Monday, February 26, 2024

Subansiri Project to have expert discussions on the project

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Guwahati: A tripartite meeting on the Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Project in Arunachal Pradesh on Friday decided to have expert discussions on the project and a study done on its downstream cumulative impact.
The meeting was held here today among the Central government, Assam government, AASU and other students organisations, AJYCP and KMSS opposing construction of the dam as it was in a highly seismic zone with adverse downstream impact.
It was decided that expert to expert discussions on the project would be held this month as various organisations had expressed their apprehension on the safety of the project and of 168 other proposed dams in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam Power Minister Pradyut Bordoloi told reporters after the meeting.
Officials from Central Power Ministry, National Hydroelectric Power Corporation and Assam government officials led by him participated in the tripartite discussions.
The All Assam Students Union (AASU) leading a group of 25 different indigenous students organisations of the state said that the expert to expert meeting has to be held soon under the initiative of the Central and state governments.
The talks between experts should be among those from Assam and different parts of the country and the world, the AASU advisor Dr Samujjal Bhattacharjee told journalists. “We put forward with scientific evidence by experts from IIT-Guwahati, Gauhati University and Dibrugarh University stating the construction of big dams on the foothills of the Himalayas was not feasible on seismological, geological and tectonic point of view,” Bhattacharjee said.
A state government set up expert committee had also given the same recommendations and an all-party committee from the Assam Assembly later upheld them, he added.
“Today they (government and the NHPC) accepted our scientific evidences and acknowledged that there were faults in the earlier design of the project”, the AASU leader asserted.
“The downstream impact of the projects will be upto the last district Dhubri of Assam as all the rivers of Arunachal Pradesh come down to Assam. An impact assessment study has to be made. The life, property and culture of the farmers and people here has to be protected”, he insisted.
At the meeting the students organisations also demanded that Assam should receive free of cost 12 per cent power from the projects as their water will come down stream to Assam.  The students organisations also demanded protection of the historical Majuli Island in upper Assam – world’s largest fresh water island – being eroded by the Brahmaputra.
Opposing construction of big dams in Arunachal Pradesh by NHPC for the same reasons, the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) and Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) also participated in the meeting. (PTI)

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