Chapter 1


About the State (Landscape – L1)

Introduction: – The Tawang Township is a District Headquarter and is situated in eastern part of Indio-China border, the Headquarter of Tawang District where 350 years old world famous monastery exists is a beautiful valley surrounded by pine tree clad mountains. The Original people inhabiting the township are Monpa by tribe. However the people migrating from nearby areas and the people from plain area (Non- Tribal’s) for seeking job and business opportunities now constitutes major chunk of the present population of the town. This is one of the fastest growing urban in the Tawang District of the Arunachal Pradesh. Topographically, it is a beautiful valley and climatically it is warmer and is centrally located in the whole of MON area where many beautiful and majestic Monasteries are coming up in the outskirts of the town, which will eventually attract foreign as well as domestic tourists in the days to come. It is well connected with nearest market centre Tezpur in the state Assam and Tawang the Headquarter of Tawang District in the Arunachal Pradesh by all-weather surfaced road network.
Tawang District:
The beautiful land of the Monpa’s is located in the western part of Arunachal Pradesh on the international borders with China and Bhutan. It is situated at an average height of 3500 metres from the mean sea level on the mountainous range of the Northern Himalayas. Its snow capped peaks, numerous tranquil lakes; congenial climate and the hospitable people continue to entice the tourists from all around. This magical land evokes images of awesome mountain views, remote hamlets, quaint and sleepy villages, magical Gonpas, serene lakes and mesmerizing valleys. At Tawang, one has a heavenly tryst with nature and there is a heady mixture of ancient history, Lamaism, and glorious legends. Tawang is believed to have derived its name from the Grandiose Tawang Monastery perched on the edge of the ridge running along the western part of Tawang Township. ‘Ta’ means Horse and ‘Wang’ means Chosen. As the legend goes the site of the present Tawang Monastery is believed to have been chosen by a horse owned by Merak Lama Lodre Gyatso who was on a search for an appropriate place to establish the Monastery but was unable to locate any appropriate site.
So he finally decided to sit on prayer for guidance of divine power. As he opened his eyes after prayer, he found his horse missing. So, wearily he went out searching for his horse and found it on the top of hill known as Tana Mandekhang where once stood the palace of King Kala Wangpo. Believing it to be a good omen, Merak lama Lodre Gyatso decided to initiate work for building of the monastery with the help of the people. The Monastery thus was founded by late 1681. However, there is also another belief of derivation on the name ‘Tawang’. The great treasure revealer, Terton Pemalingpa gave initiations such as Tamdin and Kagyad and hence the place came to be known as Tawang. ‘Ta’ an abbreviation of Tamdin; ‘Wang’ means Initiation.

The People:
Tawang has a population of 49,950 persons as per the provisional Census of 2011. “Gentle, friendly, courteous, industrious, good to animals and good to children” is how Verrier Elwin describes the Monpas as. Decendents of Mongloid race, the Monpas are Buddhists by religion and Tawang Monastery is the fountainhead of their spiritual lives. The spread of Buddhism in the area started with the arrival of Guru Padmasambhava, the great Indian Saint in the 8th century. The Monpa tribe is predominant of the Gelukpa Sect of the Mahayana stream of Buddhism. Before embracing Buddhism, they were believers of ‘Bon’ faith characterized by spirit and nature worship.
There are legends that the Monpas immigrated from Bhutan and Tibet at different times but the circumstances under which the migration took place and the time of the first settlers in the present habitat is obscure. The oldest record where in the mention of the region appears is in the Tibetan Epic- ‘Khandro Drowa Sangmo’- which dates back to the 7th Century AD. In the epic, we find the mention of a place called ‘Tana Mandekhang’ from where King Kala Wangpo ruled. In the Monpa family, the man is the head of the household and he is the one who takes all decisions. In his absence, his wife takes over all the responsibilities. However, when a child is born, they have no strict preference for a boy or a girl. The Monpas are by and large agriculturists. Apart from this, they also rear yak, sheep and other livestock’s.
The Monpas are artistic by nature and usually live in cosy double storied houses, constructed of stone with plank floors, often with carved doors and framed windows. Wood carving works, carpets and bamboo utensils made by them are exquisitely beautiful and they adorn their houses very well. They are well known for their scroll paintings known as the Thanka, a traditional handicraft. The Monpas are also probably the only Indian community to continue the age-old tradition of paper-making. They make paper from the bark of a tree called, Daphne paparacea ‘locally known as shugu-sheng. The paper they make has variant uses- right from as wrappers to documentation for religious scriptures.

Fairs & Festivals: – Festivals play an important role in building the spirit of community life among the Monpas. Festivals mirror the rich culture of the people. Like the other tribes of Arunachal Pradesh, the festivals of Monpas are mostly associated with Agriculture and Religion. The main festivals of Monpas are Losar and Torgya. Besides these, there are many other festivals like Saka Dawa, Drukpa Tse-Shi, Lhabab Duechen, Ganden Ngam Choe, and Choekor procession.
Traditional Monpa Dances:-Besides the monastic dances performed for three days during the Torgya festival, there are many other dances performed on different occasions. Some of them are: Aji Lhamu dance, Yak cham, Lion and Peacock dance, etc.
Games and Sports:-The Monpas are fond of games and sports. The main games and sports of the Monpas are Archery, shotput, Tug of war, Thipei, Lemgor, Laei and Horse Riding.

Places of Tourist Interest:
(i) Passes and Peaks:
Sela Pass: The Sela Pass is in the literal sense the gateway to Tawang as this is the
Demarcating line between Tawang and West Kameng. The pass is at a height of 14000 ft and it is 92 kms away from the heart of Tawang town. Gorichen Peak: The highest in the region with a height of 22,500 fts, the Gorichen peak has fascinated the minds of many mountaineers to scale it. Geshila Peak: Though not very high, the peak is more approachable as it is only 25 Kms away from Tawang.
Phong-Phongma Waterfall: One can see the beauty and majesty of the Nuranag fall
near Tawang chu at jang. To say the least, it is thunderous and enthralling like an oration.
BAB-TENG-KANG(BTK)Waterfall: They say,” Watch it’s beauty for even the sun lingers wistfully here” and true to the saying, the waterfall is beauty personified in itself with the sound of the water like a perfect melody thus creating a perfect symphony.
Tawang Monastery: Tawang Monastery is one of the largest monasteries of Mahayana
sect. The monastery is also known as Gaden Namgey Lhatse which translates to ‘Celestial paradise’. It was founded by Merak Lama Lodre Gyatso in 1680-168j. In accordance with the wishes of the 5th Dalai Lama, monastery is at an elevation of about 3,300 metres (10,000 ft) in the district capital, Tawang Town. It has a capacity of about 700 monks and presently is home to more than 450 lamas.
Urgelling Gonpa: About 5kms from the heart of the town is the Urgelling Gonpa
established by Lama Urgen Sangpo . Dating more than 460 years ago, the Gonpa is the birthplace of His Holiness the 6th Dalai Lama. Apart from being a treasure trove of many ancient relics, the monastery has footprints and fingerprints of the Dalai Lama.
Taksang Gonpa: Meaning ‘Tiger’s Den’, it is nestled amidst breath- taking surroundings
of coniferos forest and lofty mountains with their crowns covered by snow. The place is believed to have been visited by Guru Padmasambhava in the 8th century.
Brama Dung Chung Ani Gonpa: The oldest of the nunneries, it was commissioned by
Lama Karchen Yeshi gelek in 1595. It houses 45-50 nuns and is 12 kms away from the town. surrounded with natural scenery it is a historical place where the Merak lama Lodre Gyamtso, meditated and prayed for divine light.
Gyangong Ani Gonpa: This Gompa was the place of Merag lama Lodre Gyamtso’s
meditation and was subsequently offered to him by his sister for offering pujas.
Singsur Ani Gonpa: Situated 28 Kms away , built by His Eminence the l3th Tsona Gontse Rinpoche, this nunnery is home to around 45-50 nuns.
Gorsam Chorten: lt is one of the biggest stupas of the area and situated around 92 kms
at Zimithang away from Tawang town. lt was constructed in the 12th century.
Chaksam: It is a famous iron suspension bridge in Tawang area. lt was constructed by
Lama Chak- Sam Wangpo, a monk who came to this area from Tibet. History says he was an associate fellow disciple of the first Dalai Lama and one of the popular saints. During his journey from Tibet to this place, he built one hundred and eight magical iron chain suspension bridge and some of these bridges still survive.
1. Pangkang Teng Tso: ‘Tso’ means lake in Monpa.The Pangkang Teng Tso also known as P.T Tso is about 13 Kms away to the north from Tawang. The lake looks straight out of a postcard. To describe it in a lay man’s words, it looks like a blue lapis lazuli and on a clear day is surrounded by flowers of all colours in the spring season and during the Winter months, it is stark white.
2. Jhongatser lake: 42 kms away from Tawang town, the lake was formed due to massive rockslide blocking the stream flowing beneath it. lt has bare trees in the middle of the lake thus giving a ‘guards on vigil’ kind of impression. A reflection of the blue sky makes the lake look beautiful like a samaritan’s soul and captivating like the eye of a gypsy.
3. Baggajang : Though 101 kms away from Tawang town, the beauty and serenity of Banggachang makes it a visit worth making. The untouched beauty, the blue lakes, the wild flowers, the story of mythical sights of butter lamps burning, apparitions of Gompas makes this place all the more alluring and gives oneself a feeling of peace.
1. Tsechu Hot Spring: It is about five 5 hours drive from Tawang Township. The warm, sulphur rich water of the hot spring is said to have therapeutic effects. Apart from hot spring this site is also suitable for hard trekking. The route has very attractive landscapes and beautiful valleys.
2. Thingbu Hot spring: lt is about 70 kms from Tawang town. It can also be approached on foot.
3. Grenkhar Hot Springs: This hot spring is situated besides the Tawangchu River at Grenkhar village about an hour’s drive from Tawang town. This hot water spring and ‘Man-chu'( The medicinal water) is said to cure many ailments. The medicinal properties of the hot spring is said to be at its zenith during the second month of the lunar calendar, when the surrounding wildflowers are in bloom Visitors from as far as Bhutan come for a bath in the spring during this time.
1. Jaswant Garh: 19 kms away from Sela Pass is the Jaswant garh War memorial raised to
pay homage to jaswant Singh, Mahavir Chakra awardee (Posthumous). ln the 1962 war with China, this brave soldier showed admirable valour by fighting and holding the invading Chinese for72 hours before he met a martyr’s end. Tawang war memorial: lt is located in the army cantonment of Tawang township. A beautiful Stupa is built in memory of the brave 2410 soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the 1962 war with China. It is a place to pay homage to the soldiers. The saga of the heroic soldiers is written large in the War memorial in the following words:-“Whenyou Go Home Tell Them Of Us And Say That For Your Tomorrow We Gave Our today”.
2. Manjushree Vidyapeeth: This is an orphanage in Tawang District, 3 kms away from tawang town. It was established in the year 1998 by Lama Thupten Phuntsok, Padmashree Awardee.
3. Chu-Me-Gyatsar: It is a highly revered set of around 108 water fountains gushing out of a rock cliff and flowing down as a cascading stream. It is situated at the Indo-China border at a distance of about 8 hours (by vehicle) and 3 hours trekking towards Northeastern side of Tawang Township.

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Chapter 2


The Arunachal Pradesh, whose name means land of Dawn-Lit Mountains in Sanskrit, is also known as the Orchid State of India.It strung out along the misty hill tops and a deep valley is a beautiful state situated in the North- East of India. The state forms a complex hill system of Shivalik and the Himalayas and is criss-crossed by numerous rivers and streams. Its picturesque townships and villages are the first in the country to be kissed by the rays of the morning sun; giving Arunachal its unique position as “The Land of the Rising Sun”. With an area of 83743 Sq.kms, the state is the largest in the North East Region of India. The state shares a total of 1630 kms of international boundary with neighboring countries; 1030 kms with China, 160 kms with Bhutan and 440 kms with Myammar. The McMohan line defines the international boundary between India and
China. Within lndia, the state borders Nagaland and Assam.
The people native of the state trace their origins to the Tibeto-Burman people, the population of the state is 13,82,611, persons with a sex ratio of 920/1000 males. With a decadal growth rate of 25.92%, the state still has the lowest density of population in the country with a mere 17 persons per square km. The literacy rate of the state is 66.95% as per 2011 Census. Administratively, the State is divided into twenty one districts. The capital of the State is Itanagar in Papum Pare district. Itanagar is named after ITA FORT meaning fort of bricks, built in 14th century AD. In 1972, the erstwhile North East Frontier Agency (NEFA) became a Union Territory when Mrs Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister and acquired the name of Arunachal Pradesh. After 3 years, in 1975, it got a provisional legislature. And finally, on 20th February 1987 Statehood was conferred on Arunachal Pradesh and it became the 25th State of the Union of India. Ever since it attained statehood twenty six years ago, Arunachal Pradesh has been making rapid strides in all fields of development activities especially in socio-economic and human resource sector in a prosperous and self-reliant state. Statehood has brought a distinct identity to Arunachal pradesh and at the same time it has given an added responsibility as well as opportunity to the people to shape their own destiny. The state is blessed with abundant natural resources. It has abundant potential in terms of tourism, hydropower, minerals and oil deposits and pristine forest area. With its enormous hydro electric power potential, it is poised to become powerhouse of the country.

Arunachal Pradesh is located between 26.28° N and 29.30° N latitude and 91.20° E and 97.30° E longitude and has 83,743 square kilometre area. Most of Arunachal Pradesh is covered by the Himalayas. However, parts of Lohit, Changlang and Tirap are covered by the Patkai hills. Kangto, Nyegi Kangsang, the main Gorichen peak and the Eastern Gorichen peak are some of the highest peaks in this region of the Himalayas. The land is mostly mountainous with the Himalayan ranges running north south. These divide the state into five river valleys: the Kameng, the Subansiri, the Siang, the Lohit and the Tirap. All these are fed by snow from the Himalayas and countless rivers and rivulets. The mightiest of these rivers is Siang, called the Tsangpo in Tibet, which becomes the Brahmaputra after it is joined by the Dibang and the Lohit in the plains of Assam.
The Himalayan ranges that extend up to the eastern Arunachal separate it from Tibet. The ranges extend toward Nagaland, and form a boundary between India and Burma in Changlang and Tirap district, acting as a natural barrier called Patkai Bum Hills. They are low mountains compared to the Greater Himalayas.

The geological domain of Arunachal Pradesh is unique and is much different than the other parts of Himalaya. It is situated at the junction of three plates, viz. Indian, Indo-Burmese and Eurasian, it is continuously under stress and undergoing crustal adjustments since the last phase of Himalayan Orogeny in Middle Pleistonene when the Himalaya gained present heights and the sub-Himalaya and the Naga-Patkoi ranges come into existence. The rock sequences exposed in the four geo-physiographic divisions in Arunachal Pradesh are of different ages. These have been evolved differently in response to various tectonic episodes and differ in geological history and structural/deformational features. The area shows structural elements related to multi deformational events. The oldest folds are well developed in Schistose- quartzites of Siang Group of rock. These have thick hinges and attenuated limbs. The crest and troughs of these are occupied by meta-volcanics at places. The folds plunge 300 -400 toward north as well as south. Subsequent folds are of isoclinal to close type and are characterized by sub rounded to rounded hinges. These also plunge by 300 -500 towards north as well as south.

The climate of Arunachal Pradesh varies with elevation. Areas that are at a very high elevation in the Upper Himalaya close to the Tibetan border have an alpine or tundra climate. Below the Upper Himalayas are the Middle Himalayas, where people experience a temperate climate. Areas at the sub-Himalayan and sea-level elevation generally experience humid, sub-tropical climate with hot summers and mild winters. Arunachal Pradesh receives heavy rainfall of 2,000 to 4,100 millimetres (79 to 161 in) annually, most of it between May and September. The mountain slopes and hills are covered with alpine, temperate, and subtropical forests of dwarf rhododendron, oak, pine, maple, fir, are the main economically valuable species.
Land Use Area in ‘000 Ha Percentage
Total Geographical area 8374
Reporting area for land Utilization 5498 100.00
Forests 5154 93.74
Not Available for cultivation 26 .47
Permanent pastures and other grassing land 4 .07
Land under miscellaneous tree crops & groves 36 .65
Culturable wasteland 37 .67
Fallow lands other current fallows 47 .85
Current fallows 30 .55
Net area sown 164 2.98

The five major rivers of this state, namely KAMENG, SUBANSIRI, SIANG, TIRAP and LOHIT, have been associated with the region from the very early times. Anyway, a speculation apart, Arunachal Pradesh is drained by innumerable rivers and a number of streams that drain the area almost throughout the year.m Starting from the west, in the Kameng district the first noteworthy river is the Nyamjang Chu, also called Dargong, drawing the waters of Mela ridge. Then, there is the river Namka Chu, which assumes the name of Tawang Chu. The Kameng river starts at the Kameng range at a height of 3000 mts, which is fed by the Dirang river, which flows through the Se La Pass. Other important rivers of the district are the Bhorelli, the Bichom and the Tengapani rivers. The long and narrow valley at the foot of Bomdila range is intersected by many streams, all of which are not perennial. The important river is the Daphla Kho, which flows into the basin of the largest river of Kameng, the Bhorelli. From the south-west direction, the Rupa river runs through the Sherdukpen Hills and joins the Kameng river. The rivers of the eastern Kameng hills flow in the south-westernly direction and the rivers in the western flow in the south easternly direction.
The main rivers of the Subansiri district are the Subansiri, Kamla, khru, Panior, Par and Dikrang. The life-line of the river system of the district is Subansiri which makes its way across the entire length of the territory flowing from north-west to south-east, also marking approximately the eastern boundary of the district. The headwater of the river in Tibet is formed by Char Chu, Chayal Chu and Yume Chu rivers. The Kamla river forms an important part of the Subansiri drainage system. It immerges from the confluence of a number of amall rivers cascading down from the noth-western snowy heights of the district. It may not be wrong to say that the Kamla river is the Nile of the Apatani valley. The Khru river is a turbulent river and like the Kamla, cuts through precipitous gorges. River Dikrang is formed by Par, Norochi and Pachin rivers.

2.6.1 Agriculture- Arunachal Pradesh’s gross state domestic product was estimated at US$706 million at current prices in 2004 and US$1.75 billion at current prices in 2012. Agriculture primarily drives the economy. Jhum, the local term used for shifting cultivation is being widely practised among the tribal groups, though owing to the gradual growth of other sources of income in the recent years, it is not being practised as prominently as it was earlier. Arunachal Pradesh has close to 61,000 square kilometres of forests, and forest products are the next most significant sector of the economy. Among the crops grown here are rice, maize, millet, wheat, pulses, sugarcane, ginger, and oilseeds. Arunachal is also ideal for horticulture and fruit orchards. Its major industries are rice mills, fruit preservation and processing units, and handloom handicrafts. Sawmills and plywood trades are prohibited under law. There are many saw mills in AP.
2.6.2 Hydro-electric scheme- Arunachal Pradesh accounts for a large percentage share of India’s untapped hydroelectric potential. In 2008, the government of Arunachal Pradesh signed numerous memorandum of understanding with various companies planning some 42 hydroelectric schemes that will produce electricity in excess of 27,000 MW. Construction of the Upper Siang Hydroelectric Project, which is expected to generate between 10,000 and 12,000 MW, began in April 2009.
2.6.3 Tourism- The state, on account of its unrivalled aesthetics and diverse cultural heritage possesses a great tourism potential. Popular tourist attractions include Tawang (a town with a Buddhist monastery) at 3000 m elevation, Ziro (which holds cultural festivals),Yomcha (limestone caves called ‘tapen uru’), the Namdapha tiger project in Changlang district and Sela lake near Bomdila with its bamboo bridges overhanging the river. Religious places of interest include Malinithan in Lekhabali, Rukhmininagar near Roing (the place as per the popular Hindu mythology, Rukmini, Lord Krishna’s wife, said to have lived), and Parshuram Kund in Lohit district as Puranas is the lake where sage Parshuram washed away his sins, The Ganga lake(Gyaker sinyi or Gekar Sinyi)and various other tourist hot spots.
The state provides abundant scope for angling, boating, rafting, trekking and hiking. Rafting and trekking are common activities. Some suggested routes for travel or trekking are
• Tezpur–Tipi–Bomdila-Tawang-se la pass
• Tinsukia–Tezu-Parasuramkund
• Margherita–Miao-Namdapha
• Itanagar–Ziro-Daporijo–Along (or Aalo)-pandighat.
• Aalo – Yomcha (52 km)
The Golden Pagoda Monastery at Namsai is another tourist attraction.
2.6.4 Socio Economic Profile In Respect Of Tawang
a) ACCESSIBILITY: – Tawang town has an important position in the western part of Arunachal Pradesh. In fact it is the heart of TAWANG DISTRICT.
(b) OCCUPATION PATTERN: – Tawang is basically an administrative town. But at present almost all the departments of the state are playing an important role in the town. People main occupation is farming and animal rearing but over and above tourism has been encouraged a lot by the Government of Arunachal Pradesh. In the absence of any other major economic activities, majority of work force is engaged in the Government jobs followed by the territorial sector and house hold industries.
c) ECONOMIC BASE:-Tawang has a tremendous potential for development due to its location and environment. The influence zone is not confined to Tawang Town rather consisting of major settlements areas like Jang, Mukto, Thingbu, Mago, Kitpi, Lumla of Tawang District, the approach to which is centralised through Tawang.
(d) COMMERCE: – At present, there is no organized trading, and distribution centre in the district of Tawang. The inflow of goods to this zone is dependent only on availability of facilities at Tezpur.
e) INDUSTRIES: – Tawang and its surrounding area do not have any major industrial activity. There are however some small scale industries functioning in local level like weaving , carpeting, incense making arts and crafts etc.

The flora and fauna of the state predominantly has Indo-Malayan affinities. The biogeographic classification includes it under the Eastern Himalaya – Province 2D. The state has a wide altitudinal variation ranging from 300 m in the foothills to about 7000 m along the Greater Himalayan Peaks in the north. Arunachal Pradesh is among the world’s 34 biodiversity hotspots, and identified as being among 200 globally important eco-regions. The state is rich in wildlife and has a number of wildlife sanctuaries and national parks with rare animals, birds and plants. Perhaps the highest diversity of mammals in India is in Arunachal Pradesh (200+ species). The diversity of birds is also very high, 700+ and is second only to Assam.
At the lowest elevations, essentially at Arunachal Pradesh’s border with Assam, are the Brahmaputra Valley semi-evergreen forests. Much of the state, including the Himalayan foothills and the Patkai hills, are home to Eastern Himalayan broadleaf forests. Towards the northern border with Tibet, with increasing elevation, come a mixture of Eastern and North eastern Himalayan subalpine conifer forests followed by Eastern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows. The state of Arunachal Pradesh is blessed with a rich biodiversity owing to the huge expanse of green cover. The state’s forests are known for housing over 5000 species of plants, 500 different birds, 85 terrestrial mammals and a wide number of insects, butterflies and reptiles.
2.8 Biodiversity
Arunachal Pradesh, being the largest state in eastern Himalayan region, has unique biodiversity and diverse cultural resources. The state is the homeland of five ecosystems and 26 major tribes. Owing to its location amid the foothills of the Himalayas, Arunachal Pradesh is one of the richest states in the region in terms of biodiversity.The state’s climatic conditions facilitate the growth of a vast variety of plants and trees in the territory, thereby providing a rich store of fauna to the region. Orchids, fern, bamboo, cane, rhododendrons, oak, hedychiums, and various medicinal plants form a diverse range of the state’s green cover Apart from housing a myriad of plants and trees, Arunachal is also home to various different species of animals which add to its rich biodiversity.
Tawang is native to more than 40 species of beautiful Rose-Trees also called as Rhododendrons. Some of them are presented below:

2.9 Dependence Of Village Communities On Forest And Other Natural Resources
Villagers are largely dependent on Tourism sector and Forest Produces for their survival. Some of important bonafide need includes the following:
1. Fire wood and fuel wood related
2. Grazing for their lives-tocks
3. Sustainable Harvest of Medicinal and Aromatic plants
4. Religious uses of trees and herbs
5. Recreation purposes
6. Temporary source of employment through compensatory afforesatation plantation schemes

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Following are major ongoing project in the District
1. Creation of plantation under compensatory afforesatation schemes under State CAMPA
2. Wetland Restoration work under Green India Mission
3. Demonstration plot of 2 Ha medicinal plant at T-Gompa, Zimithang of Luma Range Office under Medicinal Plant Conservation Area Scheme
4. Plantation under FDA Schemes
5. Free distribution of seedlings to raise the green cover on Tawang

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The average altitude of Tawang is 10,000+ feet and it remains under snow for 3-4 months of the calendar year, which offers heavy resistance to the plant growth and plants are mostly found with stunted growth. Few species which survive the harsh climare includes Cryptomeria japonica, Cupressus Sp, Juniper Sp, Tsuga dumosa, Abies densa etc. Some herbs are also seen under this climate such as Stipa, Fragria, Artemisia etc.
Temperature in winter season goes upto -10 Deg C and maximum temperature in Summer remains around 23 Deg C. Rinfall is also heavy and in winter season snow fall is also very common, which occurs from October to the month of March.
Effect of climate change has greatly affected, which may been in following forms:
• Irregular behavior of rainfall,
• Rise in mean maximum and mean minimum temperatures,
• Gradual and progressive increase in humidity, and
• Increased frequency of extreme climate events (heavy rainfall, flash floods, etc.).
Forests are highly vulnerable to these changes in climatic conditions. Impact of climate change on the forests coupled with biotic interferences is characterized by:
• Degradation (a large extent of open forests),
• Loss of biodiversity,
• Increased incidence of invasive species, and
• Loss of forest environmental functions (water & soil conservation, flood control etc.).
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Key issues are:
1. Meeting the demand of Fuel Wood: Since the climate is harsh and there is no conventional alternate source of heating, people are largely dependent of forest species including Rhododendron for fire-wood needs, which poses a great challenge in the conservation practices of forest and natural resources.
2. Medicinal & Aromatic Plant Conservation: Its very difficult to protect these plants which are highly demanding for alternate sourse of medicine under the traditional knowledge domain. Medical needs of the local people are heavily dependent on forest resources of Medicinal Plants.
3. Increasing Green Cover: Since temperature is very low the plant growth is also very less which heavily hampers the efforts of raising green cover as if some tree patch is removed, it will take much longer time in the recovery or in afforestation.
4. Grazing Requirement of Livestock
5. Forest Fire: Incidence of forest fire is very frequent in Tawang due to excessive dryness in the atmosphere due to which leaf and other organic matters become much prone to fire incidences.

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Criteria, which were adopted for identification of L1 landscape, are given below:

1. Forest cover and degradation: District spans over 2172 km2 with a total human population of 38,924 and with a sex ratio of 781 having approximate green cover around 65 % and it falls in USF (Unclassified State Forest) category having nearly 60 % geographical area. However, the landscape selected for the restoration work has relatively inferior forest cover and therefore it was selected.

2. Location: Considering the manpower constraint in the District, project area was selected also based upon its location from management and administrative point of view.

3. Bio-diversity: The district is rich in Bio-diversity, The vegetation of Tawang is classified broadly into six vegetation types:-
1. Permafrost: The upper limit for vegetation growth is found at an elevation of 5250m. Most areas above this elevation consists of barren rocky or scree slopes and glaciers which is better termed as Permafrost.
2. High-altitude Grassy Meadows: This occurs between 4350 and 5250m. These are open, rocky areas with dominant graminoids and forbs. Trees are absent and relatively dry at higher altitudes. Sheep graze extensively in summer. Plant species like Stipa, Saxifraga, Artemesia, Leontopodium, and dwarf Rhododendrons occur here.
3. Dwarf Rhododendron Meadows:This occurs between 4200 and 4600m dominated by a very dwarf Rhododendron species of height 50cm. Other plants included species of Anaphalis, Fagopyrum, Juncus, Aster and Anemone. Sheep and Yaks graze in these meadows in summer.
4. Rhododendron Srubland:This occurs between 4000 and 4300m. This vegetation fringes the Tree Line. The Rhododendrons are interspersed with alpine meadows. The plant species include Berberis, Rosa, Fagopyrum, Anaphalis, Allium, Pedicularis, Potentilla, Bistorta and Rheum. Many open areas have a mat of moss. Yaks, cattle and cattle-yak hybrids graze in summer.there are more than 26 species of Rododendron in Tawang and few species edible too.
5. Conifer-Broadleaved Forest:This occurs between 3000 to 4200m. Fir (Abies densa) is the predominant conifer besides Larix, Tsuga, Picea, Juniperus recurva and J. indica. The broadleaved tree species are dominated by Rhododendron, Acer and Quercus. Bamboo, Daphne, Rubus and several ferns form the understorey. The tree branches are usually covered with a thick mat of moss. Mithun, Mithun-yak hybrids and Mithun-cattle graze at lower altitudes.
6. Broadleaved Forest:This occurs below 3000m. Oaks dominate this forest mixed with Rhododendron and Acer. The tree branches are often moss covered. Most biotic interference is seen in this forest. Cattle, mithun and cattle-mithun hybrids graze in this zone.
Forest Clearings: Certain large areas of Conifer-Broadleaved and Broadleaved Forests have been converted to grazing land for cattle, mithun, cattle-mithun hybrids and cattle-yak hybrids. Graminoids, Forbs and shrubs such as Rosa and Berberis along with herbs like Anaphalis, Potentilla, Sambucus, Rumex and Senecio are found growing.

4. Projected Forest vulnerability to climate change: Although the district is having a large area under forest cover but the forests are not good in quality. The district has 12,00 Sq Km approx forest (USF) which is 60 % of the total geographical area. It is expected that a large extent of open forests, particularly in the hilly terrain, may adversely affect not only the forest eco-system but adjoining areas as well. The situation is likely to be further aggravated in Tawang by the prevalence other biotic interferences.

5. Vulnerable Population: The majority of the population in the State – over 95% – belongs to STs as per 2011 Census data, Govt. of India and Scheduled areas reports.

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Name of VFMC Water Body Location/ Region Area (Ha) Depth (Ft) Perimeter (m) Altitude (Ft) Latitude Longitude Planned Work

Seru Kyalem Tso 6.5 27.0 1289 14253 27º40’47” 91º52’24.5” Survey has been done. Map is ready

Shartsoneng Kyalem Tso 34 km from Tawang
6.5 m 27 1289 14253 27º40’47” 91º52’24.5” Survey has been done. Map is ready

Rho – Jangda Ngyar Tsang 48 Km from Tawang 14,287 Survey not done

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The land use and land cover of the Tawang area includes snow, forest lands, scrub/alpine scrub, alpine meadow, cultivation/settlements, barren/ rockyland and water body. Large area of Tawang is covered by snow, which occupies 55.18% of the total area. Dense, open and degraded forest lands together occupy 55810.7 ha, which is 16.31% of the total area. Moraines occupy 41354.78 ha, which is 12.10% of the catchment area. Significant area of 39998.17 ha is covered by barren/ rockyland, which is 11.70% of the total area. Lakes and river together occupy an area of 4763.22 ha, which contributes 1.40% of the total catchment. Types of land use and land cover and their geographic area are summarized in the Pie-Chart below.

Different categories of land use/ land cover in the Tawang

8.2 Forest Cover, Forest Type & Status of Natural Regeneration
Arunachal Pradesh is reported to have 80.43 percent of its total geographic area under forest cover, which includes very dense, moderately dense and open forests (FSI, 2009). The catchment of the proposed Tawang HE Project Stage-II covers ten major representatives of forest types of the Eastern Himalaya viz., Sub-tropical wet hill forests, Sub-tropical pine forests, Wet temperate forests, Mixed coniferous forests, Alder forests, Low level blue pine forests, Sub-alpine Rhododendron forests and Alpine Birch-Rhododendron forest, Dwarf Rhododendron scrubs and Pastures. However, the project area covers sub-tropical forests comprising of sub-tropical wet hill and Himalayan pine forests. The forests in the project area fall in Tawang and Lumla subdivision of the Tawang Forest division.
8.2.1 East Himalayan Sub-tropical wet hill forests-These forests occur on hilly terrain between 900-1800 m elevations and dominated by evergreen species. Although these forests contain many tropical genera viz., Bischofia javanica, Macaranga indica, Ulmus lanceifolia, etc. they lie outside the tropics and considered as sub-tropical forests. At higher altitudes this type of forest occurs in low rainfall areas and comprises of a mixture of deciduous and evergreen tree species. These forests occur in the lower reaches of Kungba and Lumla areas.
8.2.2 Himalayan sub-tropical pine forests- These are low altitude xerophytic forests which occur in the deeper dry valleys of Tawang and the adjoining Bhutan area. These valleys have a long dry season during which burning is common. The pines (Pinus roxburghii) are resistant to burning. Shrub layer is more succeptible and is poorly developed. No other tree species occur in the top canopy. In the cooler portions of the forests, a few scattered trees like Lyonia ovalifolia, Myrica esculenta, and Tetracentron sinense are also found growing in the lower storey.
8.2.3 East Himalayan Wet temperate forests- These forests occur in the outer Himalayan ranges between 1750 m and 2750 m elevations. They apparently receive a lower rainfall than the warm broad-leaved sub-tropical forests and their composition varies according to the altitude and rainfall. At lower levels Casatnopsis hystrix and C. tribuloides are dominant. Other tree associates are Acer campbellii, Engelhardtia spicata, IIlicium griffithii, Prunus cerasoides, Quercus serrata and Schima wallichii. In the surroundings of upper reaches of Lumla and Yusum, wet temperate forests are found.
8.2.4 East Himalayan mixed coniferous forests- This type of forest is dense evergreen, with predominanting oaks and rhododendrons. Silver fir (Abies densa) makes appearance in the upper ridges as a dominant tree species between 2300- 3000 m altitude.
8.2.5 Alder forests-These forests are usually the primary colonizers of degraded lands, particularly the landslide area. These are pure forests present along the banks of streams and water courses and are very dense with – little understorey. These types of forests are present near Yusum Basti, lower reaches of Lumla and Jang areas.
8.2.6 Low level blue pine forests-These forests occur in the inner ranges at the foot of slopes between 1600 and 2800m elevation with predominating blue pine (Pinus wallichiana) associations. They grow well on deep moist black soils. These forests were observed on upper ridges of Nuranang fall in Jang area.
8.2.7 Sub-alpine Rhododendron forests- These are a typically dense growth of small crooked trees and large shrubs. Rhododendron covers large areas of forest among deciduous species. Betula utilis, Rhododendron spp., Salix wallichiana, etc are important broad-leaved species in these forests.
8.2.8 Birch-Rhododendron scrub forests- These are low evergreen forests of Rhododendron with some deciduous trees. Birch (Betula utilis) forms associations above fir (Abies densa) associations. The scrubs are species of Berberis, Cotoneaster, Lonicera and Rosa. Damp grassy meadows are covered with many herbs like Aconitum, Allium, Arenaria, Caltha, Codonopsis, Kobresia, Potentilla, Primula, Ranunculus, etc.
8.2.9 Dwarf Rhododendron scrubs-Dense Rhododendron thickets occur on moist slopes between 3300m and 4600m elevations. Rhododendron anthopogon, R. campanulatum, R. lepidotum, etc. grow in very cold glacial moraines.
8.2.10 Alpine pastures- These are meadows lying below the snowline and above 3600m where the tree line ends. The meadows are composed of many perennial mesophytic herbs and some grasses. Important herbs are species of Aconitum, Allium, Anemone, Delphinium, Caltha, Cassiope, Fragaria, Fritillaria, Gentiana, Iris, Juncus, Podophyllum, Potentilla, Primula and Ranunculus.

8.3 Biodiversity:
Tawang district is a part of Eastern Himalayan global biodiversity hotspot and is among the 200 globally important eco-regions. The vegetation types ranges from temperate to alpine between altitudinal range of 1500 – 6000 m. The region houses some important and rare faunal species like Red Goral, Chinese Goral, Tawang Macaque etc. Monpa tribe is predominant in Tawang region; their lifestyle differs from other tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. However, forest resources are main source of livelihood. Monpa tribe is very reluctant against animal hunting. They have developed their own system of conservation of forest resource. In addition, urbanization, soil erosion and forest fires are major threats to the biodiversity. In order to conserve the fauna and flora of this biodiversity hot spot, the State Biodiversity Strategy Action Plan in north – eastern states has identified a large number of conservation sites. Nagula PTSO is one of conservation sites in Tawang district, which is known as for its unique flora and fauna. Due to the presence of distinctive flora and fauna, Tawang Wildlife Sanctuary has been proposed in the region. The present contribution highlights the faunal diversity of the area regarding the likely impacts of the proposed Tawang. It includes faunal affinities, composition and distribution in surrounding and catchment areas and their conservation status.
8.4 Carbon Sequestration: Its very high as the green cover is more than 65 % but it is unknown since no research work in this sector has been done and values are unreported.
8.5 Wildlife Corridors: There is no wildlife corridor as such but it is home to Black Necked Crane, Barking Deer and Red Panda in great numbers.
8.6 Socio-economic profile of the villages.
8.6.1 Agriculture and Livestock- The economy of Tawang villages is basically agrarian in nature with more than 80 of the population dependent on agriculture. The alpine and temperate agro climatic conditions of the district are conducive for certain agricultural activities. Wheat is the major food crop produced along with Rice, Maize and Millet. Other important crops of the district include potato, oil seeds and vegetables etc. Apple is introduced in Tawang and at present the district produces about one fourth of total production of apple of the state. Productivity of crops in the district to a good extent is better than state average. Livestock reflected that about 3.2% of state share of cattle, 1.8% of goats and 42.48% state share of horses and ponies are estimated to be in this district. In addition 3.5% of total livestock are estimated in this district.
8.6.2 Industries- The state of Arunachal Pradesh is not an industrially developed state and the position of Tawang district in industrial scenario of the state is insignificant. The district has 23 numbers of village and SSI units registered permanently (functioning).
8.6.3 Live stock and Veterinary Facilities- The district has a good base of livestock and veterinary services. Livestock reflected that about 3.2% of state share of cattle, 1.8% of goats and 42.48% state share of horses and ponies are estimated to be in this district. In addition 3.5% of total livestock are estimated in this district. There are 5 veterinary dispensaries, 11 veterinary aid centre’s, 8 cattle upgrading centre, 1 district diagnostic laboratory and 7 sheep and wood extension centre.

8.6.4 Tourism:- Tawang is a popular tourist destination thanks to the well-preserved Tawang Monastery. The Sela Pass rises steeply and is covered with snow for most of the year. Jang waterfall is a big tourist attraction. Tawang district has a handicrafts centre that promotes the small-scale industries for local handicrafts. Visitors to Tawang district require a special Inner Line Permit from the government which are available in Kolkata, Guwahati, Tezpur, and New Delhi. Most of the travel from the plains is on a steep hill road journey, crossing Sela Pass at 4,176 metres (13,701 ft). Tourists can travel to Tawang from Tezpur, Assam by road. Tezpur has direct flights from Kolkata. Guwahati, Assam, is 16 hours by road. In June 2008, a daily helicopter service from Guwahati was started by the Arunachal Pradesh government.

8.6.5 Barter system- Brokpa of Bhutan and Tawang and West Kameng of India have been maintaining their crosscultural relations and sustainability of a few local animal and plant species only through the barter system. For example, chhurpi (wet cheese) made after fermentation (using crab apple, a wild species) from milk of local breed of yak and nying (Aconitum ferox) have been conserved by Brokpa community of Bhutan and Tawang. While foxtail millet, finger millet, maize, local barley and wheat (used as food and making alcoholic beverages), Allium species (shapp chhota and shapp bada), amaranthus (used during Lohsar festival of Buddhist), beans, etc. have been conserved by Monpa of Dirang, Thembang and Namsu villages to exchange during barter with Brokpas. The local breeds of mules, horses and yak are exchanged by Brokpas of Bhutan with Monpa of Dirang and Tawang district.

8.7 Number & Average Annual Income of Forest Dependent Communities: Unknown
8.8 Status of Wetlands:
Wetland Distribution in Tawang Town is the district headquarters. The Tawang district is located around latitude 27º 45’ N and longitude 90º 15’ E at the northwest extremity of Arunachal Pradesh. Elevations range between 6,000 to 22,000 feet, and inhabitants are found in lower altitude, where they enjoy a cool temperate climate. The district was carved out of the West Kameng district that adjoins it to the south and east. Bhutan borders The district occupies an area of 2085 square kilometers and has a population of 49,950 persons as per the provisional Census of 2011, almost 75% of which are considered “tribal”, i.e. belonging to the native Monpa, Bhotia, Adi etc. In winter, Tawang frequently experiences heavy snowfall. Tawang district is further sub-divided into the Lumla, Jang and Tawang sub-divisions. There are good number of high attitude wetlands exists in the district. Total wetland area estimated is 1822 ha. Small wetlands, which are less than minimum mapable units (MMU), are 58 in the district. The dominant type of wetland found in the district is high altitude wetlands. The turbidity rating of the open water is observed to be mainly low. Details of the wetland statistics of the district is given in Table given below.
Wettcode Wetland category No. of wet lands Total wetland areas % of wetland area. Open water
Post-monsoon area Pre – monsoon area.
1100 Inland Wetlands – Natural
1103 High altitude wetlands 204 1084 59.50 1072 981
1106 River/Stream 1 680 37.32 646 680
Sub-total 205 1764 96.82 1718 1661
Wetlands( Total 263 1822 100.00 1718 1661
Area under Aquatic Vegetation – –
Area under turbidity levels
Low 1698 1661
Moderate 2 –
High 18 –

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9.1 Aims and Objectives

1. To enhance beauty perspective of few selected water bodies/Lakes of Tawang SFD

2. To ensure continuous water-flow and ground recharge by clearing blockage (if any)

3. Creation of entry point activities by involving concerned VFMCs

4. Plantation of selected species around the water bodies (Species to be finalised)

5. Some other related works (to be included later with progress of work)

In addition to above following are Short term objectives:

• Identification and arrest of drivers responsible for eco-system degradation
• Water-shed management – ridge to valley approach
• Increase in fuel-wood and fodder availability
• Employment generation
• Awareness for sustainable management of natural resources

9.2 Project Location
Name of VFMC Water Body Location/
Region Altitude (Ft) Latitude Longitude
Rho – Jangda Ngyar Tsang 48 Km from Tawang 14,287 – –
SERU Tso -Kyo
29 km from Tawang 14,287 27º41’55.2” 91º51’12.3”
34 km from Tawang 14253 27º40’47” 91º52’24.5”

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The following prescriptions (sub-missions/ Cross-cutting interventions) are proposed to achieve the objectives under GIM through sustainable use of available natural resources:-

1. Plantation of indigenous spp to improve the wetland ecosystem
2. Ecosystem restoration & increase in forest cover
3. Afforestation activities with active people’s participation of locals along the selected Wetlands
4. Removal of silt from the wetlands and from the catchment areas
5. Entry Point Activities: Entry Gates etc in the respective VFMCs
6. Watershed management, construction of retaining wall (if needed), soil and water conservation measures
7. Technical and financial support to village community & conservation oriented NGOs