Assam Northeast

AASU protest to stop work of 2000-MW Lower Subansiri hydro power project

The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) on Monday staged protest against 2000-MW Lower Subansiri hydro power project in upper Assam Dibrugarh.

The Students’ organisation took out a rally from Old Government Boys High School field holding banners and posters to stop the work of the big dam.

“We demand to stop the work of the dam because the expert committee have already told that the big dam is a threat for the people of Lakhimpur and Dhemaji. The BJP government didn’t bother to listen to the expert committee and didn’t stop the works of the ongoing construction. During Congress rule, the BJP was against the big dam but after coming to power they start the construction work of the big dam. The government should immediately stop the construction work of the dam,” said Rupjyoti Borthakur, a AASU leader.

The AASU and other frontline organisations like the AJYCP and KMSS have been strongly opposing the construction of the mega dam near the Assam-Arunachal border at Gerukamukh saying that it will have disastrous consequences on the people living in the downstream areas in Assam. Once commisioned, Assam was supposed to get 533 MW of power from the mega project, including 25 MW free of cost.

In 2003, the Centre had approved the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) mega dam project. Construction began in 2005 and the project was slated to finish in 2014. However, after the completion of 60% of work including the tunnel, dam, power house, and other civil work, the project came to a grinding halt in 2011 following stiff opposition from various quarters.

Anti-dam crusader Medha Patkar has also been very vocal against the construction of the mega dam. Even the height of the dam was reduced from 257 metres, to 116 metres.

“The dam will have an adverse impact on people living downstream and the flora and fauna. The ecology and environment will be severely affected. Even senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh has voiced his opposition to the mega dam while participating in a protest rally organized at the construction site in Gerukamukh in November, 2010,” said an AASU leader.

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