The Telegraph
Monday , January 28 , 2013
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Anti-dam cry to get louder: Akhil

Guwahati, Jan. 27: Assam-based anti-big dam groups today warned the NHPC of intensified agitation, if it resumed work on the 2,000MW Lower Subansiri hydel project that straddles both Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.

The warning from organisations like KMSS, Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad and Takam Mising Porin Kebang comes in wake of the NHPC floating an e-tender for supply of cement to the project.

“The NHPC floated an e-tender for the supply of cement through advertisements in different media on January 22, a sign that they are again planning to start work. This is tantamount to ‘betrayal’ of the commitment made by NHPC at a meeting here on August 27 last year in the presence of a senior power ministry official, wherein they had agreed to stop construction till discussions with the KMSS and other anti-dam organisations were complete,” KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi said today.

There has been no work at the site since December 16, 2011, leading to massive losses for the corporation and delay in commissioning of the project. Latest indications said the project might be commissioned in 2017, only if work resumes at the earliest. In the meantime, the project cost has escalated from Rs 6,285.33 crore to Rs 10,799.63 crore.

“The opposition this time will be more vigorous and we would go all out to show our might,” Gogoi said, adding that till now they had shown respect to NHPC since it was a public sector organisation. He said the PSU was now behaving like a private sector company and not paying heed to any social commitment.

The anti-dam organisations have asked the NHPC to make the two-member technical expert committee set up by Planning Commission for comprehensive review of the project, to make its report public. They have also asked Dispur to make the group of ministers’ report on the project public. “It looks like the technical expert committee, comprising C.D. Thatte and M.S. Reddy, both former chairmen of Central Water Commission, has favoured starting of work,” Gogoi claimed.

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