Nyamjang Chhu Hydroelectric Project in Arunachal Threatens Culture, Livelihood of Monpa Community

Reported by

Jyotsna Singh

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

October 22, 2016

October 22, 2016

Updated on

October 22, 2016

Location of Conflict

Zimithang

Tawang

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Hydroelectric Project

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

10000

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

177

ha

Starting Year

2009

State

Arunachal Pradesh

Sector

Power

The state government has planned a number of dams and hydroelectric projects across two rivers Tawang Chhu and the Naymjang Chhu in Tawang district. Monpas, an indigenous tribe, which constitutes 97 per cent of Tawang's population, have been protesting against ecological damage and land acquisition. The community does not oppose the already existing 31 mini and micro hydro projects in the area but argues that mega dams will be a threat to their existence. In May 2016, Jampa Stering of Humanity International told the media, "Onefourth of Monpa land is owned by the defence ministry and other government establishments. Tawang is one of the smallest districts in Arunachal flanked by China on one side and Bhutan on the other. Where will the people go if our lands are taken away to build dams?" It is estimated that majority of the land being acquired is community land used by farmers and pastoralists in the region. In April 2016, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) suspended environmental clearance to the project after it became clear that the construction work was continuing despite the lack of forest clearances. The NGT asked the environment ministry to conduct a study on the project's environmental impact. On May 2, 2016, local community leader Lama Lobsang Gyatso was arrested in the middle of protests against the construction. When protesters opposed the move, the police shot two dead and opened fire on a crowd of 2,000 people demanding his release. One of the main issues with the project is that it impacts the endangered Blacknecked Crane, which the Monpa community worships as the embodiment of the sixth Dalai Lama. The dam is also likely to submerge the 13th century stupa, Gorzam Chorten, which has great cultural and historical significance for the Monpas. The NGT acknowledged the impact, but despite orders, construction work continues on the site. The field study for the project was conducted between July 2017 and February 2018, and every person asked about the project opposed it. In June 2019, the Dehradunbased Wildlife Institute of India released a report recommending rejection of the proposed project.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Refusal to give up land for the project

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Opposition against environmental degradation

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Both

Type of Common Land

Forest, Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

7228.82

Type of investment:

Cost of Project

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws, Environmental Laws, Land Acquisition Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006
Schedule I, Item 1(c): [Hydroelectric projects over 50 megawatt are Category A projects requiring mandatory environmental clearance]
Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980
Section 2: [This provision mentions that forestland may not be used for non-forest purposes]
Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
Section 3(1)(a): [Right to live on forestland]; Section 4(1): [Vesting forest rights with traditional forest dwellers]
Land Acquisition Act, 1894
Section 4: [Publishing of preliminary notification regarding acquisition]; Section 6: [Declaration that the land is required for a public purpose]
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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  5. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  6. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Violation of environmental laws

Non-implementation/violation of FRA

Controversial land acquisition by the government

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Disposed

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Yes

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

APPEAL NO. 39 OF 2012

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Killing

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

Two protesters were killed in police firing. The police allegedly opened fire on a crowd comprising about 2,000 people, who had gathered at the district collector’s office in Tawang to demand the immediate release of local community leader Gyatso.

Date of Violation

May 2, 2016

Location of Violation

District Collector's office in Tawang

Nature of Protest

Objections as part of official procedures

Protests/marches

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Arunachal Pradesh government

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Bhilwara Energy Limited

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Humanity International Charitable Trust, Lama Lobsang Gyatso

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

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Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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