NEW DELHI: Amid the hullabaloo of general elections, the Centre has quietly achieved a significant feat by clearing the decks for initiating work on the biggest and strategically very important hydroelectric project on the Siang river, a major tributary of the Brahmaputra, in Arunachal Pradesh.
India is keen on the Siang project as it will mark its territorial signature on Arunachal Pradesh, thereby helping to settle the contentious issue with China, besides pre-empting Chinese design of harnessing Siang near the Great Bend from where it wants to divert Siang’s water to its northern fertile plains.
In a meeting with the senior government officials of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam recently, the Union Ministry of Water Resources managed to crease out vital differences between the two states, thus getting in principal approval for going ahead with the work for building the country’s biggest hydro-electric project in the upper region of Siang.
Slated to be completed in next 15-20 years, the gigantic project would not only save Assam from catastrophic flooding that makes the state lose several hundred crores of rupees every year but would also generate 10,000 to 12,000 MW of hydroelectric power, thereby becoming a key component for economic growth of northeastern region.
Government sources said that after getting the in-principal approval from the two state governments, work on the detailed project report (DPR) should begin soon.