournament at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Naharlagun tomorrow.

While Lower Subansiri sailed into the final with wins over Capital Complex in quarterfinal by a margin of 4-2 goals and Kurung Kumey by a margin of 2-1 goals in semifanl , East Kameng beat Lower Dibang Valley 3-2 in quarterfinal and drubbed West Siang 6-0 in yesterday’s second semifinal to book a berth in the final.

Although Lower Subansiri team is considered a strong title contender, but going by the recent performance East Kameng might cause upset victory over Lower Suabansiri. The team’s scoring ability and team work was visible in their last encounter with West Siang.

The trio of Toko Polium, who scored two goals in quaterfinal against Lower Dibang Valley, Tero Dodum and Captain Adam Rimo may create panic anytime in Lower Subansiri dent. On the other hand, Koj Chatu, T, Gumte and Mihin Pullu, who form the nucleus of Lower Subansiri team may become headache for East Kameng defenders if they continue their good form. However, it will be immature to predict on which team lady luck smiles. Spectators must watch this clash of teen titans and wait for the results till tomorrow.

Beside East Kameng and Lower Subansiri, 12 teams took part in the tournament organized for the first time in memory of former minister Late Dera Natung, who died in May 2001 in a helicopter crash near Rupa along with seven co-passengers and pilots.


State Level Karate-Do Championship

ITANAGAR, Sept 10: Two days State Level Karate-Do Championship  will be kicked off from September 12 at Nikum Niya Hall Nirjuly.

Karatekas from Papum Pare, Lower and Upper Subansiri, Kurung Kumey, East and West Kameng, West and East Siang, Tirap, Lohit and Anjaw ditricts are taking part in the championship.

The technical seminar will be held on September 12.

Meanwhile, Former Minister Lechi Legi and Member Secretary, Sports Authority of Arunachal DK Dinglow have consented to attend the inaugural day as Chief Guest and Guest of Honour.

Chief Engineer, PWD Western Zone TH Tayung would attend the closing ceremony as Chief Guest on September 14.




ITANAGAR: Kerala Kala Samskarika Vedi has decided to celebrate its 15th anniversary cum Onam at Nyokum Niya Hall, Nirjuly on September 12.

Vice-Chancellor, RGU and DC Capital have consented to attend the inaugural day as Chief Guest and Guest of Honour.


Prohibitory order revoked

Ziro: The prohibitory order under section 144 Criminal Procedure code (Cr.P.C.) promulgated on Sept 6 last in Hapoli township by Lower Subansiri District Magistrate has been revoked yesterday.

The revocation order was issued by the District magistrate after assessing the situation in Hapoli township which has returned to normalcy after an abrupt group clash between supporters of two political parties on 6th September evening.


NCP expels6 members

ITANAGAR: Nationalist Congress Party has expelled Nabam Jollaw, Techi Necha, Nabam Roger and Toko Doni from the party for a period of 6 years for anti party activities.

Meanwhile, Kago Tagyang has been appointed as General Secretary cum spokesperson of NCP State Unit while Hamjong Tangha, Kipa Tarish and RC Tassar have been appointed as Secretaries, NCP State Unit.







(Readers’ Forum)






Kiren Rijiju in Congress…


This refers to an article written by Nani Bath in your esteemed daily of Sept 9. I congratulate the author for such a bold article. He has raised several important issues which our leaders and administrators should take note of before it is too late.  But in case of Kiren Rijiju’s joining the Congress party, I feel that his action should be looked at in a different angle. The author himself has stated few examples of the state of affairs that exists in Arunachal Pradesh today. Sometimes, it is easier to correct the system by while being within the system. This could be the strategy that Kiren Rijiju is adopting. We have only to watch what positive changes he brings while being in Congress. Moreover, the dismal performance of BJP during last Parliamentary elections must have been one of the reasons. One must remember that BJP is a party driven by certain ideology, but it will take time for such ideological politics to come in Arunachal.  And the truth is that for our own welfare, Arunachal Pradesh cannot afford to have a party in power different from the Centre.

Tage Melyang

District correspondent

Lower Subansiri District

All India Radio, Ziro

September - 11