17th Mar 2017 09:03:PM State
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

ES Reporter

ITANAGAR, Mar 17: Nearly 20 years after giving up their land for the construction of the Ranganadi Hydro Electric Project (RHEP), the plight of the land affected people is back in focus as the RHEP MoU Demand Committee has sought intervention of the Chief Minister and Managing Director, North East Electric Power Cooperation (NEEPCO) in facilitating jobs, amenities, Relief & Rehabilitation Packages as promised before commissioning of the state’s biggest 405MW Project in1990.

They are demanding drafting of new MoU with local participation against the Project, proper and fresh review of Relief and Resettlement packages as per NR&R Act, 2007, cancellation of ongoing recruitment of various against RHEP & Immediate recruitment of project affected people in Group (A, B ,C &D) post under NEEPCO as per agreement of RHEP,  Implementation of 1% of total generated power of project for local Area development fund(LADF) guaranteed under National Hydro Power Policy Act 2008, strict implementation of CSR-CD schemes on need basis, Regularization of Jobs of recently W/C upgraded APST candidates etc.

Armed with RTI documents, the committee claimed that there was no MoU signed between the concern state authority and NEEPCO for execution of the one of the state’s biggest hydro power project. It informed that only a meeting was held against such a big project that too without involving the local land donors, thereby implicating a sense of deprivation among the villagers.

Addressing a press conference, Secretary of the committee, Tao Tana said the land acquired by the NEEPCO for the project is the community’s major source of livelihood and since it has been taken away, they have nothing to sustain themselves.

Asserting that the project affected people were in full support of the construction of the dam but are against the lackadaisical attitude of NEEPCO authorities, Tana lamented “We are contributing crores of revenue to state exchequer and hundreds of crores to NEEPCO. Decades have passed, they have progressed, but we have been left out and yet to see any benefits from our sacrifices.”

Demanding action against the team of officers for providing fabricated information regarding displacement of villages, that no individuals or family is uprooted from the permanent settlement, Tana claimed that more than 4 villages were displaced and rehabilitated leaving behind their sources of livelihood including Rice Fields and Jhum land.

Also informing about lapses in implementation of mandatory CSR-CD schemes of NEEPCO for catchment area development of the project, Tana informed that under the scheme there was a mandatory rule to provide 2.5% of net profit from RHEP to be invested for development of the area.  

“Since 2009 no amount were invested for infrastructure development in and around the project area and a total amount outstanding against the CSR went up to 19 crores, which needs to be spent on the development of road, infrastructure and other development of the area,” opined Tana while demanding the authority to establish a full- fledged branch office of NEEPCO in the state capital with a nodal officer to monitor and implementation of CSR-CD and LADF, so that the development packages should be invested for overall development of the area.

Narrating the resolution adopted on the agreement for the benefit of local people, Chairman of the Committee, Taba Techi said before commissioning of the project in 1990, NEEPCO had promised to give job to project affected families.

  However, much to the disappointment of the project affected people, NEEPCO backtracked from its promise and overriding the agreement and sentiments of local qualified youth has continuously employed candidates from other states, without floating any advertisement through the state employment exchange.

Terming the betrayal of NEEPCO as serious sensitive issue, which could lead to potential law and problem in near future, Techi urged NEEPCO authorities to cancel the ongoing recruitment and fill up existing vacancies of Group (A, B, C &D) in RHEP from the qualified and eligible candidates from project affected area as per existing manpower to Megawatt ration norms allowed to power projects under operation and maintenance (O&M) projects as provisioned under Ministry of Power.

He also called for implementation of 1% of total generated power of project for Local Area development Fund (LADF) as guaranteed under National Hydro Power Policy Act 2008 from current financial year 2008-09 on back log basis to uplift the economic status of the people and overall development of the area.

The committee strongly urged the state government as well as concern head officer of NEEPCO to initiate remedial measures before the matter becomes a burning issue and has served an ultimatum of 14 days to concern authority  to fulfill its 10 point charter of demands, failing which it has threatened to launch rigorous democratic movement.  

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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