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AASU stir against mega dams

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, July 16 � Accusing Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi of making a complete surrender before the mega dam lobby and New Delhi, the All Assam Students� Union (AASU) said that despite clear recommendations from the expert panel against construction of large hydro-power projects at Lower Subansiri as well as along the entire foothills of Himalayas due to high risks involved and the adverse downstream impacts, the Chief Minister chose to make a total sacrifice of the interests of the State and its people.

The AASU said that its members will come out in protest against the anti-Assam stand of the Chief Minister and will hang effigies of the Chief Minister all over the State from July 17.

�The panel of experts, comprising academics from Gauhati University, Dibrugarh University and IIT-Guwahati, was empowered by the State government itself following the tripartite meeting among AASU, NHPC and the government to make an in-depth assessment of possible adverse downstream impact of the Lower Subansiri Hydro-electric project. But, the preliminary report of the committee, which had called for a stop in dam construction pending its final report, has been thrown to wind by State government, Centre and the NHPC.

�Now, in its final report, the expert panel has made clear its stand against not just the Subansiri project but against big dam in the Himalayan foothills,� the AASU said adding that the Chief Minister instead of implementing its recommendations, was making contradictory statements.

�At first, the Chief Minister had said that the expert committee report would be sent to New Delhi, but now has come out in the defense of big dams and rivers. This is an escapist attitude at its worst and is also against the State and the people,� the AASU said and warned that it would continue to fight against any move to construct big dams on the highly seismic Himalayan foothills, including the Lower Subansiri project.

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AASU stir against mega dams

GUWAHATI, July 16 � Accusing Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi of making a complete surrender before the mega dam lobby and New Delhi, the All Assam Students� Union (AASU) said that despite clear recommendations from the expert panel against construction of large hydro-power projects at Lower Subansiri as well as along the entire foothills of Himalayas due to high risks involved and the adverse downstream impacts, the Chief Minister chose to make a total sacrifice of the interests of the State and its people.

The AASU said that its members will come out in protest against the anti-Assam stand of the Chief Minister and will hang effigies of the Chief Minister all over the State from July 17.

�The panel of experts, comprising academics from Gauhati University, Dibrugarh University and IIT-Guwahati, was empowered by the State government itself following the tripartite meeting among AASU, NHPC and the government to make an in-depth assessment of possible adverse downstream impact of the Lower Subansiri Hydro-electric project. But, the preliminary report of the committee, which had called for a stop in dam construction pending its final report, has been thrown to wind by State government, Centre and the NHPC.

�Now, in its final report, the expert panel has made clear its stand against not just the Subansiri project but against big dam in the Himalayan foothills,� the AASU said adding that the Chief Minister instead of implementing its recommendations, was making contradictory statements.

�At first, the Chief Minister had said that the expert committee report would be sent to New Delhi, but now has come out in the defense of big dams and rivers. This is an escapist attitude at its worst and is also against the State and the people,� the AASU said and warned that it would continue to fight against any move to construct big dams on the highly seismic Himalayan foothills, including the Lower Subansiri project.