The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) on Wednesday demanded that a thorough probe should be done into the release of dam water from North Eastern Electric Power Corporation’s (NEEPCO) Doyang hydroelectric project resulting in unprecedented flooding in upper Assam’s Golaghat district.
A report appearing in the The Times of India stated that the KMSS adviser Akhil Gogoi has charged NEEPCO with “generating power at the risk of human lives” in Golaghat, the worst-hit district in the second wave of floods.
The report further quoted Akhil as saying, “Just to fulfill its target to generate excess power, the Doyang authorities have posed a grave threat to the lives and property of people living in the downstream areas of Golaghat district. Besides causing unprecedented flooding in the district, the NEEPCO-run hydroelectric project has flushed out huge silt, damaging houses of hundreds of families.” The KMSS also blamed NEEPCO for the death of five people in Golaghat in the latest spate of floods, which, according to the farmers’ body, has affected 116 villages in the district.
Fed by water released from Doyang, the Dhansiri in Golaghat was flowing above the danger mark on Wednesday. The latest Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) report stated that over 75,000 people still remain affected in Golaghat district. Apart from Golaghat, only Biswanath district in northern Assam, where 2000 people are hit, is still reeling from floods. Akhil asked NEEPCO to give compensation to flood-affected families of Golaghat and appealed to the Government to waive off all loans of people in the district.
Citing the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (CERC) norms, he said though the Doyang hydroelectric project located in Wokha district of Nagaland was supposed to generate 14.28 Million Units (MU) of electricity in July, it produced 45.52 MU during the entire month.
“NEEPCO was supposed to keep the water level down in July so that there is minimum risk of floods in the downstream areas. But, it reserved excess water in the Doyang project site for generating more power, resulting in massive devastation in Golaghat,” added Akhil.
On the other hand, the flood situation in Assam improved marginally on Wednesday, with over 77,000 people still affected in Golaghat and Biswanath districts. Till Tuesday, over 81,000 people were affected in Golaghat district alone. Roads and bridges have been damaged in Lakhimpur, Biswanath and Kamrup (Metropolitan) districts, said ASDMA. The total number of people losing their lives in the two spell of floods this year stands at 46, including three in the landslides.
At present, 107 villages are under water and 6,883 hectares of crop area have been damaged, the ASDMA added. It said 19,636 people are still staying in 109 relief camps opened in the two districts.