NHPC seek to resolve anti-dam blockade


From Our Correspondent

Guwahati: Reeling under unrelenting blockade of goods, fuels and machinery to its dam site at Gerukamukh along Assam-Arunachal Pradesh boundary by anti-dam protestors in Assam since December 16, the authorities of National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) Limited have urged both the Central and State government of Assam to resolve the impasse to bring succour to the company staff and families living in the dam site as well to help resume the work on the project.

Several organisations headed by Krishak Mukti Sangram Samity (KMSS) have imposed improvement of goods, machinery and fuels to the dam site of the 2000 MW Lower Subansiri Hydropower Project of the NHPC demanding complete halt to the work apprehending ‘catastrophic’ downstream impact in Assam valley.

The NHPC officials including executive director A K Chabria, general manager Omprakash and other senior most officials have said the blockade has halted work at the dam site besides causing scarcity of food, drinking water and fuels for the NHPC staff families living in the dam site.

Scarcity of fuels has failed the NHPC to generate sufficient electricity to run its dam site office and light up residential quarters and supply drinking water.

“We are ready to talks with anti-dam protestors, but we and our families should be spared of inhuman sufferings,” NHPC general manger said.

The NHPC officials also reiterated that the fear of catastrophic downstream impact due to construction of the dam was not justified given that the company has experience of building and operating 14 mega dams within India and outside during the last 35 years.

They said the structure of the concrete gravity dam is on a solid foundation that would definitely withstand impact of mega earthquakes.

They said recent mega quake in Sikkim could do no damage to the NHPC dam on Teesta River there.

The NHPC officials said the apprehension that Subansiri River would dry up was baseless given that it was a run-off the river dam and the diverted water would be released to the main course of the river after a stretch of 500 meters.

They claimed that the reservoir of the dam is so designed that in case of a very high discharge from the river, the water would be released downstream from the reservoir would be released on a regulated manner to prevent adverse impact downstream.