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Spoil dams and spare the river: Patkar

Noted environmentalist Medha Patkar on Wednesday opposed construction of big dams in the North East to save the region from complete destruction. Addressing a huge rally in Guwahati, organised under the aegis of the Kisan Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), she said the rivers must be saved at any cost.

She said the government divided people on the lines of caste and religion but now they are taking the name of development.

According to Patkar, "People want development of rivers, power, aquatic life and people of living on river banks and not just of corporate houses and a section of politicians."

The construction of dams involved scams amounting to several thousands of crore and some corporate houses and politicians were allegedly involved in this, she claimed.

She appreciated KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi for organising the rally and giving a voice to the farmers who would be the worst affected if dams are constructed on the Brahmaputra and its tributaries.

Patkar, later, fell ill and was rushed to a hospital, while leading a protest march from the Sonaram Field to the Kamrup (Metro) Deputy Commissioner's office but her condition was stated to be stable.

Meanwhile, tense situation prevailed near the Deputy Commissioner's Office when more than five thousand protestors gathered to submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister through the Deputy Commissioner. The district authorities declared the gathering illegal and asked the crowd to disperse within ten minutes. Akhil Gogoi pointed out that they had applied for necessary permission for holding a dharna at the Dispur Last Gate but was denied following they had sought permission for holding a rally at Sonaram Field and a protest march which was subsequently granted.

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Rongmon Pegu's picture

Why can't we think about wind and solar energy? Why is the corporate after rivers and dams to kill people?
kkp's picture

@Rongmon Pegu: may be there are less money involves in wind and solar energy than in river and dam to fill the butty of our politicians and corporate houses and dalals.
Himadree Buragohian's picture

It is really appreciating for renowned environmentalist Medha Patkar and KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi to come out and protest for the greater welfare of the general masses who are a neglected lot by the Govt as their cries carry no meaning for the politicians and the bureaucrats.Kudos to such leaders pleading for the poor citizens.
Molokhu's picture

IN THE NAME OF 'USER RIGHT' I read the news story “Chinese move on Brahmaputra: Govt action plan on user right”, reported by noted journalist Kalyan Barooah from New Delhi (‘The Assam Tribune’, Page 1; Saturday, July 24, 2010). While being in the Indian Union any small entity, be it a state, a group of people have to be vigilant against powerful forces which influence policy makers and decision takers. Unlike the fringe territories, the central mainland has a huge homogenous population, where from springs a powerful lobby which exhorts power overtly in politics and covertly in economic matters. The scene hasn’t changed much down the centuries. When Buddhism was gaining popularity in India, the Brahmans came up with an interesting idea to retain power in the socio-economic-political and religious spheres. Gautam Buddha was shown as the ninth avatar of the Hindu mythical god of protection, Vishnu. By inducting such a tricky clause in the Purans and related religious scriptures, the identity of Buddhism as an independent religion was destroyed. Slowly Buddhism lost its grip in ancient India. Persons who constitute different policy making structures like the Committee of Secretaries (CoS) are the neo-Brahmins of modern India. At a time when anti-dam agitation is taking the form of a mass movement, the CoS has come up with a strategy of major storage project in the three basins (which includes Subansiri, Siang and Lohit) under the disguise of a concept aptly named ‘User Right’. Whether China wants to dam or divert the Brahmaputra is not known. Whether China will or can divert the Brahmaputra is not known. Whether the story of a dam to divert the river by China is a propaganda by a section of Indian media in connivance with the Central and Corporate lobby is not known. But that the Central Governement is hand in gloves with giant corporations to exploit the hydro-power of north-eastern states is an open secret now. These power groups with an eye on profits worth billions and trillions would never sit idle over a so called storage project. Any conscious and thinking person would know what the storehouse would hold for power generators and the massive devastation that a minimal gush of water from such projects can cause downstream. In the name of major storage project alias ‘User Right’, now India and its corporate masterminds will generate power even more than the stipulated 70,000 MWs to feed its evergrowing greed. In the national forum, mega dams are projected as ‘multi-purpose hydro-projects’. In the international forum, major storage projects will be showcased in the name of ‘User Right’ of India. It’s the formula of “Old wine in New bottle”, to fool north-eastern states and the world.


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