Niraj Verma, principal secretary (Power), signed the MoA on behalf of state government and Balraj Joshi, CMD, NHPC signed on behalf of NHPC.

Turning a deaf ear to the protests against Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Project (LSHP), the Assam government on Friday signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with NHPC Ltd in Guwahati.

The signing of MoA is a step forward for construction of the 2000 MW mega dam at Gerukamukh along Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border.

Niraj Verma, principal secretary (Power), signed the MoA on behalf of state government and Balraj Joshi, CMD, NHPC signed on behalf of NHPC.

Work at the project site came to a halt since 2010 following protests from anti-dam organisations including All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and TMPK.

The NHPC Limited CMD Balraj Joshi recently said that work for the stalled project at Gerukamukh would resume soon.

Joshi’s statement came days after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) dismissed petitions seeking reconstitution of a six-member expert committee formed to study the downstream impact of the project.

The NGT’s refusal to give judgement in favour of the petitions paved the way for construction of the dam.

The dismissal of the pleas was a move by the Centre to resume work on the LSHP at Gerukamukh, the anti-dam groups had said.

The project turned into a political issue during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

BJP, which had opposed the construction of the big dam in the region, took complete u-turn after coming to power and pushed for the LSHP and other mega dam projects in Northeast.

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