NORTH LAKHIMPUR, Feb 23 � Noted environmentalist Medha Patkar today declared that the water of river Subansiri belonged to the people living in its catchment areas and not to the corporate players and added that the movement against the dam on the Subansiri river was same as the Narmada Bachao Movement.
She made these comments while addressing a mammoth public meeting near the Subansiri bridge at Thekeraguri in Lakhimpur organized by KMSS and other organizations which are opposing the construction of a mega dam over the Subansiri river at Gerukamukh by NHPC.
Patkar lauded the efforts made by KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi and others to start this movement when the State was found to be following only the interests of the corporations. She referred to the other mega dam projects on river Narmada in Gujarat, which has continued for more than 23 years, and in other States of the country and said that the Brahmaputra-Himalaya region naturally does not suit big dams and termed the anti-dam movement in Assam as a Brahmaputra-Himalaya phenomenon. She also asked the GoM to talk to the people of Assam rather that talking with the NHPC to resolve the issue of the Gerukamukh dam.
Speaking on the occasion, Akhil Gogoi of the KMSS said that in today�s meeting the gathering of fifteen hundred people proved the fact that the state government�s claims of being popular was wrong as they could not gather as much people for a rally even after using state machinery and money. He asked the government and all concerned parties to stop construction work of the Gerukamukh dam immediately for the greater interest of the people.
Asjin Tasing of Siang People Forum, Arunachal Pradesh, also addressed the rally informing about the �Dollar Money Politics� concept in his State concerning the exploitation of its natural resources such as rivers, whereby the local government or organizations had been offered money funded by international agencies like the IMF, World Bank and ADB for the interest of the corporate sector. He also announced that the river Subansiri belonged to the people of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and any attempt to deny the people of their rights over the river must be strongly resisted. Leaders of other associate organizations like TMPK, AATASU, etc., also spoke against the construction of dam over Subansiri in that meeting.