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Big dams may pose threat to Tezpur

By Correspondent

TEZPUR, Sept 12 � The under-construction and the proposed 168 dams along the Assam-Arunachal border and the hydro-electric project may pose a serious threat to the geographical, natural and environmental conditions and along with it may bring large-scale calamity to the people.

The dams in lower Subansiri and Kameng hydel projects and ongoing dams in Jiabharali river although may cause major problem for the North Assam, the issue is yet to draw the attention of the centre and the NHPC authority as well even after repeated appeals by various nationalist organizations.

The issue has reached a serious position as the authority concerned allegedly neglected the protests of common people.

It is worthmentioning that out of the 29 proposed dams in the Kameng river of Arunachal Pradesh, the construction work of 600 MW Kameng hydel project is on in full swing.

�NEEPCO has planned to complete the big budget project with the allocation of Rs. 2496.90 crore by March 2011.

150 MW power is to be produced from each of the project by four turbines in Kameng river. It is a serious concern for one and all that NHPC, NEEPCO and the government have already started their work for pre-construction survey in the area,� AASU leaders said.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Kameng Hydel project is only 153 km. away from Tezpur, the headquarters of Sonitpur district. Kameng is popularly known in Assam as Jiabharali, which is flowing through the heart of Sonitpur touching important places like, Bhalukpung, Balipara, Itakhola, Rangapara, Nameri and Pakey national park. If as per the final report of the expert committee the 600 MW project leads to any disaster, the above-mentioned important places including historic Tezpur will face serious threat in the long run.

At this juncture, the Tezpur AASU is urging the Central Minister Jairam Ramesh who is visiting Assam on September 10 to do a spot verification in the working site of the Kameng project and the proposed dams as well and to give special attention to the public interest.

In reference to the frequent floods caused in lower Assam due to the 60 MW hydel project in Kurichu river of Bhutan, the AASU activists who have been advocating against the mega dams said that in comparison to the Kurichu river�s hydel project the Kameng hydel project is ten times bigger and it�s down stream impact will definitely affect the area and its periphery.

�Presently Ronganodi and Dikrong rivers become desert during winter season as because of the theses dames,� alleged the AASU activists.

Conscious people alongwith various nationalist organizations including AASU, TMPK maintained that same condition would be caused in river Jiabharali too after the Kameng hydel project, besides creating artificial flood after the release of its excess water from the project.

It is noteworthy that the 494-page report submitted by the expert committee revealed clearly the vulnerable threat could be created due to the proposed dams bringing danger to the areas like Nameri and Pakey national park full of bio-diversity. On the other hand, it is a matter of fact that people of Bordikorai located along the Assam-Arunachal border who became homeless due to the flood caused in 2004 are yet to be rehabilitated.

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