From our Correspondent
KOKRAJHAR, April 30: The Federation of Indigenous and Tribal people for public resistance to High voltage transmission lines and for the safeguard to human life, environment, social-economic and land Rights, on Thursday organized a protest at Titaguri near Kokrajhar town against the alleged arbitrary activities of two power companies relating to the construction and erection of the two high power transmission lines through the BTC area without the prior information and consent of the owners of the land, immovable properties and without giving adequate amount of compensation.
A large number of people from Kokrajhar and Chirang districts took part in the protest against the power grid companies that were allegedly violating the norms. The irate people threatened that they would not sit silent against the ‘wilful designs’ of the construction companies.
Talking to media persons, a villager of Bhalukmari village, Amarendra Brahma Choudhury said that the people of the region were opposing the erection of high voltage transmission lines by the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) as they were trespassing into the lands and properties of the indigenous and tribal people of the BTC area. This was being done to construct the 800KV HV DC Bio-polar under PGCIL from Biswath Chariali, Sonitpur to Agra, Uttar Pradesh without the prior information and consent of the owners of the lands and properties and without giving adequate compensation to the affected families.
Dipankar Brahma of the same village said the construction companies did not issue notice to them for the construction or erection of high voltage power lines. He said the villagers feared that the high voltage power lines which were passing through their village would cause cancer, leukemia, skin related diseases and other health hazards, besides damaging the crops. He also said that the construction companies neither issued information nor took consent of the villagers for carrying out the work. He said a PIL was filed in Gauhati High Court seeking justice and said that they would fight till justice was given to them. He further said that the construction committee could have shifted the tower of power lines to a place where there was no human habitation.
A villager of Kris gar, Lokendra th Barman said the power grid companies had erected the tower of high voltage power line in his land near his house despite his opposition. He said that he was given an amount of Rs 14,000 as compensation and was yet to receive the remaining amount that the company had offered him.
Similarly, Debeswar Ray of Sidli in Chirang district alleged that the agents of the construction companies offered them cheques as compensation and took their sigture on blank white paper for the same. He said they had no idea how much money they would get as compensation but the agents of the companies had taken their sigture on white paper.
Addressing the gathering, former MP Sansuma Khunggur Bwiswmuthiary, which is also adviser of organization, slammed the PGCIL and said that PGCIL had violated the clear-cut guidelines mentioned in the manual on transmission lines published by the Central Board of Irrigation and power. As per this guidelines while construction transmission lines, villages, clusters of the hutments and buildings areas which involve risk to human life, damage to public and private properties, religion places habitation of important crops, good farming areas were supposed to be avoided, but the PGCIL had allegedly completely violated all these guidelines given by the concerned authorities.
Bwiswmuthiary also strongly criticized the Power Grid Corporation Ltd of the ASEB for trespassing into the land and properties of indigenous and tribal people of BTAD area while constructing the 220KV B/C power transmission line from Salakati to Rangia without prior consent of the owner of the lands and properties. He alleged that majority of the affected families had not been provided with adequate amount of compensation.