Thousands of Youth Congress activists from Dhemaji, Lakhimpur and Majuli districts on Wednesday staged massive protest against National Hydroelectric Power Corporation Ltd demanding closure of ongoing construction of 2000 MW Subansiri Lower Projectat Gerukhamukh, about 13 km north from Gogamukh town in northern Assam’s Dhemaji district.
The protest rally was organised by Asom Pradesh Youth Congress Committee in association of the Dhemaji, Lakhimpur and Majuli district committees.
The protesters gathered at Gogamukh Pachoni Camp and staged protest against forceful execution of the mega dam project at Gerukamukh.
The protesters, who were proceeding to NHPC office at Gerukhamukh faced police and CRPF road block at the entry gate consequently had an altercation with the security personnel on duty.
The security personnel finally resorted to lathi-charge to restrain the situation, wherein a number of party workers sustained mild injury.
They Youth Congress activists during protest shouted slogans against the Central and State governments for denying expert committee recommendation pertaining Lower Subansiri mega hydro power project at Gerukhamukh and demanded to halt all construction works in Subansiri Lower Projects and other projects in Arunachal rivers.
Addressing the protest rally at Gerukhamukh, Vice-president of All India Youth Congress Committee B V Srinivash sharply criticized both Central and State (Assam) government for ignoring the peoples’ protest against mega dam projects.
Srinivash alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other Bharatiya Janata Party bigwigs during last election assured the people of close down the mega dam project, which they flatly violated after sitting on power.
Recalling the Congress government’s role over mega dam issue, Srinivash cleared that previous Congress government evaluating expert committee report suspended mega dam construction and even the issue was put on halt with the Green Tribunal.
“We are opposing all construction works of Subansiri Lower project and other mega dam projects until the expert has assessed the probable downstream impact and formulate an effective mitigation policy in this regard. The NHPC authority owing go ahead gesture of the Central and State governments is continuing construction keeping the protesting organizations in dark,” Srinivash lamented.
President of Asom Pradesh Youth Congress Committee Kamrul Islam Choudhuri feared that mega hydro dams constructed in Arunachal rivers will create ecological catastrophe at the downstream areas in Assam and affect geography and demography in Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Majuli and Jorhat districts in near future.
He warned the Sarbananda Sonowal led Assam government not to play cats and mouse game with the sentiments of the people living in downstream areas.
Several state level youths Congress leaders including APYCC vice president Ankita Dutta, Dhemaji DCC president Rishav Gogoi, Dhemaji DYCC president Bhaskar Kuli, Lakhimpur DCC president Jay prakash Das and others also took part in the protest.
The protesters also submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Nranedra Modi demanding halt of Subansiri Lower project, which was handed over to Dhemaji ADC Utpal Bora on the spot.