Numaligarh: It has been almost a year since hundreds of villages of Golaghat were inundated after the Dhansiri River crossed its danger level following incessant rain in the upstream areas and the opening of radial gates of Doyang hydroelectric project in Wokha district of Nagaland.
The villages near Numaligarh which were submerged by the catastrophic flood were Dukhutimukh, No. 1 Koiborta, Amguri, Basapathar, Mising Gaon, Butolikhowa Tup, No. 1 Butolikhowa, Leteku Chapari, Bogorioni, Hautoli Habi, Parghat Gaon, Kathkotia and Bholaguri. According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority, 87,300 persons had been affected and 7,086 hectares of land in Golaghat district were under water.
People living downstream of the dam also accused NEEPCO of deliberately keeping the water level high so that there was more electricity generation. The Central Electricity Regulatory Authority had set 14.28 million units for July as target. According to the Central Electricity Authority’s monthly report, the Doyang Project produced 45.52 million units, which is thrice the amount of electricity the dam was supposed to produce in July.
Mrinal Saikia, MLA of Khumtai, had lodged an FIR against the NEEPCO for releasing the water from the Doyang reservoir without prior intimation which caused heavy flooding in Golaghat district. Asom Gana Parishad president and Assam Agriculture Minister Atul Bora also said the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) would have to compensate for releasing water in Upper Assam without prior intimation.
Former minister and Golaghat MLA Ajanta Neog also demanded an inquiry into release of water without prior intimation. Organizations like All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad (AJYCP), Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and Jeepal Krishak Sramik Sangha (JKSS) also accused NEEPCO of risking people’s lives and demanded proper compensation.
After almost a year since this man-made disaster by NEEPCO caused heart-rending damage to the people living downstream, no compensation has been offered to the flood-affected families so far. The local persons of the affected area expressed strong resentment over the issue and ask the government to act in this matter. The deprived affected persons are also seeking help from social organizations to raise their voice again over the issue.