UPPER SIANG PROJECT (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Infrastructue/Environment)

News-CRUX-10     11th July 2024        
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  • Context: Civil society groups including Siang Indigenous Farmers Forum, Dibang Resistance, and North East Human Rights urge the Union power ministry to reconsider its plan for additional dams and increased hydropower capacity in Arunachal Pradesh.

The Upper Siang Project

  • About: It aims to harness 11,000 megawatts of hydropower on the Siang river in Arunachal Pradesh.

oIt replaces previous plans for two smaller projects with a single..

  • Built by: National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC)
  • Origin of the Siang River: This river originates from Mount Kailash in Tibet as the Tsangpo, flowing eastward over 1,000 km before entering Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Strategic Importance: Seen as a strategic countermeasure against China's large-scale hydropower developments on the Tsangpo.
  • Plans like China's 60,000 MW 'super dam' highlight the geopolitical significance of the Upper Siang project.
  • Hydropower Potential: With a proposed capacity roughly 60% of the total installed capacity of existing hydroelectric projects in the Siang river basin (18,326 MW), it aims to significantly contribute to India's power generation.

Environmental and Social Concerns

  • Activists and local organizations voice concerns about the project's impact on biodiversity, wildlife habitats, and ancestral lands of the Adi tribe.
  • More than 300 villages, including the district headquarters of Yingkiong, are expected to be submerged, affecting local communities' livelihoods and cultural practices.

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