NHPC manipulated environment NOC: AGP

GUWAHATI, Nov 22 - Former Chief Minister and Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Assembly PK Mahanta has pointed an accusing finger at the National Hydro-electric Power Corporation (NHPC) alleging that it managed Environment No Objection Certificate (NOC) to the Lower Subansiri Hydro-electric project through manipulation.

Addressing media persons here, Mahanta reiterated the party’s opposition to big dams and said that contrary to the Chief Minister’s accusation, the AGP had since the beginning pushing for a multi purpose project for the Subansiri in the greater interest of the State.

Referring to a letter from former member secretary of the Assam State Pollution Control Board, MK Sharma to Union Minister Jairam Ramesh, Mahanta said that this letter was enough evidence to prove that NHPC had resorted to manipulation to acquire the NOC.

It needs to be mentioned here that this letter clearly states that the NOC to NHPC was not issued during the tenure of Sharma that ended on April 2004 as the project report and EIA (environmental impact assessment) were not clear enough to deal with the probable environmental consequences that may be caused due to severe ‘geo-techtonic activity in the area or dam site and reservoir which are located in the recent geological formation of Tertiary period’.

The letter also mentions that the NHPCs Environmental Management Plan was not sufficient to deal with issues like restoration of bio-diversity of flora and fauna including aquatic lives etc.

“The question is in what way the NHPC could collect the NOC during latter part of 2004” asked Mahanta alleging that Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi was trying to mislead the people by hurling baseless allegations against the AGP in connection to the Subansiri project.

Mahanta further said that the Congress government could stoop down to any level right to horse trading to further its political interest and observed that Congress patronage strengthened the divisive forces in the State.