Arunachal CM seeks intervention of Shinde in dam agitation

ITANAGAR/LAKHIMPUR: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki on Friday sought intervention of Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde in the on-going agitation against 2000 mw Lower Subansiri project at Gerukamukh.

The development took place after protesters served a two-day ultimatum on the Assam government to break the impasse and threatened to launch a “total blockade”.

Tuki along with MP Takam Sanjoy met the minister in New Delhi and requested him to convene a meeting of the chief ministers of Assam and Arunachal besides MPs of both the states to end the on-going stalemate, official sources said.

The chief minister also asked the minister to direct the Assam government to negotiate with the agitating organisations, sources said.

In Lakhimpur district of Assam, anti-dam activists today gave two-more days time to the Assam government for holding negotiations to break the impasse and threatened to intensify agitation and launch a “total blockade” against Arunachal Pradesh and the NHPC which is implementing the project.

“The government has said there should be a conducive atmosphere for talks and so to create that we have decided to stop all kinds of agitation for two more days”, Akhil Gogoi, General Secretary Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), spearheading the agitation, told reporters.

Five anti-dam organisations had served an ultimatum to the government to sit for talks by today or face an economic blockade against the neighbouring state and NHPC.

The five organisations which have launched strong protests against the Lower Subansiri dam project are the All Mishing Students Union, All Deori Students Union, All Minority Students Union and All Assam Tai Ahom Students Union apart from the KMSS.MP Takam Sanjoy in a communique in Delhi, on Friday alleged the presence of a foreign hand behind the anti-dam movement.

“It is the Maoist infiltration and this ideology infiltrating the region particularly Arunachal Pradesh,” he said.

Arunachal Pradesh, which shares borders with China and Myanmar, has the potential to generate an estimated 50,000 MW of hydropower.

The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samity (KMSS) and the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) are opposing the NHPC project and had announced on December 16 to block movement of men and materials related to the Lower Subansiri project at Gogamukh where the NHPC project site is located.

The blockade has triggered food and fuel crisis in East, West and Upper Siang districts of Arunachal resulting in soaring price rises of essential commodities.

The project, one of the biggest in South East Asia, started way back in 2005 after obtaining all the statutory and regulatory clearances from the concerned agencies of the Centre as well as state governments of Assam and Arunachal.

The total estimated cost of the project is Rs 10,700 crore. (PTI)

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