Panel for study on power plant impact
Guwahati, June 15: The forest advisory committee of the ministry of environment and forests has called for a study to assess the cumulative impact of hydroelectric projects on the riverine ecosystem on the Siyom in West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh.
A source said this was decided at the committee meeting on May 30-31 while discussing the diversion of 313.88 hectares of forest land for construction of Tato-II hydroelectric project (700 MW) on the river.
The project has been undertaken by the Tato Hydro Power Private Limited.
The Siyom originates in the Upper Himalayas and flows in the southeastern direction. A series of big hydroelectric projects on the river has been identified — the 500MW Hirong project, 700MW Tato-II project, 1,000MW Naying project and 1,000MW Middle Siang (Siyom) project.
The source said after hearing the presentation of the company, the committee called for a study by wildlife experts/institutes to study the status of flora and fauna in the project area with special emphasis on endangered and rare endemic species.
The study should reveal the possible impacts and also suggest mitigating measures. It should examine risks of forest fragmentation and landscape level changes because of the direct and indirect impacts of the proposed project.
The state government may also be requested to give the details of various projects, including existing and proposed micro-hydel projects, and thus provide an overall plan for the Siyom.
The committee said the biodiversity plan prepared by the company urgently needed critical analysis and substantial redrafting. “It appears arbitrary and should instead be based on biodiversity conservation efforts on scientific principles,” it said.
The forest department has enumerated about 120,890 trees in the proposed diversion area. Compensatory afforestation has been proposed over degraded forestland spread over 628 hectares in the Aalo forest division.
The committee also discussed the diversion proposal of 78.45 hectares of forestland for implementation of the 96MW Nafra hydroelectric project by Sew Nafra Power Corporation Private Limited in Bomdila forest division of West Kameng district in Arunachal Pradesh.
The committee discussed the environment impact assessment report of the project but said no detailed report was available on the existence of terrestrial and avian fauna in the project area.
It has asked the chief wildlife warden of Arunachal Pradesh to give a report on wildlife presence and habitat in the project area, with special emphasis on endangered species.