GUWAHATI, Feb 28 � All Assam Students� Union (AASU) today reiterated its opposition to the river linking project. It has expressed its dissatisfaction over the yesterday order of the Supreme Court of India in favour of the project.
In a statement, the students� body has said that the project is connected with various states of the country. Linking of rivers is a political issue. It requires a decision involving all the non-political organisations, political parties, voluntary organisations, Governments in the states and at the Centre.
The project is against the interest of the people of the NE region, which is located in a divergent geographical location. The AASU has been agitating against the transfer of the Brahmaputra water to the Ganga via Manas and Teesta on different occasions. This include the November 23, 2003 human chain formed by thousands of people on the bank of the Manas under the aegis of the students� body.
The AASU is not going to accept anything that harms the interest of Assam, it said.
Former principal of Cotton College and convenor of the Citizens� Committee against Large Dams Prof Udayaditya Bharali said that interlinking of rivers would lead to total disaster in the NE region. Entire ecological system of the region would be totally disturbed by this project and it will seriously threaten the plant and animal worlds of the region.
This region, which is so far known as a water surplus area of the country, will be reduced by the project into a virtual desert. For, the dam projects will be blocking the rivers and initiate the process of desertification, as has been witnessed in the cases of Kurishu and Ranganadi projects. Then, transfer of the rest of the water from the rivers of the region would expedite the process, Prof Bharali said.
Noted geologist and KD Malaviya Chair Professor of Dibrugarh University Prof Jogen Sarma said the transfer of water from the Brahmaputra through the Siliguri corridor would be a costly affair. It may be less costly if transferred through Bangladesh.