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.