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Beware Lakhimpur, more woes in store

More misery is in store for Lakimpur. The people in this flood-hit district are bracing up for yet another chapter of woes thanks to North Eastern Electric Power Corporation.

The hydel power generating unit is preparing to release more excess waters from it's Ranganadi dam a week after the exercise claimed at least six people triggering no less anger and protest.

NEEPCO is believed to have kept the people on alert that it would very soon release the excess waters from the same dams in Arunachal Pradesh suggesting yet another impending disaster.

Thr government owned power generating unit drew no less flak when it released waters from the dams last week forcing the North East Dialogue Forum to write to thr Centre demanding it's intervention. In its recent memorandum to Rajnath Singh, the organization urged the Union to review the 405 mw Ranganadi Ranganadi and the Pare Hydro Power Project.

In its memorandum, the North East Dialogue Forum called the release of excess dam waters without prior warning a case of human rights violation.

“  This is grave violation human right violation especially Art 21 of the Indian Constitution committed by NEEPCO. Because of such illegal and irresponsible action of NEEPCO’s management 11 persons lost their lives and one is still missing. Thousand of domestic animals were wash away.

“ This the violation of ILO Convention 107, International Covenant on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (United Nations CERD) which has to insure Free, Prior, Inform Consent of the affected people. NEEPCO also violate the UN mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Housing, Special Rapporteur on Right to Food etc,” said the organization.

According to the organization, more than 200 villages in the downstream located mostly in Assam are impacted directly due to the release of the Dam water and these areas  included  Pahumara near North Lakhimpur, Pahumara Tiniali under Nowboicha Revenue Circle, Borbeel area in North La- khimpur, Badatighaat to West Laluk  in Bihpuria  Revenue Circle.

Lakhs of people were marooned when NEEPCO released 3500 mm of water through its Gate No. 1, 5000 mm water through Gate No. 3 and 2000 mm water through its Gate No. 5 at 3.30 pm on July 9.

These have forced the organization to demand measures to ensure immediate rescue and relief fir the affected people and compensation for the victims’ families..

The demand is for reviewing the Ranganadi Hydro Power Plant and Pare Hydro Electric Power Project including DPR, EIA, Social, and Environmental, human right impact assessment reports of these projects by establishing a committee where dam and human right activists is member at the earliest.

They urged the Centre and Arunachal Pradesh and NEEPCO to make all the above mention reports of Ranganadi and Pare Hydro Power Projects available to the public immediately.

"We strongly demand to arrest all the responsible staffs and manager who gave the decision to release water without informing to the public at the earliest and demand for trail for punishment,” said the memorandum signed by NEDF coordinator Kh. Phajaton Mangang.

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Assam Times Staff.

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