The Indian government has approved Rs. 1600 crore for pre-investment activities and various clearances for the 2880MW Dibang Multipurpose Project in Arunachal Pradesh – the largest ever hydroelectric project to be constructed in India.

The funds were approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The project is expected to

cost Rs. 28080.35 in total, with construction expected to take nine years from receipt of Government sanction.

Located on the river Dibang, in Lower Dibang Valley District, the 12x240MW project will feature a 278m high concrete gravity dam, the highest dam in the country once complete, six. horseshoe-shaped headrace tunnels of length varying from 300m to 600m with 9m diameter, an underground powerhouse and six horseshoe-shaped tailrace tunnels varying from 320m to 470m long with 9m diameter.

Dibang is envisaged as a storage based hydroelectric project with flood moderation as the key objective, with the project expected to protect the sizeable downstream area from floods. The project is a component of the master plan of Brahmaputra Board for flood moderation of all rivers contributing to the river Brahmaputra, helping to mitigate perennial damage due to floods in Assam.

The approval of the anticipated expenditure on pre-investment activities and various clearances will enable payment towards compensation for land acquisition and R&R activities (Rs. 500.40 Crores) to project affected families and state government, payment of Net Present Value (NPV) of forests, Compensatory Afforestation (CA), Catchment Area Treatment Plan (CAT) to the state government for forest lands, to secure the Forest Clearance (Stage-lI) and construction of roads and bridges for accessing project site.

In addition to the mandated R&R plan, it is also proposed to spend Rs. 241 crore on Community and Social Development plan and certain concerns raised by the local people during the public hearings. It is also proposed to spend an amount of Rs. 327 lakhs on a plan for protection of culture and identity of local people.