CPI, BJP warn of stir over dam
GUWAHATI, Nov 5 – The State unit of the Communist Party of India (CPI) will stage dharnas all over the State on November 18 demanding steps to attach priority at the national level to control the rivers of NE region and to replace all the proposed mega-dam hydroelectric power projects of the region with the multi-purpose ones.
The party has also demanded of the Central Government an all-party meeting on the mega-dam issue.
Meanwhile, the State unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has also warned of an agitation to resist the region’s upcoming mega-dam projects.
The State unit of the CPI in a statement alleged that the BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre had transferred all the multi-purpose dam projects planned by the Brahmaputra Board to the Power Ministry to develop them as hydel power projects. One of the State’s BJP MP was then the Minister of State for Water Resources in the Central Government.
Enabled by this decision of the NDA Government, the Power Ministry converted all the upcoming dam projects of the NE region into hydel projects and thus the flood control, anti-erosion and irrigation components of these projects were dropped, alleged the party.
It has demanded immediate steps to convert all the under construction mega-dam projects of the region into multi-purpose projects.
On the other hand, spokesman of the State unit of the BJP Dr Pradip Thakuria has argued that the NDA Government had in fact tried to develop the Lower Subansiri Project with many components in view. These components included flood control, irrigation, power generation, etc. But later, the other components were dropped and the project was converted into a hydel power generating one.
Despite there being adverse comments from the eight-member expert group and the House Committee of the State Assembly on the Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Power Project, the State Government has been unfortunately supporting the mega dams.
The roles of the NHPC and the Prime Minister of the country are also regrettable, said the State BJP spokesman.
Source: The Assam Tribune