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Blog Post

The Etalin Project- Beyond the Damned Development

Posted by : Anushka, Mumbai, India, Student
19 May, 2020 15:09:20

Human-animal conflict, rise in sea levels, climate change and all the impacts on the environment due to human activity have somehow contributed to the rise of this pandemic. We should thus be aiming at coexistence with other beings and live in harmony with nature, for we don't have another planet to survive on. Sustainability has become subjective to various bureaucrats around the world and is being defined in ways one could only think of. Just when the lockdown began, India's environment ministry has been on a clearance spree to claim various developmental projects sustainable, when scientists and conservationists have condemned to it strongly with necessary evidence based on numerous ecological and social factors. Coal mining, hydel projects, thermal power plants and what not; such disasters in the making are paving way in India's most biodiverse land across states like Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mahrashtra, Karnataka and the list goes on. Many of the reserves and protected areas being World Heritage Sites. One such project gained massive momentum from the public who strongly oppose the project via emails and petitions through social media campaigns-The Etalin hydel project about which you can read more on my blog. The project has been claimed as sustainable but requires the felling of 2.7 lakh trees in the Dibang Valley which is also a seismically active zone and home to the Idu Mishmi tribe which have conserved the forests for decades together. The dam aims at generating 3000MW of electricity but the purpose of such tremendous power is still not clear due to the lack of transparency of information from the project proponent as well as the environment ministry's side. It questions the credibitly it holds when it has been claimed sustainable but opposed by nearly 290 scientists. Do we really need to reframe our definition of sustainability then? For putting the planet at stake would do good to no one.