ITANAGAR: In the backdrop of Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu’s announcement that the state government has terminated 22 hydropower projects worth 3,800 megawatts and served notice to 46 projects worth 8,000 MW, it has come to light that one such project is a 30-MW hydel power unit that has been biting the dust for 12 long years.

A memorandum of agreement between the state government and Indiabulls Real Estate Ltd was signed in October 2007 to build the Tarang Warang project on the Pacha tributary of the Kameng river in East Kameng district.

As per the terms, the power developer was supposed to begin construction within two years from the date of signing “or within one year from the date of receipt of all the statutory clearances… whichever is earlier i.e. on or before 24 October 2009”.

An official document from the state government’s Department of Hydropower states that Indiabulls Real Estate was granted extensions on two occasions: in October 2009 for two-and-a-half years, and again for two years in April 2012.

Activist Payi Gyadi, who had earlier made an appeal for the project to be scrapped citing non-progression of work, made the copy of the document available to The Citizen.

The ‘office memorandum’ says that the company failed to adhere to several timelines that the government had given it.

“In order to give due opportunity to the company to avoid delay in commencement of the project, Government of Arunachal Pradesh issued letters dated 18/01/2013 & 18/06/2013 and show cause notices dated 30/11/2009 and 17/09/2010 highlighting various lapses on the part of the Company in terms of the timelines of various intermediary milestones of the project,” it says.

The government states that the failure to commence with the project was “solely attributable to the company”.

As per the document, Indiabulls Real Estate Ltd has not responded to the state government’s repeated notices, the last one sent on May 14 this year.

Arunachal Pradesh alone accounts for some 50,000 MW or a third of the country’s total identified hydropower potential of 148,701 MW.

Over the years, successive state governments have signed agreements with state-owned and private power developers to construct dams to tap into this potential, with little success.

At one time, active agreements existed for over 160 hydro projects throughout the state. Currently, only two hydropower projects are operational, with the 600 MW Kameng project scheduled to begin operations later this year.

The Centre had earlier also given the clearance to construct what will be the country’s largest hydropower project, the 2,880 MW Dibang Multipurpose Project.

Chief minister Khandu said last week that the projects scrapped by the government had “not progressed and people have lost confidence in them”.