Anti-dam protests grow louder in Assam

By Prasanta Mazumdar

GUWAHATI: Anti-dam protests grew louder in Assam with the tribal organisations, opposed to big dams, warning the ruling Congress government in the state to be prepared to face any eventualities.

As many as 25 tribal organisations, led by influential All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), took out a massive rally in Guwahati on Saturday in protest against the construction of Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Project (LSHP).

“Our opposition is only to big dams. We don’t want dams that will ravage a civilization,” AASU general secretary Tapan Kumar Gogoi said.

The LSHP is a central government project which aims to generate 2010 MW of power. It was approved allegedly without any proper study of the geotectonic and seismic conditions.

The northeast is said to be the sixth most earthquake-prone zone in the world. An expert committee, constituted by the state government by drawing scientists from the IIT Guwahati, Dibrugarh University and Guwahati University, advocated that a dam of this magnitude should not be constructed in an area that was tectonically-unstable.

The AASU demanded that the dam work be kept in abeyance till submission of report by the proposed expert committee.