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20 organizations declares dead set on stopping construction of LSHEP in Lakhimpur

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LAKHIMPUR: As many as 20 organizations of Lakhimpur district declared their dead set stand to stop the contentious Lower Subansiri Hydro Electric Project (LSHEP) set up by NHPC Limited at Gerukamukh in the Dhemaji-Arunachal border area. This strong determination of these organizations was reflected in a meeting-cum-symposium organized regarding the LSHEP under the auspices of Lakhimpur district unit of Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Parishad in North Lakhimpur town on Sunday.

To stop the construction of the LSHEP, which is projected to generate 2000 MW (MG) electricity, the organizations unanimously constituted a common forum known as Namoni Subansiri Bandh Birodhi Sangrami Aikya Mancha comprising the 20 organizations as member organizations and selecting Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Parishad as chief co-ordinator.

The symposium was chaired by an anti-big dam activist Keshab Krishna Chatradhara who spearheaded the agitation against the controversial big dam along with four youth activists.

The representatives of 20 organizations, including Tai Ahom Yuva Chatra Sanmilan, Muslim Gana Mancha, All Assam Minority Students’ Union, Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti, All Koch Rajbonshi Students’ Union, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, Satra Mukti Sangram Samiti, Praktan ULFA Aikya Mancha, Hindu Youth Council, Ashray NGO, Asomiya Yuva Mancha, All Assam Unemployed Association, Tai Ahom Yuva Parishad and Chutia Students’ Union were present in the event.

AJYP Lakhimpur district general secretary Sudipta Hazarika explained the objective of the programme. He stated that the move for the construction of LSHEP had been in controversy since the initial stage. “The whole picture of the big river dam, which is set up in a high seismic zone, has not been clear till date. It is a matter of grave concern that the NHPC has spread deluding information regarding LSHEP among the people of the Sate since the time the National Green Tribunal (NGT) pronounced its verdict in favour of the project,” he stated.

Participating in the symposium, big dam activist and journalist Sailen Baruah, quoting the recent NGT’s verdict, opined that a public hearing must be conducted in Lakhimpur or Gogamukh regarding the resumption of the construction work of the project. On the other hand, central committee adviser of the Krishak Mukti Sangrama Samiti, Azad Hazarika stated that the NGT’s verdict against a case filed by two personalities of the State in favour of the State’s people would never be approved. He demanded the Union and State governments to make the expert committee report on the big dam public, honouring the decision taken in the tripartite meeting.

All Assam Minority Students’ Union central committee adviser Azizur Rahman flayed the U-turn of the BJP government regarding the big river dam. “The successive governments and NHPC have played an emotional game with regard to the LSHEP and the people of the State,” he added.

The Lakhimpur unit secretary of Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti, Raju Singha distinctly declared its disapproval on the project and emphasised on its decommissioning. he added that the activists of the organizations were ready to make supreme sacrifice to stop the construction of the project for the existence of the Subansiri riverine people. Central committee organizing secretary of the Asomiya Yuva Mancha stressed on instant action to stop the project explaining the devastation caused by NEEPCO operated Ranganadi Hydro Electric Project at his native area. The representatives of the other organizations present in the event also spoke against the project and vehement resentment against the Union and State Government and NHPC regarding the issue. They all stressed on the stop of the project and intensify movement against it. In this regard, the initial meeting of the common forum will be held on August 24 and form the full-fledged committee of the forum covering more anti-big dam organizations. Several crucial resolutions were taken regarding the agitation strategy of the forum in the event.

Also read: AASU protests against LSHEP in the wake of National Green Tribunals’ verdict

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