NGT’S NOD ADDS FUEL TO THE FIRE: PROTESTORS QUESTIONS THE LEGALITY OF THE COMMITEE
5TH OF AUGUST, 2019
Protests throughout Assam stopped the work of the mega river dam on Subansiri. Anti-dam protestors in Assam have slammed the National Green Tribunal for paving the way for a mega dam that was left incomplete in 2011.
Earlier this week the NGT dismissed the petitions seeking reconstitution of a six-member expert committee that the objectioners claimed was biased towards environment-threatening big dams.
Former (AASU) leader Tularam Gogoi, and president of NGO Assam Public Works Aabhijit Sarma had filed the petitions. The dismissal of the pleas was a move by the Centre to resume work on the 2000 MW Lower Subansiri Hydropower Project (LSHP) at Gerukamukh on the Arunachal Pradesh-Assam border said by the mega dam opposers.
The National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) had started work on the project in 2009 but had to stop after a series of protests by local organisations.The NHPC officials said they have been losing ₹10 crore everyday since 2011 because of non-completion of the project that was more than 65% through.The work halted as protests have not allowed transportation of turbines and other construction materials to the site. “The people of Assam will not accept the NGT order. How can a committee with questionable legality submit a report, based on which an expert appraisal panel approve environment clearance,” said Akhil Gogoi, leader of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti.
The AASU said the Centre should first ensure the safety and security of the people living downstream of the dam before giving its nod.