| The Lower Subansiri dam site |
Jorhat, Feb. 6: With almost no work at the NHPC Lower Subansiri dam project site for more than two years, the employees stationed there are being sent to New Delhi and other places for multi-skill training and activities related to corporate social responsibility.
An official of the project said recently 10 Grade IV employees, nine women and one man, were sent to New Delhi for a three-day training so that they could help out in the hospital in case of emergency.
The multi-skill training was part of a routine exercise. “Every year we have a target of imparting training in other skills to five persons. But now we are sending more people as there is nothing to do. This year, already 10 have been given such training and another 10 Grade IV employees are being imparted training at Patiala in Punjab as research assistants,” he said.
Blaming the governments at the Centre and state for being unable to tackle the protesters, the official alleged that politics was playing a big part.
“On the same Brahmaputra, China has built a dam, which is producing 12,000MW of power and ours is a mere 2,000MW. The fear of the dam wall breaking and flooding large areas holds no water as we will not be blocking the river but diverting its course for 0.5km so that power can be generated. Even fears of river dolphins and the eco-system being adversely affected are unfounded,” he said.
On January 29, the National Green Tribunal gave the NHPC three weeks time to answer queries on the damage to the eco-system in a case filed by the Assam Public Works against the company, governments of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and ministeries of forests and environment and power.
Chief minister Tarun Gogoi had told The Telegraph recently that they would go ahead with the project, hinting that it would be after the Lok Sabha elections. “We are busy but Assam needs industrial development and we will soon deal with the protesters,” he said.
Despite Rs 6,000 crore already being invested and costs escalating by the day, the NHPC has continued with its CSR activities.
The company has facilitated the employement of 146 youths after skills training by the recruiting industries, including Larsen and Toubro, which has employed 70 youths. Students have been given computers, bicycles and 532 of them scholarships. It has also built offices for 32 headmen of Dhemaji district. It has also given more than Rs 60 lakh for flood relief and held medical camps.