Etalin Hydroelectric Project - DTE - 19/01/23

Recently, the Etalin hydroelectric project in Arunachal Pradesh has been scrapped in its present form. The plan combined two run-of-the-river schemes with limited storage requiring concrete gravity dams on rivers Tangon and Dri. It ran into several controversies since its inception in 2008 over concerns of ecological damage, forest invasion and tribal displacement.
->Significance of Dir and Tangon River:
The Dir and Tangon river, both tributaries of the Dibang River (tributary of Brahmaputra) in Arunachal Pradesh, India, have the following significance:
a. Hydrological: Both rivers contribute to the overall hydrology of the region by providing water for irrigation and hydropower generation.
b. Ecological: The Dir and Tangon rivers support a diverse array of plant and animal life, including rare and endangered species.
c. Tourist Attraction: The scenic beauty of the Dir and Tangon rivers, along with the Dibang, is a major tourist destination.

->Concerns Raised Around the Etalin Hydel Project:
i. Environmental Impact: The project would involve the construction of a large dam on the Dibang River, which would submerge a large area of forest and wildlife habitat.
ii. Displacement of Local Communities: The project would displace thousands of people from their homes and livelihoods, many of whom are from indigenous communities who rely on the Dibang River for their livelihoods.
iii. Impact on River Ecosystem: The project would change the natural flow of the river and affect the fish migration and breeding.
iv. Geological and Seismic Risks: The South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP) highlighted the geological and seismic risks and threats to biodiversity in 2015, when environmental clearance (EC) to the project was underway.
v. Recent Development of Issue: The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) has asked the Arunachal Pradesh government to go back to the drawing board and submit the plan of project again.

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