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Biodiversity & Environment

Etalin Hydroelectric Project

  • 26 Nov 2019
  • 3 min read

The Central Government has recommended a biodiversity study of the proposed 3,097 MW Etalin Hydroelectric Project in Arunachal Pradesh by a credible international institute since the current environmental impact assessment was found to be “completely inadequate”.

  • Location
    • The Project is based on the river Dibang. It is proposed to be completed in 7 years.
      • Dibang is a tributary of the Brahmaputra river which flows through the states of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.
    • It envisages construction of two dams over the tributaries of Dibang: Dir and Tangon.
    • The Project falls under the “richest bio-geographical province of the Himalayan zone” and would be located at the junction of the Palaearctic, Indo-Chinese and Indo-Malayan bio-geographic regions.
  • Significance
    • The Project is in accordance with the Government’s push to establish prior user rights on rivers that originate in China and an effort to fast-track projects in the north-east.
    • It is expected to be one of the biggest hydropower projects in India in terms of installed capacity.
  • Concerns
    • A total of 18 villages consisting of 285 families are expected to be affected by the proposed project.
    • It would entail felling 2,80,677 trees and threatens the existence of globally-endangered mammal species.


  • The Biogeographic Zones are the large distinctive units of similar ecology, biome representation, community and species, e.g., The Himalaya, The Western Ghats.
  • Palaearctic Zone includes arctic and temperate Eurasia, and all islands surrounding the continent in the Arctic, in the sea of Japan, and the eastern half of the North Atlantic. It thus also includes the Macaronesian islands, Mediterranean North Africa and Arabia.
  • The Indo-Malayan Zone’s natural boundaries contain tropical Asia from the Balochistan mountains of Pakistan eastward to the Indian subcontinent south of the Himalayan crest, including the tropical southern fringe of China with Taiwan, the whole of SouthEast Asia, and the Philippines.

Source: TH

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