Assam nod to NHPC on Subansiri project work draws flak

KMSS terms move “breach of trust”; calls for tripartite talks

GUWAHATI:  Pressure groups and students organisations in Assam have warned of an intense agitation along with legal recourse against the state government’s go-ahead to NHPC Limited in regard to implementation of the 2000 MW Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Project.

The state government had in a “closed-door” meeting on Friday signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with NHPC Limited in this regard, triggering concern among agitating groups who maintain that the move would have disastrous impact on the downstream areas of the river.

“It is a matter of great concern that the government has given the go-ahead to NHPC without taking into consideration the matter of public safety in the downstream areas of the river, particularly in the absence of proper impact assessment and scientific construction. We along with 30 other state organizations will not take this move lying down and instead knock on the doors of the judiciary while intensifying our agitation at the same time,” All Assam Students’ Union president, Dipanka Nath said on Saturday.

Located on the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border, the hydro power project will have an annual generation of 7421.59 MU. Construction work on the project had to be stopped since 2011 following protest against the downstream impact of the mega project.

“The government of Assam owes an explanation to the people of the state as to what the three-member committee team had mentioned in its report on the impact of the mega dam construction. Our experts from Gauhati University, Dibrugarh University and IIT-Guwahati had earlier warned of the danger such a project would pose in the downstream areas,” Nath said.