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| Last Updated:: 26/11/2016

Lamas of Tawang rejoice the arrival of their sacred Black-necked crane










The lamas of predominantly Buddhist Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh are rejoicing this winter's arrival of their sacred Black-necked crane at the Pangcheng valley along the Nyamjang Chhu River in that district.


For the lamas, besides the religious significance the arrival of the cranes is once again a vindication of their opposition to the proposed 780 MW Nyamjang Chhu hydro-electrict project.


The lamas under the Save Mon Region Federation (SMRF) banner have been opposing to the proposed project on the ground that the barrage site of the dam is going to damage the wintering habitat of Black-necked crane, revered by the Buddhist Monpa tribe as embodiment of the Sixth Dalai Lama. The 6th Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso, who was a local Monpa from Tawang and wrote about the crane in his poetry.


Locals said that a pair of Black-necked crane arrived at Pangcheng valley on November 17. A local Degin Dorjee has also photographed the arrival of the birds this time.




A 3-km stretch of the Nyamjang Chhu River between Brokenthang and Zemithang in the Tawang district is one of only two wintering sites of the bird in India. The other is the Sangti valley in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh. The bird is protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and is in the Vulnerable category as per IUCN.



"The arrival of the cranes once again is an auspicious sign for us and a vindication of our fight against destructive development in the Mon - Tawang region. Along with safeguarding the ecological and socio-cultural security of our region, we are proud to be peaceful warriors for the environment. This is an expression of our traditional Buddhist culture as well as an exercise of our fundamental duties under the Indian Constitution," SMRF general secretary Lama Lobsang Gyatso said.




On April this year the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had suspended the environmental clearance granted to the 780 MW Nyamjang Chhu project on the ground that Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) had failed to record the importance of the wintering site of Black-necked crane even once.








Source: The Times of India