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AGP Sonitpur unit holds procession against dams

By correspondent

TEZPUR, Oct 30 � The Sonitpur district committee of Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) on Wednesday held a protest programme here in front of the DC court in protest against the construction of the proposed mega dams, seeking attention of the Government and the agencies concerned towards the insecurity to the people living along the river Brahmaputra and its tributaries especially in Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan.

The protest programme held under the initiative of the ex-president of AGP and the MLA of Tezpur LAC, Brindaban Goswani, was participated by many AGP workers of the Sonitpur district committee.

Following it, the protesters submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister through the then Deputy Commissioner, Rajesh Prasad.

Meanwhile, talking to this correspondent, Brindaban Goswami said that the AGP is strongly opposed to the mega dams as recurring devastation has taken place in the downstream areas of the existing dams which provide enough indication about the future consequences from such big projects.

He further stated that in recent years, large numbers of hydel power dam projects have reportedly been cleared in Arunachal Pradesh without making downstream impact assesment and without obtaining opinion of the downstream populace.

�The latest experience of devastation in the downstream of the the highest dam over a river in China killing more than 1000 people should be an eye opener for any such mega dam projects in the upstream areas of Arunachal Pradesh and also in Bhutan at the cost of the people in Assam valley,� said Goswami, adding that it is high time that the Central Government reviews all such mega hydel power projects which would obviously pose a threat to the downstream population.

Moreover, it is noteworthy that various organisations are alleging that the NHPC�s 2000 Mega Watt Lower Subansiri hydel project has threatened the very existence of Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts in Assam. Even Majuli, the largest river island in the world, would be completely washed away in case such dams are allowed to come up in the State, which is already declared as an earthquake prone zone.

Besides , Goswami said that the eight-member expert committee constituted as per the decision of the tripartite meeting of the NHRC, the State Government and AASU engaged to study the downstream impact of the Lower Subansiri hydel power project firmly suggested that no mega dam project should be taken up in close proximity of the foothills .

In the protest programme, vice-president, Apurba Kumar Bhattacharya, central executive member, Anjan Goswami, Rabin Hazarika and Prem Sarma were also present.

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