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Governor urged to ensure implementation

By Staff reporter

GUWAHATI, July 24 � The All Assam Students� Union (AASU) today sought the intervention of the Governor JB Patnaik to ensure that the process of implementing the pilot projects of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) of 1951 is completed without any hitch.

A delegation of the AASU today met the Governor at the Raj Bhawan, and submitted a memorandum demanding that the process of implementing the pilot projects in the revenue circles of Chaygaon and Barpeta should not be suspended.

Talking to this correspondent after the meeting with the Governor, AASU general secretary Tapan Kumar Gogoi said that the students� body sought the intervention of the Governor in view of the fact that the Government bowed to violent movement by one organization to suspend the process of updating the NRC.

Gogoi said that the decision to update the NRC of 1951 was taken in a tripartite meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on May 5, 2005 , but the process was delayed because of the failure of the Assam Government to formulate the modalities for updating the citizenship document. The process resumed again after a tripartite talk chaired by the Union Home Secretary GK Pillai in April this year and the pilot projects have been launched in two revenue circles from June this year. Under no circumstance, the process should be suspended, the AASU demanded.

The AASU delegation also told the Governor that the indigenous people of Barpeta are in a grip of fear psychosis and immediate steps should be taken to ensure security to them. The AASU demanded that patrolling by the Army should be undertaken if necessary to ensure protection of the indigenous people.

The Governor assured the delegation that he would seriously look into the demands of the AASU.

Meanwhile, the AASU today hit out at State Power and Industries Minister Pradyut Bordoloi and alleged that the Minister was presenting wrong facts to the media on the issue of big dams.

AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya said that the AASU had demanded setting up of multipurpose projects covering aspects of power, flood, erosion and irrigation as per the provisions of clause 7 of the Assam Accord. However, the Government of India only concentrated on power generation leaving aside the other aspects. He also said that the AASU was opposing construction of big dams after receiving views of experts in the field and on November 27, 2006, the NHPC admitted in a letter to the AASU that the Lower Subansiri Power project was being constructed without proper survey of the possible impacts in the downstream areas.

Bhattacharya said that following widespread protests by the AASU, Bordoloi convened a meeting on December 8, 2006 on the issue involving the AASU and the NHPC and a decision to form an expert committee comprising experts from the IIT, Guwahati, Gauhati University and Dibrugarh University was taken in the meeting. Now Bordoloi , who chaired the meeting, should have taken steps to stop the construction of the Subansiri project as per the recommendation of the expert committee, but instead of doing so, he was making misleading statements, the AASU adviser added.

Bhattacharya further said that the AASU was not against development and instead of going for big dam projects against the interests of the people of the State, the Government should have tried to go for small hydro power projects. He also alleged that the State Power Minister surrendered before the Government of India and those favouring mega dam projects.

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Governor urged to ensure implementation

GUWAHATI, July 24 � The All Assam Students� Union (AASU) today sought the intervention of the Governor JB Patnaik to ensure that the process of implementing the pilot projects of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) of 1951 is completed without any hitch.

A delegation of the AASU today met the Governor at the Raj Bhawan, and submitted a memorandum demanding that the process of implementing the pilot projects in the revenue circles of Chaygaon and Barpeta should not be suspended.

Talking to this correspondent after the meeting with the Governor, AASU general secretary Tapan Kumar Gogoi said that the students� body sought the intervention of the Governor in view of the fact that the Government bowed to violent movement by one organization to suspend the process of updating the NRC.

Gogoi said that the decision to update the NRC of 1951 was taken in a tripartite meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on May 5, 2005 , but the process was delayed because of the failure of the Assam Government to formulate the modalities for updating the citizenship document. The process resumed again after a tripartite talk chaired by the Union Home Secretary GK Pillai in April this year and the pilot projects have been launched in two revenue circles from June this year. Under no circumstance, the process should be suspended, the AASU demanded.

The AASU delegation also told the Governor that the indigenous people of Barpeta are in a grip of fear psychosis and immediate steps should be taken to ensure security to them. The AASU demanded that patrolling by the Army should be undertaken if necessary to ensure protection of the indigenous people.

The Governor assured the delegation that he would seriously look into the demands of the AASU.

Meanwhile, the AASU today hit out at State Power and Industries Minister Pradyut Bordoloi and alleged that the Minister was presenting wrong facts to the media on the issue of big dams.

AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya said that the AASU had demanded setting up of multipurpose projects covering aspects of power, flood, erosion and irrigation as per the provisions of clause 7 of the Assam Accord. However, the Government of India only concentrated on power generation leaving aside the other aspects. He also said that the AASU was opposing construction of big dams after receiving views of experts in the field and on November 27, 2006, the NHPC admitted in a letter to the AASU that the Lower Subansiri Power project was being constructed without proper survey of the possible impacts in the downstream areas.

Bhattacharya said that following widespread protests by the AASU, Bordoloi convened a meeting on December 8, 2006 on the issue involving the AASU and the NHPC and a decision to form an expert committee comprising experts from the IIT, Guwahati, Gauhati University and Dibrugarh University was taken in the meeting. Now Bordoloi , who chaired the meeting, should have taken steps to stop the construction of the Subansiri project as per the recommendation of the expert committee, but instead of doing so, he was making misleading statements, the AASU adviser added.

Bhattacharya further said that the AASU was not against development and instead of going for big dam projects against the interests of the people of the State, the Government should have tried to go for small hydro power projects. He also alleged that the State Power Minister surrendered before the Government of India and those favouring mega dam projects.