KMSS renews agitation against 2,000 mw SLHEP

[ Prafulla Kaman ]

GERUKAMUKH, 13 Sep: Assam-based peasant’s organization Krishak Mukti Sangram Somiti (KMSS) has renewed its agitation against the 2,000 mw Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Project (SLHEP), demanding demolition of the dam.

Members of the anti-dam organization on Monday protested in front of the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation’s (NHPC) office in Gerukamukh on the Assam-Arunachal boundary, demanding that the mega dam be demolished immediately.

The protesters fear that

the dam, being constructed in a high seismic zone, will destroy riverbank civilizations in Assam’s Dhemaji, Lakhimpur and Majuli districts and other areas downstream, besides destroying the ecosystem of the region.

“The national BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who assured to stop mega dam construction in the region during their 2014 election, have reversed their opinion after getting power, and thereby betrayed the people of the Assam,” KMSS central committee general secretary Bidhyut Saikia said.

The protesters recalled that an expert committee report on the cumulative impact of the SLHEP revealed that the big dam is not being constructed at a suitable location, while the construction agency – the NHPC Ltd – does not have a proper mitigation policy against probable disaster.

“The state governments of Assam and Arunachal and the central government, in spite of being aware of its disastrous effects, are forcibly trying to complete the project, ignoring the concerns of the people,” said the protesters.

The leaders of the protesting organizations are aggrieved that the central government has resumed construction activities at the project site without any settlement or effective mitigation policy for the project-affected people downstream.

Chatra Mukti Sangram Samiti president Bitu Sonowal and executive president Manish Konwar, KMSS Dhemaji district unit president Saif Pao and other district committee functionaries also took part in the protest.