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Medha Patkar in Assam, NHPC in deeper trouble

Supratim Dey  |  Kolkata/ Guwahati 

Voices against the ongoing 2000-MW Lower Subansiri Hydro Project, being developed by NHPC Ltd at Gerukamukh near Assam-Arunachal border, are growing louder with each passing day in Assam. The anti-dam protests got a shot in the arm on Wednesday as Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader and social activist Medha Patkar too took to the streets with thousands of protestors in the city.

The protestors brought Guwahati to almost a standstill for nearly 3 hours and were demanding immediate halt to the project, as well as other proposed mega dams in Arunachal Pradesh. “The proposed 168 dams in Arunachal Pradesh is development just for the rich people. These will not bring any development for the poor, rather these dams would spell doom for the poor local people,” said Patkar.

She warned the governments to come clean on the proposed mega dams in Arunachal Pradesh, as she suspected nexus between political leaders and big corporate houses.

According to her, construction of mega dams is even “bigger” scam for the North-East than the Rs 1,000 crore NC Hills scam in Assam, where seven cabinet ministers of Tarun Gogoi’s government are alleged to be involved. The Rs 6,400 crore Lower Subansiri Project had recently hit a roadblock when an expert panel of Assam, to study the impact of mega dams, had expressed its reservations and asked for modifications in the design of the dam.

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First Published: Mon, July 19 2010. 00:27 IST