GUWAHATI, June 16 � Raising concerns at the Indian support to Bhutan�s hydel power projects without considering its downstream impact on people, the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chhatra Parishad (AJYCP) today demanded a cumulative downstream impact assessment study of the hydal projects of Bhutan.
In the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi laying the foundation stone of the 600 MW Kholongchu hydro-electric project in Bhutan today, the youth body said that India must not forget the devastating impact of the 60 MW Kurichhu hydro-power project that flooded Barpeta, Nalbari and other Lower Assam districts, killing more than 35 people and damaging two lakh hectares of agricultural land. A similar situation was witnessed again in 2007.
Addressing the media here, the AJYCP said that there should be a moratorium on all the upcoming power projects in the neighbouring country, till the downstream impact study is done.
�A number of upcoming power projects in Bhutan are being financially supported by India. This initiative was started by the previous government at the Centre and is being continued by the new government as well,� Parishad president Manoj Baruah said.
�Prime Minister Narendra Modi convinced the people of Assam that if voted to power, he would take up the burning issues of the State. It is a time to recall his promise and review the project considering the possible downstream impacts. We also request Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to take the lead in this matter and apprise the Union government about the possible adverse impacts of such projects,� added Baruah.
Also raising the issue of the Intelligence Bureau report on foreign funding to the NGOs for stalling India�s development projects, which also has a mention of NGOs protesting hydro-electric projects in Arunachal Pradesh, it said that government must bring out the names of NGOs or public organizations with concrete evidence.
�There are many NGOs and public organizations protesting the mega dams in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Being a major organization protesting the Lower Subansiri Hydro-electricity Project, we believe that it is ploy of the government to weaken the strong movement against the project. Rather than a generalised report vaguely mentioning about hydel power projects, the government must make public the names of organizations or individuals funded by the foreign donors for retarding the pace of development,� he added.