Etalin Hydroelectric Project

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The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) has recently asked the Arunachal Pradesh Government to review the Etalin hydropower project.

Why in News?

  • The FAC has recently asked the Arunachal Pradesh government to file a fresh proposal for forest diversion and the construction of the Etalin hydroelectric project (EHEP) due to non-compliance to conditions stipulated by the FAC and the overwhelming pushback against the project in the region.

About Etalin Hydroelectric Project (EHEP):

  • It is a 3,097 MW hydropower project planned in the Dibang Valley of Arunachal Pradesh. 
  • It is one of the largest hydropower projects proposed in the country in terms of installed capacity.
  • EHEP is proposed to be developed as a combination of two run-of-the-river schemes.
  • The project involves the construction of concrete gravity dams on the Tangon and Dri rivers which are tributaries of Dibang river.
  • The project area falls under the “richest bio-geographical province of the Himalayan zone” and “one of the mega biodiversity hotspots of the world”.
  • The project area is dominated by indigenous population belonging to Idu-Mishmi tribes. 

Idu-Mishmi Tribe:

  • They are the lone inhabitant tribe of Dibang Valley district, Arunachal Pradesh.
  •  The Idu-Mishmi is a major sub-tribe of the Mishmi group.
  • They are of mongoloid race and have a distinctive dialect of the Tibeto-Burman language.
  • The Idu-Mishmi tribe can be distinctively identified by their typical hairstyle, distinctive customs and artistic pattern embedded on their clothes.
  • Traditionally, Idu-Mishmis believe in animism.

Dibang River:

  • It flows through Arunachal Pradesh and Assam states of India. 
  • It is an upstream tributary of Brahmaputra.
  • Origin: The Dibang originates near Keya pass on the Indo-Chinese border in the Upper Dibang Valley district of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Tributaries: The Sisar, Mathun, Tangon, Dri, Ithun and Emra are the major tributaries of the Dibang. 
  • The Mishmi Hills is found along the upper courses of the Dibang River.

Forest Advisory Committee:

  • FAC is a statutory body of the Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) formed under the Forest Conservation Act of 1980. 
  • It considers questions on the diversion of forest land for non-forest uses such as mining, industrial projects, townships and advises the government on the issue of granting forest clearances.

Q1) Where is Dibang Valley located?

Dibang Valley, region, northeastern Arunachal Pradesh state. It is located in the eastern Great Himalaya Range, with its northern and eastern reaches fronting the Tibet Autonomous Region of China.

Source: Forest Advisory Committee asks Arunachal Pradesh to review Etalin hydropower project