Residents of Pipu and Gyawepurang circles of East Kameng district have opposed the proposed high altitude firing range at Lali Ane (Dafla Hill), as sought by the Indian Air Force (IAF), for undertaking live bombing for 45 days from June 8 next, as part of its practice session.
The residents of the circles under the aegis of Pipu Gyawepurang Social Organisation (PGSO) sought the intervention of the state chief secretary to restrict the IAF from practising firing and bombing and not to allow NOC for the establishment of the firing range.
The PGSO in a representation to the chief secretary on Wednesday, while opposing ‘tooth and nail’ the proposed establishment of the firing range, pointed out that Lali Modi, the main migration route of most Nyishi clans, is a historically very important place as it associates with the civilization of the community.
“The mountain range has been an inseparable part of our socio-economic life and considered as a sacred mountain to which we are culturally and emotionally attached,” a representation said.
“The mountain range unifies and binds the Nyishi people inhabiting the districts of East Kameng, Kurung Kumey, Kra Daadi, Papum Pare and Lower Subansiri,” the representation added.
The PGSO added that the place is the storehouse of rich flora and fauna including Mountain Garlic, Coptis Teeta, Omio, Rhodendron, Taxus Baccata, Panak Sikkimensis and any damages to the mountain range would directly affect the villagers who are dependent on it besides jeopardizing the lives of villagers who are directly or indirectly dependent on it.
“It is also the main source of major rivers like Pachi, Pacha, Pania, Panior, Paling, pare, Ladu, Papu, Pakke and Laching, whose water are likely to be contaminated in case of bombardment and the downstream villages will be severely affected besides causing damage to aquatic lives,” the representation pointed out.
The representation further said that Lali Modi is one of the unique mountain systems in the middle zone of the state with altitude ranging from Subtropical to Alpine housing numerous rare fauna including red Panda, Goral, Serow etc.
It added that besides the area is a densely populated so possibilities of collateral damages and loss of life are high due to supersonic speed of fighter planes.
“This is the highest peak in the entire Nyishi belt so considered as a sacred mountain and any kind of manipulation to it, will cause destruction to local inhabitants as per belief system of the community,” the representation stated.
Adding further it said that the area has got a huge stock of medicinal plants and endangered animals including Clouded Leopard and Tragopan. Lali Ane is known to be the repository of medicinal plants.
The PGSO in its representation further alleged that the public of the area who are going to be affected, was never taken into confidence nor any public hearing was conducted by the district administration which is the basic pre-requisite for any land acquisition as per the Arunachal Pradesh Land Acquisition Act.
“We stand by the IAF’s concern for national security and the need for honing the skills of the fighter pilots but not at the cost of losing our streams, rivers, flora and fauna upon which our entire river valley civilization is dependent and evolved down the ages,” the PGSO emphatically said.
It is pertinent to mention here that with the establishment of the firing range, the villages including, Flago, Doka, Ladu Sulung, Pania Sulung, Pipu headquarter, Chege, Bokar, Lochung, Tabri, Fachang, Kapu Dada, Lozi, Dafri, Wotte Cheda, Jotte Cheda, Lasak Cheda, Dabowa Cheda, Tareh Sulung, Derung Sulung, Hari Nablam, Rogowa, Rigom, Likwa Gyadi, Dipu Lamgu, Dokre, Miri, Papiwa Sulung, Isab Langta, Myomey, Tagang Warrang and Richi Lamgu would be severely affected.