Dam protestors refuse to tow govt line, form JAC to block project

From Our Correspondent

 TURA: The Garo Students Union and several organizations have formed a Joint Action Committee (JAC) to halt the government from going ahead with its water supply project at Daribokgre village after a spot visit to the dam site on Saturday where they met the parliamentary secretary for PHE and department officials.

The North Tura MLA and parliamentary secretary Noverfield R Marak along with other NGOs and officers had on Saturday carried out an inspection of the dam site which will tap the water from the Daribokgre stream for Tura.

After his visit the parliamentary secretary had stated that work for the project would continue even as he asserted that the dam would not affect the riverbed downstream.

The social and student organizations from East Garo Hills, namely the GSU-Williamnagar zone, A’chik Youth Federation, All India Garo Union and the Indigenous Citizens Forum of Simsanggre, have opposed the government decision and formed the JAC after the visit to the dam site at Daribokgre which falls on the Tura-Williamnagar route close to the foothills of Nokrek National Park.

“We are not impressed with the statement of the parliamentary secretary because the issue is not about tapping the water from Daribokgre but saving the Simsang river from drying up because this is one of its main source of fresh water supply,” said GSU leader Rakte Marak from Williamnagar.

He said that the JAC would issue an ultimatum to the government to stop the project and added that villagers from Daribokgre, Oragitok and Rombagre along with sixteen Nokmas have also opposed the dam project over fears their future livelihood from fishing could be wiped out.

However, the parliamentary secretary has claimed that there is no opposition to the project from the locals. “The nearby land owners and Nokmas are not opposing the construction,” Marak had said even as his opponents claim otherwise.

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