NHPC to study Lower Subansiri power project in totality

February 16th, 2012 - 8:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Guwahati, Feb 16 (IANS) The National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) will study the concerns raised by an expert committee over the construction of the 2,000 MW Lower Subansiri hydro-electric project at Gerukamukh in Assam.

Assam Power Minister Pradyut Bordoloi said this Thursday after a meeting between the Group of Ministers (GoM) of the state and the NHPC delegation on the issue.

The construction of the mega power project was stalled about five months back after several organizations in the state, including the powerful All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), launched a series of agitations, demanding a halt in the construction till a comprehensive cumulative impact study was carried out.

The KMSS has been holding a road blockade against transportation of equipment like turbines to the project site since September 2011. On Jan 5 this year, the state government formed a GoM headed by the power minister to break the impasse by talking to both the agitators and the NHPC authorities.

“Today, we have raised the issues that emerged during our meetings with the agitating organizations to the NHPC. It is their duty to convince the people of Assam and the state government about the concerns before they go ahead,” said Bordoloi.

“The NHPC officials has agreed to our proposals and assured us that they would study all the concern and explain those to the people of Assam properly. Today’s meeting is important as we have also asked the NHPC to look into if a flood protection mechanism could also be added to the project and they have agreed to it too,” he said.

The minister did not make any comment on the issue whether the construction of dams will be stopped as of now as demanded by the agitating organizations.

“Now we would discuss among ourselves and submit a final report to the chief minister for taking a final decision.”

The GoM was to submit its final report to the chief minister by end of this month. However, it was delayed due to the delay in holding talks with NHPC officials.

While the government is supporting the project and arguing that it will provide additional power, there is widespread apprehension in the state that this hydel project would have a devastating impact on the downstream areas.

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