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Opp meets PM on NC Hills scam, NRC update issue

By Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, July 30 � A joint delegation of the Opposition parties met the Prime Minister today seeking his intervention to resolve the three contentious issues of the State including the financial scam in HC Hills District, updating of National Register of Indian Citizens and halt to mega dam projects up stream in Brahmaputra River.

The delegation that comprised AGP president, Chandra Mohan Patowary, Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, Biren Baishya, Kumar Deepak Das Phani, Bhusan Choudhury, Sarbananda Sonowal, Bijoya Chakravarty, Ramen Deka and Dhrupad Borgohain among others met the Prime Minister at his Parliament House Office.

Later, briefing newsmen the AGP leaders said that they brought to the notice of the Prime Minister the fact that the State Government has given partial charge to the CBI to probe the financial scam that is estimated at around Rs 1000 crore.

The representatives of the five political parties also drew the attention of the Prime Minister to the nexus between the militants, government officials and politicians. They reportedly told Dr Singh that the Central funds allocated for development works in the Hill district was siphoned off and the militants were also given a share.

On the issue of updating of the NRC, the delegation urged that the stalled process be resumed immediately in Barpeta district. They held the State Government responsible for creation of the problem and the process that was started after long delay was suddenly stopped.

�Updating of the NRC should start immediately,� the delegation, which also submitted a memorandum, demanded.

On the mega dam issue, Patowary and Sonowal said they complained before the Prime Minister that the hydro power projects were under taken without any proper study on the impact downstream. Even the Environment Impact Study was not carried out, they alleged.

They also referred to the technical survey carried by the expert panel and said the Central Government should review the mega dam policy.

The AGP leaders said the Prime Minister said he would look matter regarding the financial scam and would take up the issue of the mega dam project with the concerned authorities.

Meanwhile, in a Rajya Sabha reply, the Minister of State for Power Bharatsinh Solanki said a number of representations have been received related to downstream impact study of Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Project and halt of the main dam works.

In his written reply to Biren Baishya, the Minister clarified that before start of the Project, all statutory clearance including environment clearance has been obtained by NHPC. As part of the environment clearance, a comprehensive Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) study has been carried out, the Minister claimed.

Based on the EIA and Environment Management Plan (EMP) report the Ministry of Environment and Forest accorded the environment clearance. Further, Disaster Management Plan (DMP) is a part of the EMP of Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Project, he added.

However, keeping in view the concerns of the people, a comprehensive study has been awarded to an expert group from University of Gauhati, University of Dibrugarh and IIT, Guwahati to assess the impact downstream due to the Subansiri Lower Hydro Project.

The draft report of the expert group has been received by NHPC recently. As a when the final report of the expert group is received, action would be taken by NHPC. The implementation of these recommendations would ensure security of the people and environment in the downstream of the Project.

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Opp meets PM on NC Hills scam, NRC update issue

NEW DELHI, July 30 � A joint delegation of the Opposition parties met the Prime Minister today seeking his intervention to resolve the three contentious issues of the State including the financial scam in HC Hills District, updating of National Register of Indian Citizens and halt to mega dam projects up stream in Brahmaputra River.

The delegation that comprised AGP president, Chandra Mohan Patowary, Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, Biren Baishya, Kumar Deepak Das Phani, Bhusan Choudhury, Sarbananda Sonowal, Bijoya Chakravarty, Ramen Deka and Dhrupad Borgohain among others met the Prime Minister at his Parliament House Office.

Later, briefing newsmen the AGP leaders said that they brought to the notice of the Prime Minister the fact that the State Government has given partial charge to the CBI to probe the financial scam that is estimated at around Rs 1000 crore.

The representatives of the five political parties also drew the attention of the Prime Minister to the nexus between the militants, government officials and politicians. They reportedly told Dr Singh that the Central funds allocated for development works in the Hill district was siphoned off and the militants were also given a share.

On the issue of updating of the NRC, the delegation urged that the stalled process be resumed immediately in Barpeta district. They held the State Government responsible for creation of the problem and the process that was started after long delay was suddenly stopped.

�Updating of the NRC should start immediately,� the delegation, which also submitted a memorandum, demanded.

On the mega dam issue, Patowary and Sonowal said they complained before the Prime Minister that the hydro power projects were under taken without any proper study on the impact downstream. Even the Environment Impact Study was not carried out, they alleged.

They also referred to the technical survey carried by the expert panel and said the Central Government should review the mega dam policy.

The AGP leaders said the Prime Minister said he would look matter regarding the financial scam and would take up the issue of the mega dam project with the concerned authorities.

Meanwhile, in a Rajya Sabha reply, the Minister of State for Power Bharatsinh Solanki said a number of representations have been received related to downstream impact study of Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Project and halt of the main dam works.

In his written reply to Biren Baishya, the Minister clarified that before start of the Project, all statutory clearance including environment clearance has been obtained by NHPC. As part of the environment clearance, a comprehensive Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) study has been carried out, the Minister claimed.

Based on the EIA and Environment Management Plan (EMP) report the Ministry of Environment and Forest accorded the environment clearance. Further, Disaster Management Plan (DMP) is a part of the EMP of Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Project, he added.

However, keeping in view the concerns of the people, a comprehensive study has been awarded to an expert group from University of Gauhati, University of Dibrugarh and IIT, Guwahati to assess the impact downstream due to the Subansiri Lower Hydro Project.

The draft report of the expert group has been received by NHPC recently. As a when the final report of the expert group is received, action would be taken by NHPC. The implementation of these recommendations would ensure security of the people and environment in the downstream of the Project.