AASU to intensify movement against mega dams, CAB

[ Prafulla Kaman ]
DHEMAJI, Oct 28: The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) has announced that it will launch an intensive agitation against the construction of mega dams in Arunachal’s rivers, from 4 November onwards.
AASU general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi informed that the union is against the construction of the 2000 mw Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Project in Gerukamukh by the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation.
The union alleged that the mega dam is being constructed at an earthquake-prone area, and that the construction agency has not adopted adequate scientific measures to prevent probable disaster in the downstream Assam.
“The people of Assam have witnessed flood disasters caused by the Kapili and the Ranganadi dams, so we cannot support any dam project in Arunachal’s rivers. We will continue our movement until a proper policy of scientific mitigation of the downstream impact is adopted,” said Gogoi.
It is feared that the Subansiri Lower project would create ecological disasters in Dhemaji, Lakhmipur and Majuli districts in downstream Assam, and may lead to collapse of the habitats of the riverine people.
“The Assam government has constituted task forces in Dhemaji, Lakhimpur and Biswanath districts to suppress our anti-dam movement.
But we are rigid in our decision and no political force can suppress our democratic movement,” Gogoi added.
Construction of the Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Project was stalled in December 2011 due to massive protests by the AASU and several local organisations over safety fears.
However, the NHPC authority has resumed its construction with the same design, after getting approval from the government in August this year.
The AASU is also opposing the citizenship amendment bill (CAB), saying the Centre is trying to impose it forcibly. The union said it would extend the stir to the village level, in order to mobilize the common people of Assam against the bill.
Expressing their rigidity over the CAB issue, the AASU announced that it would stage demonstrations in all district headquarters in Assam on 4 November, and subsequently intensify the stir.