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KMSS for united fight against mega dams

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, July 29 � Making a strong pitch for smaller hydro-electric power projects in the State and other parts of the North-East in consonance with the region�s environmental requirements, the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) today called upon all parties and organizations concerned to unite on the issue of opposing large dams in the region.

�Small hydel projects can be a viable alternative to mega dams in the region, and the time has come for some pragmatic thinking on the issue. We need to evolve a detailed and integrated plan for harnessing our water resources through small dams that are environment-friendly and devoid of other harmful fallouts associated with large dams,� the KMSS said in a statement.

Lauding the political parties for increasingly coming out in the open against mega dams, the KMSS said that it was extremely encouraging that almost all the political parties were now voicing serious concern over big dams in the region.

�Even the Congress Government in the State has endorsed the people�s stand against mega dams by calling for a thorough review of the issue of such dams. The BJP and the AGP have also made clear their stand against large dams and are advocating small dams,� it added.

The KMSS said that since there has been a united stand in the State against large dams, it was time for clearing the decks for small hydro-electric projects and �foil the designs of vested interests from outside to exploit the State�s water resources and bring about destruction to the lives and property of the people.�

The KMSS said that all the parties and organizations should now demand the Centre to recognize the ground reality and facilitate the construction of smaller hydel power projects.

Pointing out that there had been a gradual realization nationwide about the adverse environmental and downstream impacts of large dams, the KMSS said that over 100 hydro-power projects in Uttarakhand were recently blocked following the refusal of the Forest Advisory Committee of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests to give clearance to the projects until the National Ganga River Basin Authority conducted a cumulative impact assessment study of all the proposed dams.

The KMSS had demanded immediate scrapping of the Lower Subansiri Hydro-electric Project besides freezing clearance of all dams till a cumulative impact assessment study was conducted for the Brahmaputra river basin by an expert committee. It also urged the Centre to initiate a programme for community dams in the region.

Meanwhile, the Kamrup District NGOs Forum has also called upon the Centre to put a stop to its grandiose plan of utilizing the North-East�s water resources through large dams in view of the expert committee�s recent recommendations against construction of big dams in the region.

�The catastrophic consequences of big dams are a reality in China and we need to learn from it. If the Government does not recognize this grave reality, there will be no alternative but to continue with vigorous mass agitations,� it said in a statement.

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KMSS for united fight against mega dams

GUWAHATI, July 29 � Making a strong pitch for smaller hydro-electric power projects in the State and other parts of the North-East in consonance with the region�s environmental requirements, the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) today called upon all parties and organizations concerned to unite on the issue of opposing large dams in the region.

�Small hydel projects can be a viable alternative to mega dams in the region, and the time has come for some pragmatic thinking on the issue. We need to evolve a detailed and integrated plan for harnessing our water resources through small dams that are environment-friendly and devoid of other harmful fallouts associated with large dams,� the KMSS said in a statement.

Lauding the political parties for increasingly coming out in the open against mega dams, the KMSS said that it was extremely encouraging that almost all the political parties were now voicing serious concern over big dams in the region.

�Even the Congress Government in the State has endorsed the people�s stand against mega dams by calling for a thorough review of the issue of such dams. The BJP and the AGP have also made clear their stand against large dams and are advocating small dams,� it added.

The KMSS said that since there has been a united stand in the State against large dams, it was time for clearing the decks for small hydro-electric projects and �foil the designs of vested interests from outside to exploit the State�s water resources and bring about destruction to the lives and property of the people.�

The KMSS said that all the parties and organizations should now demand the Centre to recognize the ground reality and facilitate the construction of smaller hydel power projects.

Pointing out that there had been a gradual realization nationwide about the adverse environmental and downstream impacts of large dams, the KMSS said that over 100 hydro-power projects in Uttarakhand were recently blocked following the refusal of the Forest Advisory Committee of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests to give clearance to the projects until the National Ganga River Basin Authority conducted a cumulative impact assessment study of all the proposed dams.

The KMSS had demanded immediate scrapping of the Lower Subansiri Hydro-electric Project besides freezing clearance of all dams till a cumulative impact assessment study was conducted for the Brahmaputra river basin by an expert committee. It also urged the Centre to initiate a programme for community dams in the region.

Meanwhile, the Kamrup District NGOs Forum has also called upon the Centre to put a stop to its grandiose plan of utilizing the North-East�s water resources through large dams in view of the expert committee�s recent recommendations against construction of big dams in the region.

�The catastrophic consequences of big dams are a reality in China and we need to learn from it. If the Government does not recognize this grave reality, there will be no alternative but to continue with vigorous mass agitations,� it said in a statement.