LAKHIMPUR: Unanimous opposition to Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Project (SLHP), proposed to generate 2000 Mega Watt electricity, was strongly echoed in the public interaction programme held in Lakhimpur.
Over 30 speakers, taking part in the event organized by Namoni Subansiri Bandh Birodhi Aikya Mancha on Saturday at Basudev Kalyan Trust of North Lakhimpur town, opposed the setting up of the big river dam project by NHPC Limited at Gerukamukh in Dhemaji-Arunachal border area which is a highly seismic zone.
Notably, the Namoni Subansiri Bandh Birodhi Sangrami Aikya Mancha, the common forum of over 20 anti-big-river dam activist organizations, organized the event on SLHP covering Lakhimpur, Dhemaji and Majuli districts with a view to collect public opinion for the motion or against the project. The event, which was chaired by environmental activists Keshab Krishna Chatradhara, began with a booklet release programme.
The dignitaries of the partner organizations of the forum released a booklet titled Amar Kobologia regarding SLHP. Taking part in the event, all the speakers expressed vehement resentment over the Union and State government as well as NHPC’s move taken to resume the construction works of the SLHP. They alleged that the governments and the NHPC had attempted to impose tremendous threat upon the people of Lakhimpur, Dhemaji and Majuli at a time when the Ranganadi Hydro Electric Plant (RHEP) operated by NEEPCO, located at Yazali in Arunachal Pradesh, was ravaging Lakhimpur since 2008. They condemned these attempts and warned the government not to treat public sentiment politically and not to use the big river dam as an electioneering issue.
Expressing his opinion, advocate Arup Kalita strongly opposed the construction of the SLHP and sharply criticized Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who was once the president of AASU, alleging him of bowing down to big river dam lobbies and turning his back to public interest. Writer and social activist Nripen Phukan explained the enormous proportion of the possible devastation of SLHP along with the past destruction caused by Ranganadi flood due to release of excess water from RHEP. “NHPC will suffer no loss if the people of Lakhimpur and Dhemaji are washed away by flood caused by SLHP,” he remarked.
On the other hand, octagenerian Someswar Gogoi (86), sketching the real picture of the RHEP devastation, demanded stopping the construction work of SLHP. Similarly, Debeswar Saikia, who lost his nephew and grandchild in the Ranganadi flood, also sketched the horrific situation of Ranganadi flood and appealed to the people of the districts to come out against SLHP.
In addition to them, Assam Movement activist Tarak Borah retired officer of Education Department Bharat Saikia, eminent citizens Punyeswar Gam, Jakir Hussain Sarkar, Nawaz Ahmed Borborah, Deba Ranjan Borah, Suren Saikia, Nandalal Basfor and others delivered their speeches emphasizing the possible threats of the SLHP. Journalist Kumud Saikia gave an account of the U-turn of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, present Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal regarding the big river dam issue and SLHP. On the other hand, Sailen Baruah threw light on the possible politics and conspiracy regarding the agitation programme initiated by Namoni Subansiri Bandh Birodhi Sangrami Aikya Mancha against SLHP and appealed to all to take steps towards securing the future of upcoming generation.