| One of the vessels carrying NHPC machinery anchored at Hatirchar in Dhubri district on Tuesday. Picture by UB Photos |
Dhubri, Nov. 27: The Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) today threatened to stop cargo vessels carrying dam machinery to Gerukamukh on the Assam-Arunachal border when they reach Jogighopa river port in Bongaigaon district.
Two cargo vessels arrived at Hatirchar in Dhubri district a couple days ago from Calcutta.
The vessels — MT Jaltaranga and MV Tidal of Bangladesh and India respectively — are transporting machines, including blades of turbines and other accessories and fittings for Lower Subansiri hydro project, worth Rs 24.6 crore.
Reacting strongly to the transportation of the machinery, the students’ groupalleged that NHPC officials had assured in August that as long as discussions were on, it would not shift any machinery to Gerukamukh site for Subansiri hydro project.
It had promised not to take up any work, which would be detrimental to the interest of the people of Assam.
But by transporting machinery to Gerukamukh, NHPC has failed to keep its word.
AJYCPpresident Manoj Baruah said on August 27, AJYCP and KMSS held a meeting with NHPC officials headed by chairman-cum-managing director, G. Prasad, where the corporation had promised not to resume work or shift machinery to the dam site.
“But NHPC has deviated from its assurance by transporting the machinery to the site of the project by river route and was planning to resume work secretly. We will stop this move,” Barua added.
The Dhubri district unit of the AJYCP in a press release today also threatened to stop the vessels carrying the machinery at Jogighopa, which will reach Pandu port within a few days.
The AJYCP Dhubri district unit president, Alok Bardhan, said the activists would join the Bongaigaon unit to stop the vessels at Jogighopa with all their might.
In September last year, anti-dam activists protested against shipment of two turbines for the Lower Subansiri hydel project, which were unloaded at Jogighopa port.
At the time, the two Bangladeshi vessels carrying the turbines, were stranded for months at Bongshichar in Dhubri district following the anti-dam protests.
The vessels unloaded the turbines at Jogighopa and sailed back to Bangladesh.
A US-based naturalist and a community leader on conservation of forests and animals, Arati Bora Baruah, during an interaction organised by Pragjyoti Communications in Guwahati today, mooted rainwater reservoir in place of dams in Arunachal Pradesh because of its loose soil. No dams over 100MW would be feasible there, she said in a reference to the Lower Subansiri hydel project.
Baruah, who has worked with the Boeing Company for the past 33 years, has been studying the water and silt issues of Assam. She has travelled extensively in the interiors of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
“Experts and people need to do their homework on the dam issue,” she said.