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Opp to rake up dams, price rise issues

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Nov 7 � Construction of mega dams is likely to be a major issue in the winter session of the Assam Legislative Assembly, which begins tomorrow and the opposition parties are gearing up to put the Government on the back foot by maintaining floor coordination during the session.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly, Prafulla Kumar Mahanta said that apart from mega dams, corruption in all levels of administration, price rise of all the essential commodities, failure of the Government to deal with the problems of flood and erosion, law and order would be some of the other major issues before the opposition parties.

Mahanta said that as three days would not be enough to discuss the issues concerning the people of Assam, the leaders of all the opposition parties today met the Speaker , Tanka Bahadur Rai and requested him to extend the session by at least couple of days.

Mahanta said that the opposition would put pressure on the Government to make its stand clear on the issue of construction of mega dams. He said that the AGP had demanded construction of multipurpose projects to control floods and erosion, but the Government of India decided to go for construction of hydropower projects with construction of dams and unfortunately, the Assam Government accepted the same without taking the interests of the state into consideration. The Assam Government has also failed to register its strong protest against the move of the Government of Arunachal Pradesh to construct more than 150 hydro power projects. �The State Government should have learnt the lessons from the devastation caused by the excess water of Ranganadi, Kurichu and Kopili hydropower projects, but unfortunately, the State failed to learn from the devastations,� he added.

Reacting to the State Government�s offer for a day long discussion on the issue of construction of mega dams, Mahanta said that the opposition is not opposed to a discussion. But at the same time, discussion would not serve the purpose as the House committee and an expert committee have already expressed their opinion and it is now for the Government to act on the same.

Though the Government has been claiming that the law and order situation has improved considerably, killings are taking place almost every day and kidnappings and extortions should also be treated seriously, Mahanta said. He said that the opposition would raise the issue of failure of the Government to bring the situation under control.

The Government will move supplementary demands for grants for various departments in the session and Mahanta said that the opposition would select only a few major departments for a thorough discussion of the performance of those departments as it would not be possible to discuss the performance of all the departments within such a short time.

Mahanta said that the opposition parties would maintain floor coordination and a series of meetings are being held among the opposition to finalize strategies to put the Government on the back foot.

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