By- Staff Reporter | Date- February 14, 2012
The much awaited talks scheduled to be held yesterday between the National Hydro-Electric Power Corporation (NHPC) and eight organizations led by the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) on the issue of Lower Subansiri Hydro-electric Project was abruptly cancelled, leading to huge dissatisfaction and outcry from the protesting organisations.
The meeting, which was scheduled to be held at the city around 9:30 am, was cancelled by NHPC authorities for some unknown reasons. It was alleged by the anti-dam groups that NHPC officials had called off the meeting stating that they were unhappy about media reporting about the meeting as it was supposed to an unofficial meeting. In fact, when media personnel asked the NHPC authorities about the reason behind the cancellation of the meeting, they failed to give any reasons and said that Monday’s meeting was an informal one.
The anti-dam groups have also alleged that it is a ploy of NHPC authorities to show disrespect to the state and to sentiments of the people who have been protesting against the construction of the mega dam.
Later, NHPC DGM Deb Kumar Ghosh led a team of NHPC officials to meet the members of the eight anti-dam groups and sought public apology from them as well as from the people of the State, promising that such situation would not take place in the future. He also invited the agitating organisations for another formal discussion, the date for which was to be decided at a later stage.
In addition to the KMSS, the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad (AJYCP), All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU), All Tai Ahom Students’ Union (ATASU), Takam Mising Porin Kebang (TMPK), Sonowal Kachari Jatiya Parishad (SKJP), All Deori Students’ Union (ADSU) and the All Chutia Jati Chatra Sangstha (ACJCS) were scheduled to take part at Monday’s meeting.
KMSS General Secretary Akhil Gogoi later stated that the move of the NHPC was an insult to the people of Assam and questioned how a burning issue like the Lower Subansiri project can be informally discussed. He demanded that all outcomes of talks on this issue should always be made public.
It is to be mentioned that anti-dam protests in Assam has taken a popular shape. In North Assam, it has taken violent shape with several clashes taking place between the Police forces and anti-dam protestors. The Assam Government has so far maintained the protests to be fuelled by the banned insurgent group ULFA and Maoists.