SHILLONG, April 16 � A 240 MW hydel power project of North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) proposed to be set up along the Assam-Meghalaya border is facing strong opposition from locals who claim it would affect 1,000 families.
Both the State Governments have issued no objection certificates to NEEPCO for the 100 metre high dam on Umiam river near Lamalong.
Local villagers said the dam will submerge 600 sq km and in the process over 20 inhabited villages will be hit directly affecting over 1,000 families residing there. Besides human displacement, the dam will also submerge agricultural land, heritage sites and flora and fauna, they said.
Last week, over 5000 villagers from both States attended a protest rally at a remote village in Assam�s Karbi Anglong district and demanded that the two governments scrap the contract.
Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and his Assam counterpart Tarun Gogoi were also petitioned by the activists on the need to consider scrapping off the project. Meghalaya MLA Julius K Dorphang and Assam MLA Mansingh Rongpi have lent support to the anti-dam protests.
Rongpi expressed apprehension that the dam will pose a threat to the survival of small tribes comprising Khasis, Lalungs and Mikirs who depend wholely on Umiam river for their livelihood.
Dorphang said people residing in the areas need development but not at the cost of their homes and livelihood. � PTI