ITANAGAR, Jan 29 � More than three years since the construction of the 2,000 MW Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Power Project (LSHEP) of NHPC came to a halt, Arunachal Chief Minister Nabam Tuki today told the State Assembly that all-out efforts were on for early resumption of construction works of the mega power project.
Construction of the LSHEP remained suspended since December 16, 2011 following protests from several groups in Assam including the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), All Assam Students� Union (AASU) and other organisations, which are apprehensive about safety of the dam and its downstream impacts.
Replying to a supplementary from BJP�s Tamiyo Taga, who sought to know about the steps taken for resuming the project�s construction besides ridiculing the protests by Assam-based organisations, Chief Minister Tuki informed that at a meeting convened by the Union Ministry of Power in New Delhi on December 11-12 last year which was attended by representatives of the Assam Government, expert groups from Assam, Government of India and NHPC, the officers from NHPC, CWC and GSI highlighted the steps taken on dam safety and downstream impact. Various technical issues relating to the project were also clarified by the experts.
Union Power Minister Piyush Goel, who chaired the second day�s meeting, appreciated the steps taken to improve the design of gravity dam and to address the various concerns.
While the KMSS demanded safety measures in case of landslides, earthquake at project site and its peripheral areas, equal distribution of free power (12 per cent) to both Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and supply of additional 533 MW of power to Assam, the Union Minister at the meeting agreed to meet the demand for additional power, Tuki quoted Goel as saying.
Besides promising to look into KMSS� demand for safety of the downstream people, Tuki informed that the Union Power Minister said any further delay would cause project cost escalation, worsen the power scenario in the region and send out a wrong message on investment in the North East. He requested all to resolve the issue amicably in the larger interest of the region and the country as a whole.
Tuki further told the House that apart from formation of a Project Oversight Committee representing the government and the agitating groups, with four members from each side, to resolve the various issues within three months, the Government of India has constituted a high powered committee to study the downstream impact, asking it to submit the report within a month.