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Indian Cabinet approves expenditure for 2,880-MW Dibang Multipurpose Project

India’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved an expenditure of INR16 billion (US232.4 million) on pre-investment activities and various clearances for the 2,880-MW Dibang Multipurpose Project (MPP) in Arunachal Pradesh.

The estimated total cost of Project is INR280.8 trillion (US$4.1 trillion) and the estimated completion period for the project shall be nine years from receipt of Government sanction.

The dam, on the Dibang River in Lower Dibang Valley District, is 278 m high and will be the highest dam in India once completed. The underground powerhouse will contain 12 250-MW turbine-generator units and produce 11223 MU of energy in a 90% dependable year. This is the largest ever hydroelectric project to be constructed in India, according to the government’s Press Information Bureau.

Dibang MPP is envisaged as a storage based hydroelectric project with flood moderation as the key objective. After implementation of the master plan of the Brahmaputra Board for flood moderation of all rivers contributing to the Brahmaputra River, of which Dibang MPP is one component, a sizable area will be protected from flooding and help in mitigating the perennial damage due to floods in Assam.

On completion, the government of Arunachal Pradesh will get 12% free power from the project. The total value of benefit to Arunachal Pradesh will be INR 267.85 trillion (US$3.9 trillion) over the project life of 40 years.

The approval of the anticipated expenditure on pre-investment activities and various clearances will enable payment toward compensation for land acquisition and resettlement and rehabilitation activities to project affected families and state government, payment of net present value of forests, compensatory afforestation, catchment area treatment plan to the state government for forest lands, to secure the forest clearance (Stage-lI) and construction of roads and bridges for accessing the project site.