SAVE TAWANG

Bordered by Tibet, Tawang is a small district (county) in the state of Arunachal Pradesh India and is home to more than 40,000 Monpa Himalayan Tribes inhabiting in 181 villages. Tawang prides of having one of the largest & oldest Buddhist Monastery in Asia, the Birth place of the 6th Dalai Lama, sacred lakes, caves for meditation, beautiful snow peaked mountains and unique culture.

The peaceful place with strong cultural roots is shaken by the State Government of Arunachal Pradesh opening flood gates of hydropower projects wherein was learnt that the Government entered into 133 Secret MOUs with various Power Developer Companies most of which are private companies who smelt of huge corruption charges.

These projects threaten the very existence of people, their culture and the environment including the habitat of endangered species like the Black Neck Siberian Crane. It is also posing great risk of environmental catastrophe due to long term seismic potential of earthquake impacting on the dams in this top zone.

Despite strong opposition from the people of the region from the past 2 years, the State Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh (India) is determined with their decision, not listening to the voices of its people and crushing any strong protests by beating up protesters and detaining them.

We the peace loving people of Mon Tawang appeal to you to kindly sign this petition and save Tawang from destruction.

To,


The Hon’ble Prime Minister,


Union of India


New Delhi


 


    MEMORANDUM


 


Subject: Memorandum for Saving the Ancient Buddhist cultural town district of Mon Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh by stopping the Construction of 15 Hydropower projects in Tawang district for 3500 MW.


 


Hon’ble & Respected Sir,


 


We the people of Monyul Tawang express our hearty Congratulations to you for the historic victory of BJP under your dynamic leadership in the last Lok Sabha elections and on being sworn in as the Great prime Minister of Mother India. It is a moment of pride for the nation to have personality like you as the Prime Minister when the country is in great need of s strong, dynamic and visionary Prime Minister.  We pray for your long life, good health and success.


 


We, on behalf of “Save Mon Region Federation”, an Association launched to save the our region from the spate of construction of Hydro-power projects which threatens the existence of the people, the environment including the habitat of an endangered species like the black neck Siberian Crane, posing risk of environmental catastrophe due to long term seismic potential of earthquake impacting on the dams in this top zone V seismic risk area.


 


In cultural and religious terms, we are a small group of Monpa Himalayan tribe is at risk of being fully overrun by massive construction and demographic influx associated with hydropower development, so it is an issue of cultural as well as ecological survival.


 


The area of the Tawang district is approximately 2172 sq km., bordered by Tibet in the north, Bhutan in the south west and Sela range separate west Kameng district in the east. Tawang has the pride of having one of the largest & oldest Buddhist monastery in Asia, the birth place of Sixth Dalai lama, it is dotted with ancient Buddhist monasteries, scared lakes, Caves for meditation and beautiful snow peaked mountains. With a population of less than 50,000 inhabiting in 181 villages, Tawang lies roughly between 27.45 N and 90.15 E at the north east extremity of Arunachal Pradesh.


 


May it be submitted that we the people of border district of Mon Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh that our peaceful district with strong cultural roots were shaken by the State Government of Arunachal Pradesh under INC party led by Late Dorjee Khandu in 2006-07, the then Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh with opening of flood gates of hydropower projects wherein was learnt that the Government entered into 133 Secret MOUs (without following the mandatory procedures under the law) with various Power developers, maximum of which are private developers which smelt of huge corruption charges of under the table dealings with lakhs of Rupees fixed per MW. This has been continued further by the subsequent Chief Ministers from INC Government of Arunachal Pradesh.


 


The projects in Tawang district are Tawang Stage I & II by NHPC Ltd., for 1500 MW, Nyamjungchhu Stage I, II & III by Bhilwara Energy Ltd., for 900 MW, Nykcharongchu Rho, Mago Chu etc., by SEW Energy/EDCL Ltd., totaling 3500 MW. The MOUs with these power developers have been signed without taking the affected people’s consent.


 


We have been requesting the Govt. against the construction of said hydropower projects in Tawang district and appealing to the Government to stop the projects in the public interest for the reasons stated below:


 



  1.      Tawang which is inhabited by the Monpas are having a population of less than 50000 people and the influx from outside will change the demographic profile and wipe out our culture and tradition and make us minority as it has happened with tribal people in Tripura, Assam and other places.


 



  1.      The Government’s system in place to check the influx are not affective and just eyewash, the Inner Line permit system also has many loopholes though they promise of the same and the people will have to suffer as history has proved in many places. So, we don’t want to venture into uncertainty.


 



  1.      The fragile Himalayan regions are falling in high seismic zone and the experts have always advised against going for mega dams in the region. We have seen what devastation it brought in recent Uttrakhand Floods which was due to excessive encroachment on the environment for human greed. There has been no assessment for the cumulative effect of the dams generating 40000 MW power in the State of Arunachal Pradesh and no study report by an Independent expert agency.


 



  1.      That, Tawang is a border region having strategic importance to India and the people are totally not in favour of going for the projects that is threatening the traditions, culture and the very existence of the people.


 



  1.      Tawang district has very scares land for cultivation as most of the region is mountainous and unfit for cultivation. A large part of the land is given to the Army and other para military purposes. A large track of cultivable land is going to be affected and more than 30 villages are going to be affected.


 



  1.      To cite an example of use of unfair means, the consent of the poor villagers has been obtained by Bhilwara Energy Ltd., at Lumla by paying money to tune of Rs.30,000 to 50,000/- to one family and misguiding the people without proper information. The consent is manufactured and purchased by inciting the greed of the poor people. The Politician and Power developer’s dirty nexus have sold the future of the people and region for self-political gain. The private power developer has developed a gang of so called public leaders who are under their pay roll for suppressing the people’s voice.


 



  1.      The Government is luring and fooling the people with the benefits of the projects and the development activities that will come up. It is to be stated that we are happy with the efforts of the Government of India in developing the place and it is the duty of the Welfare State Govt., which we don’t want to be taken over by the Private power developers.


 



  1.      The already existing micro-hydel projects in Tawang district if maintained properly is enough for the requirement of the people. There region is not fit for mega dams and the people are totally opposed to it and don’t want to sell the future of our coming generations. We are not against development but it should not be at the cost and against the wishes of the people.


 



  1.      That, the projects are going to threatened the life of endangered bird species and other rare species found in the region. The Government has blatantly violated the established procedures under the law and not taken the affected people’s consent for the acquisition of land and other social concerns.


 



  1. We have been peacefully taking out rallies and peace protest against the Hydropower projects in Tawang for last more than two years but the Government despite promises to look into the matter has failed to come out with a clear statement.


 


We on behalf of the ignorant and peace loving people of Mon Tawang, once again appeal to you to kindly intervene to issue direction to the Ministry of Power, Govt. of India and the State Government of Arunachal Pradesh to stop the projects in Tawang district immediately in the interest of the public.


 


Thanking you,


 


   


   Yours Faithfully,


Save Mon Committee


 


Copy to:


 



  1.      The Hon’ble Minister for Power, Govt. of India, New Delhi for information and necessary action, please.

  2.      The Hon’ble Minister of State for Home, Govt. of India for information and consideration to take with the Govt. favourably, please.

  3.      The Hon’ble Chief Minster, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh for information and necessary action, please.

  4.      The Former Minister & MP, Shri Ninong Ering, Eestern Parliamentary, AP for information and necessary action, please.

  5.      The Hon’ble Minister for Tourism, Govt. of AP, for information and necessary action, please.

  6.      The Hon’ble MLA, Tawang for information & necessary action, please.

  7.      The Hon’ble MLA, Lumla for information & necessary action, please.

  8.      The Zila Parishad chairperson, Tawang Dist., for information & necessary action, please.

  9.      The Deputy Commissioner, Tawang for information & necessary action, please.

  10. The NGOs and Public leaders in Tawang District, for information & necessary action, please.

  11. Office copy.


 


 


Yours Faithfully,


      Save Mon Committee

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