Controversy Surrounding 132KV Transmission Line Notification in Arunachal Pradesh

ITANAGAR, Nov 24: The Arunachal Primitive Tribal Forest Dwellers’ Forum (APTFDF) is calling for the recall of a notification issued by the Power Department, relating to the construction of a 132KV transmission line passing through the Reserved Forest (RF) in Pakke Kessang district. The former MLA, Techi Hemu, who chairs the forum, alleges that the notification violates the norms of the Forest Right Dwellers Act of 2006.

Hemu contends that the areas earmarked for the transmission line have not undergone proper verification by the concerned department. The project traverses Unclassified State Forest (USF) and Reserved Forest (RF) in Pakke Kessang and East Kameng districts, potentially impacting tribal communities residing in the region for decades. Hemu accuses the Power Department of adopting a ‘short-cut’ and ‘backdoor’ approach by not consulting landowners and affected families, contravening natural laws.

The former legislator insists that the Power Department is not authorized to issue notifications related to land compensation, pointing to violations of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation & Resettlement Act, 2013.

APTFDF rejects a certificate from the Pakke Kessang DC, challenging the consensus purportedly obtained from PRI members. The forum demands the issuance of pending Land Possession Certificates (LPC) to affected individuals, emphasizing the need for re-verification before any payments are made. Additionally, they call for a transparent notification outlining the areas to be acquired, including detailed descriptions of existing plantations.

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