[ Prafulla Kaman ]
DHEMAJI (Assam), Aug 31: The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samittee (KMSS) of Assam has renewed its movement against mega dams in the region.
The KMSS, led by Akhil Gogoi, on Friday staged a sit-in protest at all the district headquarters of Assam, demanding complete closure of the Lower Subansiri hydroelectric project at Gerukhamukh. It also demanded that the flood and erosion be declared a national problem.
Several hundred activists of the peasant’s body, from Gogamukh, Dhemaji, Silathar and Jonai in Dhemaji district, staged a sit-in protest at Dhemaji Court Field for two hours, venting their anger over Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and other BJP leaders’ “false promises.”
“The central BJP leaderships during an election rally at Gogamukh had assured us to close down mega dam projects in the Northeastern states. But their promises proved to be false,” said KMSS district secretary Bhaven Haloi.
“We have renewed our movement and there will be no rest until the ongoing Subansiri Lower project is closed down,” he said.
Referring to the recent disaster in Kerala, the KMSS leaders said the mega dams in Arunachal, if completed and commissioned, would be a disaster for several districts downstream in Assam, particularly Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Bishwanath, Majuli and Jorhat in the near future.
Earlier too, the KMSS with the support of various student unions and community-based organizations of Dhemaji and Lakhimpur districts had staged a protest against the construction the 2000 mw Subansiri Lower project at Gerukhamukh near the Assam-Arunachal boundary. But their protest was allegedly ignored by the authorities on the pretext of talk with the protesting organization.
Activists of the AJYCP’s Dhemaji district committee also staged a protest against the NHPC’s mega project in Gogamukh on 24 August, blocking the national highway in Gogamukh and burning the effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and NHPC officials.