The Telegraph
Saturday , March 18 , 2017

AASU flays House call on hydel project

Subansiri dam

Guwahati, March 17: The Assam Assembly's recent call to resume work on the stalled 2,000MW Lower Subansiri Hydro Electric Project faced flak from the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) and 28 organisations of different communities today.

The organisations, in a joint meeting here today, criticised the Assembly's call saying it went against the suggestions of experts, wishes of people and the Assembly's earlier decision on the issue.

"The call of the Assembly has insulted the wishes of the people. The state government should convene a tripartite meeting with the organisations protesting against big dams," AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharjya told reporters after the daylong meeting with representatives of the 28 organisations.

"We have opposed the Assembly's call. This was a one-sided decision," said AASU president Dipanka Nath.

Opposition to construction of the Lower Subansiri Hydro Electric Project will be one of the key issues of the organisations in their mass protest at Latasil playground here on April 1. The other issues will include the attack on the AASU office at Silapathar in Dhemaji district and opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

The work on the hydro-electric project has been stalled since December 16, 2011 because of protests from different organisations, including the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti. The KMSS has also protested against the Assembly's call, describing it "anti-people".

The issue was raised in the Assembly on March 9 by BJP legislator Debananda Hazarika. Advocating continuation of work on the project, he argued that once it was completed, it would help reduce the power shortage in Assam.

The leader of the Opposition, Debabrata Saikia, had said the Congress was in favour of finding a solution to resume work on the project, while the AIUDF called for increasing the share of free power to Assam without opposing the dam.

AICC secretary Bhupen Kumar Borah today said the BJP-led government had betrayed the people of Assam on the big dam issue.

"Before the election, current Union home minister Rajnath Singh and chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal had gone to Gerukamukh in Dhemaji district and promised that they would not allow construction of the big dam. Now the same BJP is supporting the project," said Borah.

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