GUWAHATI, Oct 19 � The State Government is perhaps not interested to make public the report of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on the Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Power Project (LSHEP). This attitude of the State Government has come to light with the reply of the Power Department to an RTI applicant.
The Power Department through its letter on September 29 last (No PEL 210/2012/42) said, since the GoM report has not yet been �tabled in the Cabinet,� hence the Power Department �is not in a position to furnish it at this stage.�
The applicant had sent his application on August 13 last to the office of the Chief Minister.
The GoM submitted its report several months back. Since then there has been tremendous public pressure to make it public. But the Government has been maintaining a silence on the issue.
For, there has been vehement pressure from the people of the State to abandon the LSHEP or to take it up only after completing a comprehensive study on its downstream impacts.
Faced with the public pressure, the State Government and the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), which is executing the project, allowed a committee of experts drawn from Gauhati University, Dibrugarh University and IIT, Guwahati to study the impacts of the project. The report of this expert committee was not in favour of continuing with the project�s construction at its present site.
A State Assembly committee, which also studied the case, maintained a similar stand.
These bolstered the popular opposition to the project. In a charged situation resulting from the resistance offered to the movement of the construction materials and parts of the turbines of the project, the State Government had constituted the GoM to study the matter.
The GoM prepared its report after consulting all the stakeholders concerned and it was expected that its report would soon be made public. Since the submission of the GoM report, the State Cabinet had met on several occasions. But now it is said that the report �has not yet been tabled in the Cabinet!�
Meanwhile, the Power Department told consulting engineer J N Khataniar on October 3, in reply to his RTI application dated August 29 last, that the State Government has not yet signed an MoU with the NHPC, since, the allocation of 600 MW of power as demanded by the Assam Government �has not yet been finalised.�
It further informed --- �NHPC is executing the project work as per NOC issued by Govt of Assam vide letter No PEL66/2001/89, dtd 11.01.2002.�