AASU calls for halt to dam work
GUWAHATI, Nov 12 – The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) today asked the State government to keep in abeyance the construction work of Lower Subansiri Hydro-electricity Project (LSHEP) till the final report of the expert committee proposed by the Government comes up.
Meanwhile, the students’ body has planned a massive Gana-Satyagraha in the city tomorrow to press for its demands for implementation of the Assam Accord, speedy updating of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), constitutional safeguard to the indigenous peoples of Assam, among others.
Lashing out at the government for its statement on the mega dams in the State Assembly yesterday, the students’ body today said that bringing in more experts on the mega dam issue, would not change the facts that are scientifically correct.
Addressing the media today, AASU advisor Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharya said that the experts committee comprising scholars from Gauhati University, Dibrugarh University and IIT-Guwahati was formed after the tripartite talk with the government.
“The experts committee has already recommended against the construction of Lower Subansiri Hydal Project at its present site, and construction of mega dams in earthquake- prone Himalayan foothills. Now, the government is showing disregard to the committee because its recommendations were against the government’s decision to construct the dam,” he said.
“The AASU is of the opinion that there is no need for another expert panel on the issue of big dams. But since the government has decided to seek more expert opinion, it should wait till the new committee submits its report,” he asserted.
“We are not against development and power generation. But this should not be done at the cost of the lives of the common people. The government can take recourse to the micro-hydel projects, instead of the mega dam ones, for power generation,” Bhattacharya said.
The students’ union also criticized the Opposition for its weak stand on the issue. “We would carry on the movement against the mega dams,” he added.
The issue of threats from mega dams along with other burning issues and the issues of flood and erosion would also be raised prominently during the Satyagraha programme tomorrow.
“People from all over the State would come to the city tomorrow for the peaceful and non-violent programme,” Bhattacharya said, making an appeal to the common people to extend their support to the agitational programme.
“People might have to face traffic jams in Guwahati due to the programme. We urge them to bear with us and help us to assert our rights in an authoritative way,” he added.
Source: The Assam Tribune