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Assam Cong seeks CBI probe into fertiliser ‘syndicate’

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GUWAHATI,  Sept 15: The Opposition Congress in Assam has demanded a CBI probe into an alleged fertiliser syndicate in the state while urging the Prime Minister to abide by his promise and take steps to set up the fourth unit of the Namrup fertiliser plant soon.

“The Namrup fertiliser factory should be revived to benefit the state’s farmers. Since 2015, several announcements were made regarding the factory’s renovation but nothing has emerged so far,” Opposition leader Debabrata Saikia said.

“While campaigning in Assam for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had assured that the fourth unit of the Namrup fertiliser plant would be set up within 100 days of the BJP coming to power. But the factory is still using old and obsolete technologies in production,” Saikia said.

“It has been reported that the poor farmers of the state are buying illegally-sourced fertilisers at high prices. It has also emerged that a syndicate is operating for the fertiliser produced in the Namrup plant. This has been going on for a long time now,” he said.

“So, we demand that a CBI inquiry be instituted into the fertiliser syndicate and the guilty identified and properly punished,” he asserted.

Lower Subansiri project

The Opposition leader also called for a study on the impact of the Lower Subansiri hydro-electric project on the downstream areas while urging the authorities to take all precautions against any adverse effects on the environment while continuing the dam work.

Following mass protests against the Lower Subansiri hydro-electric project in 2010, the erstwhile Tarun Gogoi government instituted a committee to submit a report on the possible impact of the hydro- power generation plants proposed on the Brahmaputra and in the nearby areas.

“The committee suggested that no big dams should be built in the area. But the Sarbananda Sonowal government inked an agreement with NHPC in 2019, without implementing the proposals of the 2014 bipartite agreement, as a result of which Assam will get a decreased share of electricity,” Saikia said.

A specialist committee in 2010 had submitted in a report that a dam in the proposed area should not be constructed for any reason.

“The government did not heed the suggestions and the organisations behind the mass protests also changed their stand. We are not against dams but maintain that all possible precaution should be taken and the impact on environment negated while continuing the dam work,” he said.

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