ITANAGAR- People affected by hydropower projects in Arunachal Pradesh will be compensated handsomely, Union Power Minister RK Singh said on Saturday.
Addressing a press conference, he said the state government and the Centre will take care of the people affected by power projects.
“The government will provide compensation to the affected people which they have not even imagined. Moreover, priority will be given to the locals in jobs and contract works within the jurisdiction of a power project,” Singh said.
Asked about the opposition by various organisations to the power projects, especially in Dibang valley, over environmental concerns and rights of indigenous communities, he said all the aspects are being taken care of.
“The projects were allotted to independent power developers earlier after observing all formalities and obtaining forest clearance. In many projects, work even started. Where were these organisations at that time? Why they did not oppose then?” he questioned.
He said the projects that remained stalled for various reasons were handed over to CPSUs.
“Whatever expenditure was incurred by the independent power developers for those projects will be returned by the respective CPSUs without any interests,” Singh said.
After the commissioning of these projects, the annual budget of Arunachal Pradesh and the people’s per capita income would increase manifold, the minister said.
“Electricity is one of the key enablers for achieving socio-economic development. Economic growth leads to growth in the demand for power. Generation and capacity augmentation is the most vital component for meeting the ever-increasing demand of power to achieve the targeted growth rate,” Singh said.
He said the Centre has taken many proactive measures to promote the growth of the power sector, which includes grants for enabling infrastructure, flood moderation component and waiver of ISTS (inter-state transmission system) charges for hydroelectric projects.
“These reforms, policies and measures have been designed to facilitate investment, enhance ease of doing business and provide the necessary support to overcome regulatory hurdles,” the minister said.
The construction and operation of the hydropower projects, MOAs of which were inked on Saturday, would create about 21,000 direct employment opportunities and would boost the local economy, Singh said.
Arunachal Pradesh inked memorandums of agreement (MoAs) with three central public sector undertakings (CPSUs) for the development of 13 stalled hydropower projects in the state.
“The implementation of these hydro projects represents a beacon of hope for a greener and more sustainable future of the state, which will significantly help India to reduce its carbon footprint. The development of hydropower projects will give a crucial push to industrial development, and prosperity to the state and the nation as a whole,” he said.