The All Assam Students Union on Monday staged a protest against construction of 2000MW Lower Subansiri hydro power project in Assam’s Dibrugarh district. 

The students’ organisation took out a rally from Old Government Boys High School field holding banners and posters to stop the work of big dam. 

“We demand halt in construction work of the dam because the expert committee have already told that the big dam is a threat for the people of Lakhimpur and Dhemaji. The BJP government didn’t bother to listen to the expert committee and didn’t stop of the ongoing construction,” AASU leader Rupjyoti Borthakur said. 

“During Congress rule, the BJP were against the big dam but after coming to power they started the construction work of the big dam,” Rupjyoti Borthakur added. 

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The AASU and other frontline organisations like the AJYCP and KMSS have been strongly opposing the construction of the mega dam near the Assam-Arunachal border at Gerukamukh saying that it will have disastrous consequences on the people living in the downstream areas in Assam.  

Once commissioned, Assam is supposed to get 533 MW of power from the mega project, including 25 MW free of cost. 

In 2003, the Centre had approved the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) mega dam project. Construction began in 2005 and the project was slated to finish in 2014.  

However, after completion of 60% work including tunnel, dam, power house and other civil work, the project came to a grinding halt in 2011 following stiff opposition from various quarters. 

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Anti-dam crusader Medha Patkar has also been very vocal against the construction of the mega dam. Even the height of the dam was reduced from 257 metres to 116 metres. 

“The dam will have an adverse impact on people living downstream and the flora and fauna. The ecology and environment will be severely affected. Even senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh had voiced his opposition to the mega dam while participating in a protest rally organized at the construction site in Gerukamukh in November, 2010,” said a AASU leader. 

Avik Chakraborty

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: babs8oct@gmail.com