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People of Arunachal should not suffer due to anti-Dam Campaign

The common people of Arunachal Pradesh should not suffer due to the ongoing anti-big dam campaign in Assam. Hence the movement against the big dams in Arunachal Pradesh should not include any step that affect the supply of essential commodities to the neighboring State. Friends of Arunachal Pradesh, a platform comprising environment activists, civil society leaders and journalists, in a press meet at Guwahati Press Club on Tuesday, also argues that the controversy related to the big-dams planned in Arunachal Pradesh for generating thousands Megawatt electricity should be resolved amicably. While morally supporting the anti-big dam movement and criticizing the attitude of the Union government, NHPC and both the State governments of Assam & Arunachal Pradesh for preaching big-dam lobbies, the forum also apprehends that the ongoing crisis would only benefit the Chinese design for capturing some parts of northeast India.

Addressing the media persons, Soumyadeep Datta, an active environment activist emphasized that the people of Arunachal Pradesh should be taken into confidence, rather ignoring them, in the process of anti-big dam movement campaign.

“Assam and Arunachal Pradesh have historic relationship that is enriched by many Arunachali writers and social activists. The people of Arunachal also wept while Dr Bhupen Hazarika died and his holy ash was taken to their State with all dignities for immersion. Now we must not endanger the relationship for a movement. Of course, we believe that the Arunachali people will also try to convince their government at Itanagar to take pro-people stand on big dam issues,” added Mr Datta.

Nava Thakuria, secretary of Asia Pacific Forum of Environmental Journalists, meanwhile expressed serious concern at the ongoing construction of a number of hydroelectric dams in Brahmaputra inside Tibetan region of China. He warns that once the dams in the 2,900 km trans-boundary river will be commissioned, there will be massive ecological affect in northeast India and Bangladesh.

“Moreover, if the Beijing government diverts some volume of water of Brahmaputra, Bangladesh and eastern India will be affected severely. The people of Bangladesh and northeast India must not be taken for granted to suffer because of the hydroelectric projects in upper riparian country (read China),” Thakuria insisted adding, “As the mighty Brahmaputra crosses through all these countries, the benefit should be shared by every nation concerned without any discrimination.”

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