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Protests against big dams reignite in Assam

Posted on Nov 28, 07:49PM | UNI

As equipment for the NHPC's lower Subansiri hydel power project in Gerukamukh in Assam-Arunachal border reached Assam borders via waterways, protests against the under-construction big dam reignited across the state today.

The All Assam Students Union (AASU) and Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), which have been leading the anti-big dam movement in the state, staged separate protests in various parts of the state.

One Indian ship and a Bangladeshi ship have already reached Assam border via the Brahmaputra at Dhubri and as news of these ships waiting to enter Assam spread since Monday, agitations have erupted.

The AASU units in various places, including North Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Sonitpur and Golaghat, burnt effigies of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and raised slogans against the government and NHPC.

A delegation of KMSS reached Dhubri today and started mobilizing local support against the big dams.

They also staged a protest and raised slogans against the government and NHPC, accusing them of going back on their word of stopping construction till concerns of all stakeholders, including people in downstream areas, are addressed.

The NHPC project in Gerukamukh has been facing stiff opposition in Assam, as people in the downstream areas have maintained that the big dam will have a devastating effect on their lives and livelihood.

An indefinite blockade against construction materials since last year has virtually brought to a still all construction at the dam site, though the government and NHPC are being accused of transporting some materials under cover.