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Inter-ministerial meet on NE dams today

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Oct 13 � The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) today sent a memorandum to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh ahead of the important inter-ministerial meeting tomorrow on the issue of big dams, calling for a complete halt to all the ongoing and proposed large hydro-electric projects in the region.

In a statement, the KMSS said that the Centre would do well to heed the intensifying mass movement against big dams because of their adverse downstream impact and ecological fallouts.

�We have submitted a five-point memorandum to the Prime Minister demanding his intervention in the matter. We have made it clear that we are for dismantling of the Lower Subansiri Hydro-electric Project and not mere stoppage of work,� it said.

Another of the KMSS�s demands calls for cancellation of permits of all the proposed large hydro-power projects in Arunachal Pradesh given by the Government of India earlier. �Our stand is that these projects were sought to be pushed in a hurried and clandestine manner without doing any proper study on downstream impact and taking the people into confidence. The different types of clearances given for all these projects must be revoked,� the KMSS said, adding that if at all small hydel projects are constructed in the region, that would have to precede MoUs with not just the Arunachal Pradesh Government but with the Assam Government as well.

The KMSS further demanded a high-level probe into the hundred-odd MoUs signed so that those responsible for the non-transparent handling of the developments could be identified and punished.

The KMSS was also critical of the State Government, especially Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, Power Minister Pradyut Bardoloi and Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain for their �indifferent� attitude on the matter.

The KMSS warned of a vigorous mass movement if the Centre refused to acknowledge the dangers posed by large dams and stalled the same.

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