File photo of protest against Subansiri dam. Image: Northeast Now

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday apparently asked the government to appoint a few independent members in the union government’s expert committee set up to look into the 2000 MW Lower Subansiri dam.

The NGT bench asked the union ministry of environment and forests to come with a reply in the next hearing.

The tribunal was hearing a petition filed by Assam Public Works (APW) opposing the expert committee.

The bench comprises of justices Adarsh Kumar Goel, SP Wangdi, and K Ramakrishnan and expert member Dr Nagin Nanda.

“As expected, the tribunal also criticised the environment minister and suggested it to include a few independent members in the committee,” said APW president Abhijeet Sharma.

He said that the tribunal has criticised the ministry for including only three members who could be ‘partial’ to the National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC).

“The three members- Pravesh Pandey, PM Scot and Dr ID Gupta- had earlier submitted the report in support of the NHPC. We doubt the impartiality of the three members,” said Sharma.

All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) chief advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya said that the tribunal has also raised concern over the safety and security of the down-stream people.

“The tribunal clearly said that the safety and security of the people can’t be overlooked. People who are leaving in the down-stream are all Indians,” said Bhattacharya quoting the bench.

The work for the 2000 MW Lower Subansiri project had been halted for last several years following agitation raised against the dam by several organisations including APW, KMSS and AASU.

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