GUWAHATI, June 14 � There is total lack of transparency in implementing the 2000-MW Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Power Project (LSHEP). The non-transparent approach of the authorities concerned is at the root of all the present turmoil concerning this hydel power project, alleged noted consultant engineer-cum-RTI activist J N Khataniar. The National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) Ltd is executing the project.
For, Khataniar said, in reply to one of his RTI applications, the NHPC authorities have stated that the Chief Engineer of the State Water Resources Department (WRD) was included in the project monitoring committee as a member.
But, the WRD authorities informed Khataniar that �there is no any invitation received from the NHPC� in this regard.
Again, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) as per its condition of techno-economic clearance to the LSHEP had made on January 13, 2003 ��Integrated flood studies, including reservoir operation in respect of all three projects, viz, Subansiri Upper, Subansiri Middle and Subansiri Lower shall be finalised in consultation with Brahmaputra Board and CWC before taking up execution of Subansiri Lower Hydro-Electric Project,� a mandatory condition for clearing the project.
But the Brahmaputra Board authorities had informed Khataniar, in reply to his RTI application on May 23 last, that there is no record with them on the issue.
On January 21 last, the NHPC authorities informed the people through newspaper advertisements that a 50-metre deep concrete cut-off wall with 80 cm thickness, was provided in the dam foundation to ensure safety of the dam and check seepage. �A specialised agency from France has been engaged to carry out the work.�
But in reply to his RTI application, the NHPC authorities told Khataniar on March 28, 2012 � �The concept of cut-off wall was discussed between NHPC and CWC keeping in view the technical requirements at the time of clearance of DPR in 2003. Work of cut-off wall has been awarded and is yet to start,� Khataniar said.
Meanwhile, Chief Engineer of the NHPC (Design) AK Jain told newsmen at a press conference here recently that the design of the LSHEP power house, which was envisioned as an underground one, was changed into an overground one. This was done after the project with the underground power house was cleared by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests.
He also informed the newsmen that the committee appointed by the NHPC authorities to examine the second part of the report of the local experts on the LSHEP was preparing its report.
The CD Thatte-Reddy Committee appointed by the Planning Commission of India to look into the geological etc aspects of the project is also likely to submit its report within the current month, he said.