Lower Subansiri mega dam protest wave lashes Guwahati

GUWAHATI: Activists of the All Assam Students Union (Aasu), the All Mising Students Union (Amsu) and others rocked the city streets on Saturday with a satyagraha programme seeking a halt on mega dam construction in the lower Subansiri basin.

Some Aasu leaders maintained that they would stop the construction work at any cost. Around 5,000 protestors thronged the road before heading to the Kamrup Metro district deputy commissioner's office to submit a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and chief minister Tarun Gogoi.

"One after another the central government is looting the resources from the state. We are not going to sit idle and watch. Do not loose your heart and make your voice heard louder against the construction of mega dams," said Aasu advisor Samujjal Bhattacharyya while addressing the protestors.

"They do not have money to address our problems like flood, but they want to be the owner of our property. We cannot let it happen," he said, adding that Aasu was not against development.

"We are not against development of the state. But, we do not want to destroy the future of the generations to come. Even after the report from experts of the Gauhati University and IIT Guwahati which suggested stopping of the project in the lower Subansiri basin, the government continued the work," he said.

"We have several other options. The government can opt for micro dams for electricity instead of mega dams," he added.

The students' leader also slammed the role played by chief minister Tarun Gogoi. "The chief minister does not represent people of the state. He does not have the courage to speak out in New Delhi in front of the central ministry on behalf of the people here," Bhattacharyya said.

Later, the students' body handed over a memorandum to the Kamrup Metro deputy commissioner addressed to the Prime Minister and Assam chief minister.

Former MLA of Jonai of Lakhimpur district, Bhuban Pegu who also joined the satyagraha said the state was ashamed of the chief minister. "Shame on Tarun Gogoi. Chief ministers from other states would have reacted such proposals in favour of people and tried to stop such mega dams," he said.