GUWAHATI, Nov 29 - Dr Bhagawatpran Duarah, Prof & Head of Dept of Geology, Gauhati University, today said that the Lower Subansiri Hydro-electric Project in its current form was not acceptable, but with reasonable alteration in its structure and a thorough review of earthquake studies by responsible experts, the project could be feasible and beneficial to the people of the North-east.
Dr Duarah maintained that while allowing the commissioning of the project, stipulations should be made about the rightful share of Assam in respect of reasonable allocation of the generated power, and �the implementing agency, the NHPC, should be compelled to look into the long-term interests of the downstream people of the State for years to come.�
Dr Duarah was delivering a talk on �Subansiri river valley dam: challenge and solution� on the occasion of the third Uddhab Krishna Bardoloi Memorial Lectures and presentation of Uddhab Krishna Bardoloi Memorial Brilliant Geology Student Award, at a function organised by Sabita Sabha at Satyanath Bora Bhawan here.
Dr Tarakeswar Kataki, retired Prof of the Dibrugarh University, delivered a talk on �Exploration of petroleum in Assam and maintenance of environmental balance.�
Continuing with his lecture, Dr Duarah said that while the Lower Subansiri project could not be rejected outright, there must be reasonable modification in order to allay the apprehensions of the Assamese people.
Dr Kataki, during his talk, gave a historical background of oil exploration in Assam dating back to 1825, with the historical achievement of digging of petroleum at Digboi, and said that exploration of all mineral resources should be made not only to meet the requirement of the present generation �but without compromising the ability and requirement of the future generations of the entire region.�
Asserting that development programmes should be consistent with the proper and best use of natural resources without giving any scope for future natural catastrophe, Dr Kataki said that it would require the genius of scientists and the administrators to ensure optimum use of petroleum and other resources without disturbing the ecological balance.
Dr Banikanta Sarma presided over the session.
The Brilliant Student Award went to Anwesha Saikia, in whose absence her parents received the cash award and other presents.
Senior journalist DN Chakravartty, who inaugurated the function and released a book on Uddhab Krishna Bardoloi, a renowned geologist in whose memory the lecture programme-cum-award ceremony was organised, said that the general public should be fully assured with proper data and scientific information about the possibility of power generation through big dams.
Chakravartty also mentioned the contributions of UK Bardoloi as a geologist and also as a dedicated social worker. Konika Bardoloi, wife of the late UK Bardoloi, lit the ceremonial lamp and laid wreaths at his portrait. Dr Roman Sarma welcomed the guests while Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, general secretary of Sabita Sabha, explained the purpose of the function.
Dr Sarma, in his presidential speech, paid tribute to UK Bardoloi and thanked the parents of Anwesha Saikia for receiving the award on their daughter�s behalf.