The Indian environment ministry has provided approval for the development of two hydro electric projects in the state of Arunachal Pradesh.

The projects – Tawang-I and Tawag-II – will have a combined capacity of 600MW and were cleared after much deliberation on their environmental impact.

Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan was persuaded by Power minister Jyotiraditya Scindia to approve the project while assuaging her fears and apprising her of the widening gap in demand-supply of electricity in the region.

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki strongly supported the projects’ clearance, reiterating that the state had 82% forest cover and that the government would allocate some land for hydro power development.

As a pre-condition to the approval, the environment ministry requested Tuki to implement a basin study of the sites around Tawang-I and Tawang-II projects, the Daily Mail quoted a power ministry source as saying.

"We think a basin study to understand and analyse the ecological situation and impact is a step towards getting the projects on track," the official said.

The basin study, along with other studies for remaining projects, could enable approvals for more projects in the state.