The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) has recently asked the Arunachal Pradesh Government to review the Etalin hydropower project.
The FAC has recently asked the Arunachal Pradesh government to file a fresh proposal for forest diversion and the construction of the Etalin hydroelectric project (EHEP) due to non-compliance to conditions stipulated by the FAC and the overwhelming pushback against the project in the region.
About Etalin Hydroelectric Project (EHEP) –
- It is a 3,097 MW hydropower project planned in the Dibang Valley of Arunachal Pradesh.
- It is one of the largest hydropower projects proposed in the country in terms of installed capacity.
- EHEP is proposed to be developed as a combination of two run-of-the-river schemes.
- The project involves the construction of concrete gravity dams on the Tangon and Dri rivers which are tributaries of Dibang river.
- The project area falls under the “richest bio-geographical province of the Himalayan zone” and “one of the mega biodiversity hotspots of the world”.
- The project area is dominated by indigenous population belonging to Idu-Mishmi tribes.
About the Idu-Mishmi Tribe –
- They are the lone inhabitant tribe of Dibang Valley district, Arunachal Pradesh.
- The Idu-Mishmi is a major sub-tribe of the Mishmi group.
- They are of mongoloid race and have a distinctive dialect of Tibeto-Burman language.
- The Idu-Mishmi tribe can be distinctively identified by their typical hairstyle, distinctive customs and artistic pattern embedded on their clothes.
- Traditionally, Idu-Mishmis believe in animism.
About the Dibang River –
- It flows through Arunachal Pradesh and Assam states of India.
- It is an upstream tributary of Brahmaputra.
- Origin — The Dibang originates near Keya pass on the Indo-Chinese border in the Upper Dibang Valley district of Arunachal Pradesh.
- Tributaries — The Sisar, Mathun, Tangon, Dri, Ithun and Emra are the major tributaries of the Dibang.
- The Mishmi Hills is found along the upper courses of the Dibang River.
About the Forest Advisory Committee –
- FAC is a statutory body of the Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) formed under the Forest Conservation Act of 1980.
- It considers questions on the diversion of forest land for non-forest uses such as mining, industrial projects, townships and advises the government on the issue of granting forest clearances.