Compensate flood-affected people of Golaghat: Akhil tells NEEPCO, ‘SC warning proves that BJP-led government has no intention to publish an error-free NRC’

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HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, Aug 8: Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), on Wednesday threatened to gherao the offices of the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO), if the power company fails to provide compensation to the flood-affected people of Golaghat.

“We will be compelled to launch a strong agitation against the NEEPCO if it fails to provide full compensation to the flood-affected people who have lost their property worth several crores due to the ‘conspiracy’ of the company,” KMSS chief advisor Gogoi told reporters here on Wednesday.

More than 91 villages in Goalghat district were inundated by flood waters due to release of excess water from the reservoir of Doyang Hydro-electric Project (DHEP) by the NEEPCO authority.

“We will ‘gherao’ the NEEPCO offices if the company fails to provide compensation to the flood-affected people,” Gogoi said.

Claiming the effect of the river dam in the downstream areas on the basis of a report published on August 7 last by the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People, Gogoi said, “According to the National Power Portal of Central Electricity Authority of Government of India, the Doyang project produced 45.52 MU energy in July, 2018. This is three times more than it could produce.”

Bringing allegations against the NEEPCO, Gogoi said the release of excess water by opening the gates of the project on July 27 was a ‘pre-planned conspiracy’ of the NEEPCO.

He questioned, “Why didn’t the NEEPCO authority keep the water level in the reservoir under control as they knew that the live storage capacity of the reservoir is only 216.5 cubic metre?”

Besides, the KMSS leader also alleged that the NHPC authority has also been carrying out construction works silently in the Lower Subansiri Hydro-electric Project following a mutual understanding with the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Government at the Centre and the state.

“If the construction of the Lower Subansiri dam is not prevented in time, it would pose a serious threat to many villages in the State. We have witnessed the effect of Doyang project. Around 116 villages were damaged in the floods caused by release of excess water from the Doyang reservoir,” Gogoi said.

Gogoi also said that there was no proper mechanism to clean the sediments of the Doyang reservoir. “The sediment flashed from the reservoir damaged several hectares of crop fields and property. It was totally an unforeseen situation,” he said. Gogoi also demanded for loan waiver of the farmers in the flood-affected areas.

As regards to Supreme court warning, Gogoi said that the top court had slapped hard on the face of BJP-led government at the centre and the state by warning the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India (RGCC), Sailesh and Assam NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela.

“The Supreme Court has played a master stroke at right time by giving warning to Hajela and Sailesh,” Gogoi said.

A division bench of Supreme Court  comprising Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman on Tuesday last warned Hajela and Sailesh to be ‘cautious in future’ while talking to media. In a strong message to the Assam NRC coordinator, the apex court told Hajela to ensure an error-free final NRC instead.

Bringing allegations against the BJP-led government, Gogoi said, “The government has been utilising Sailesh and Hajela. Supreme Court’s warning has proved it that the Government has no intention to publish an error-free NRC.”

“The so-called ‘jatiya nayak’ does not want NRC and it is proved,” Gogoi said. The apex court was particularly critical of Hajela’s remark in the media that ‘any valid document would be accepted as proof of citizenship during the hearing on complaints and objections by those left out in the final draft of NRC’.

The Supreme Court also told Hajela that he was an officer of the court first and should not have spoken to the media about the NRC.

The court reminded Sailesh that on an earlier occasion too he was warned by the court on his actions about the preparation of the NRC.

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