Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hydro-bombs in North East India

Pix:Ritu Raj Konwar .The Subansiri(Obonori) river where the proposed 2000 MW Hydel Project by NHPC is under-construction which is slated to be complete on 2012The central government's proposed decision to build as many as 180 mega dams in North Eastern region is a dangerous move without assessing and properly studying about the long term fragile impact which may proved to be a major catastrophe in the future in NE India region.The Northeast Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) Hydel Project of Ranganadi near Lakhimpur has already proved peril to the people of that region destroying large number of lives and property as well as rendering hundreds homeless during the last year's monsoon season. The Lower Subansiri Hydel Project,which is presently under construction by National Hydel Power Corporation (NHPC) with an aim to generate high 2000 MW in Gerukamukh in the adjoining Dhemaji district and Lower Subansiri district,if completed ,shall be no exception.

The construction of such high powered dams is bound to compound the problem of floods and erosions in the river banks,ecological imbalance,decreasing of soil fertility,loss of forest andaquatic resources,extinction of varieties of flora and fauna,resulting unimaginable natural disaster. in the entire downstream region of Subansiri river.

The constructon of mega dam in Gerukamukh is also a threat to the existence of inhabited Majuli Island,which is also one of the world's largest riverine island.Besides,there are many ''hidden threats'' such as it will affect the fishing communities who depends on the river for their livelihood and forced displacement of the Mising tribe as well as other indigenous communities from their habitat who lives along the banks of Subansiri river. If the regular flowing of water is compromised,the entire landscape of the river banks would also be transformed instantly.

The earlier report of Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) prepared by a team experts hasn't able to gained the confidence of the local populace,it was a biased report in order to satisfy the corporates needs only.The ethnic Tani student organisation Takam Mising Porin Kébang (TMPK) including All Assam Students' Union has launched a number of agitations demanding reassesment and halting of the hydel project.The recent announcement for another assessment report should take into account the forseeable disasters and other significant impacts .The proposed mega hydel project in Lower Dibang Valley,with an estimated 3000 MW in Arunachal Pradesh also the country's second largest proposed dam , has already been objected to the construction of mega dam in the region,fearing displacement and outnumbering of the local ethnic Idu Mishmi tribe's populace by outstation workers.The Siyom Hydel Project (1000 MW), which is being proposed to built in Upper Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh by Reliance corporate,is too facing similar protests from the indigenous Bori clan of Adi Tani tribe,who also depends on forest resources and fishing for livelihood in the place. Again,the recent agreement of Arunachal Pradesh government with one Jindal corporate for the contruction of 4500MW over Dibang river in the upper course has been flayed by number of organisations in the respected state as well as in neighbouring Assam.The prominent student organisation All Assam Students' Union has joined hands with the ethnic student organisation TMPK recently on August 3,2009 and announced a series mass protest movements demanding adequate safeguard to life and property of the people living in the downstream areas of the mega hydel projects.The proposed 1500MW Tipaimukh dam in Manipur has also evoked protest from the people of India as well as Bangladesh.Due to huge protests,the Tipaimukh hydel project issue has prompted the two countries to hold parliamentary delegation meetings.

The entire hydel projects in North East will proved costly and bring about untold sufferings not only to the present generation but also to thefuture generation to the people of the region in the long run .The mega projects which are being constructed to provide back up to the developing economy of India will lead to huge disastrous impacts both natural as well artificial ,not only to the country,but also to the entire world that would result in global warming and climate change.It is high time that the centre rethink the proposed building of such a huge number of mega hydel project in the region realising the long term affects and act in the greater interests of the people.The hydel projects are also dubbed by the local press and people as hydro-bombs in NE India.The hydel projects of Northeast India won't help to prosper but are major disaster-in-waiting for the netizens of the region.

Read more on TMPK protest:

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Asam Sahithya Sabha acting against the interests of Mising Tanis

DHEMAJI:The Asam Sahithya Sabha(ASS), which is an apex organisation dedicated to the development of Assamese language and literature is adamant on changing the dates of its session that is slated to be in Dhemaji despite appeals made by two Mising organisations.The date for the ASB session is from 14 to 18 Feb,2009,while the Mising's most revered national festival Ali-aye -ligang falls on 18 Feb,2009.It may be mentioned here that Dhemaji district is the most Mising populated zone.In this case, how a revered social organisation of the Assamese people like ASS could ignored the important dates and the agri-religious-cultural festival which is very much important for the ethnic group for celebration in the very district?The concern of the Misings is-will not it affects the Lígang preparation and fair cooperation from the Misings in the session?The Mising apex organisation Mising Bane Kebang secretary-general Bondhuram Pawegam and Mising Dirbi Kebang secretary Ekalavya Gam has already appealed the ASS to postpone the sessional dates in this regard and expressed 'shock' over their ignorance and undermined response.Pawegam has said that such a development will compelled the Misings a complete non-cooperation during the session.The Dhemaji ASS's organising committee is inviting criticisms from not only the Mising Tanis,the Assamese themselves too.Is not ASB acting against the Mising Tanis?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Questions on Matmara:Whose interests is the government serving?

Pix:AFP.Matmara during last year monsoon

GUWAHATI:The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) today warned the State Government of a vigorous agitation in case the Government fails to keep its words on protecting the Sissikalghar-Tekeliphuta dyke in the about one-and half-a-kilometre stretch of Matmara area expeditiously. The repeated failure of the dyke in that area since 1996, has eliminated a good number of villages and pauperised thousands of people. Several educational institutions have also been washed away or buried under sand by the Brahmaputra and a number of Government offices and a vast area of have been buried by the river under the sand it has deposited in the area.

The schools washed away by the Brahmaputra include Matmara LP School, R K Baligaon LP School, Janjhi LP School and Karshing Katang High School. Authorities of the All Assam Miri Higher Secondary School, which is the first Mising higher secondary school in the State, were compelled to shift their school to safer areas for the third time now due to the sand of the Brahmaputra making it impossible for them to reclaim the school.

Stating all these, AASU organising secretary Jagadish Dutta, who is also the general secretary of the Association of Past and Present Office-Bearers of Cotton College Union Society, said that the State Government had failed to discharge its duties to rehabilitate and compensate the Matmara flood victims.The failure of the dyke in Matmara area has also posed serious threat to the famous river island Majuli, Dutta said and informed that preparations were on to take the matter to the court also.Floods have made life miserable for almost the entire population of the Dhakuwakhana sub-division. The 38-km long Dhakuwakhana-Gogamukh Road, which is the only road connecting Dhakuwakhana with Gogamukh, is now in such a wretched condition that it takes over two hours to travel to Dhakuwakhana from Gogamikh or vice versa, he alleged.

Though the Government engaged Geo-textile Fabrics, an Australian company to implement a geo-textile project for the protection of the dyke in Matmara area, the implementation of the scheme is yet to start. The deadline fixed for completing the scheme was fixed in March, 2009, said Dutta.The Guwahati-based students of the area have been meeting the Chief Minister with the prayer to protect the Sissi-Tekeliphuta Dyke in Matmara area, since 2001. The leading citizens of the area also met the Water Resources Department Minister Prithivi Majhi on several occasion.But the Government is yet to take concrete steps to save the people of the Matmara area from the vagaries of the Brahmaputra, he said.

Giving an example of the functioning of the Water Resources Department, he alleged that the Department had told him in reply to his queries that an amount of Rs 2 crore was spent on erecting a bullhead for the protection of Matmara area, including Dhakuwakhana town (Phase-I) in February 2006. A similar amount was spent on another bullhead to protect the area with a similar structure in the same month of the same year. Dutta had applied for the answers in accordance with the provisions of the Right to Information Act.But, he said, the fact remained that there was no bullhead constructed to protect the area from the floods of the Brahmaputra.

Courtesy:The Assam Tribune

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Jonai Lígang blast:Pro-talk outfit leader hints Ulfa's involvement

A File Photo:UB Photos Mrinal Hazarika :Unravelling Mystery
JONAI,JAN 18:IN a new twist to the continuing mystery of Jonai Lígang bombing,Mrinal Hazarika ,a leader of pro-talk faction of the United Liberation Front Of Asom(ULFA),currently under ceasefire with the government,said here, yesterday that it was not feasible to comment on the serious issue at this hour though he didn't denied involvement of the outfit.However,he was seen attempting to divert the important query by the journalists.This sensational statement was revealed in an interactions with media persons by the outfit's pro-talk leader in Jonai Circuit House while he came to the border town to attend a public meeting held at Silapathar in Dhemaji district of Assam.

It may be noted here that the infamous and barbaric Jonai cultural bombing took place in the midnight of March 15,2008 that left four persons dead and 104 persons injured while thousands of Misings were gathering in an Ali-A:ye-Lígang cultural function at Jonai Dírbí Okum complex.The blast that happened under a mysterious circumstances evoked tremendous outpoured of protests and uproar among the Misings and other Tani fraternity but unfotunately neither a conclusion was arrived at nor a single perpetrator was nabbed by any quarters.The state government of Assam as well as the centre didn't felt a sense of responsibilty by commissioning even an inquiry to unravelled the mystery of first ever such kind of cultural onslaught on a particular ethnic minority in the history of the country.

Mrinal Hazarika,Ulfa's 28th Bn leader,whose A and C companies are under ceasefire since last year,underlined the need of greater autonomy for the state of Assam though there are reasonable historical backgrounds for the support of a sovereign independent Assam but it is not possible to have it at this moment of difficult times while unabated immigration from Bangladesh,Nepal and other parts of the country as well as the separatist ideology of different indigenous tribes of Assam put a question mark on the very identity of the Assamese people and state of Assam within 30 years from now.He also added the Ulfa has failed to unite the indigenous tribal groups of Assam.He also expressed his concern on outsider's control of state politics of Assam referring referring to the 2001 census data that there are 22 percent of Assamese people and 49.7 per cent of Assamese language speakers in Assam .

Asomiya Pratidin,18-01-2009,Page 3 - 47k - Cached - Similar pages

Monday, January 12, 2009

TMPK burnt Assamese film sets,demand for ban

GUWAHATI,Jan 13:The elite Tani student organisation Takam Mising Porin Kébang(TMPK) and Mising Dírbí Kébang(Mising Cultural Association) have taken serious reservation on a dialogue in an Assamese film for its derogatory and utter negligent comment on Mising Tanis.The Mising organisations expressed strong resentment against the NK Productions recent Assamese VCD '' Bohagor Nachoni 2 " for the irresponsible and ill-motivated attitude towards the Mising Tanis.

The TMPK units of Dhakuakhana and Lakhimpur on January 12 burnt several sets of the Assamese VCD in protest against the derogatory remarks.TMPK central committee's publicity secretary Dilip Pegu told that the organisation will not resist such filthy attitudes and insult of the community and condemned the NK Productions for its shortsigtedness."The Mising tribe being the second largest community amongst tribals residing in the state of Assam will not remained silent on the issue that hurt the sentiments of the people emotionally and ethnically.It is the result of some ill-minded Assamese who bears negligent attitudes to its own sons of soils residing in the state in the name of promoting and diseminating Bihu culture,"he said .

TMPK Lakhimpur district committee President Biju Pegu and General Secretary Kiran Chandra Doley informed that the VCD has been strictly restricted from selling in all Mising inhabited districts of Assam.It needs to mentioned here that Mising Tani inhabits in eight upper Assam districts of the state with a population nearing 10 lakhs.

Meanwhile,the TMPK President Hemeswar Pegu told media persons that the NK Production should begged pardon from the Mising community publicly and warned of serious consequences if such incident are repeated in the future.He also questioned on who gave the firm the right to insult the community.In areas Dhakuakhana,Jonai,Dhemaji,Silapathar,Majuli,Dergaon,Golaghat,Sivasagar,Jorhat,Dibrugarh the student organization burnt many VCD sets.In Dergaon,the TMPK unit under Anjana Doley marched out a protest rally against the derogatory remark in the film.The TMPK and MDK has demanded the government to take the matter seriously and imposed ban on the film,otherwise it will approached the law courts to seek justice.The NK Production is a firm that make largest number of Assamese VCDs and cassettes.In one of the scene in the latest released " Bohagor Nachoni 2" has the dialogue "Tiri Miri Bathou Kuwa,Ei Chari Jator Ashoi Nupuwa" meaning stay away from Miri i.e.Mising.

Read more,please refer

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

TMPK protests in Guwahati against mega dams

Photo:Asamiya Pratidin

GUWAHATI, Jan 5 – Demanding immediate intervention of the Assam Government in the proposed mega dams in Arunachal Pradesh, three leading Mising organisations,Takam Mising Porin Kébang( TMPK), Mising Mimag Kébang(MMK) and Takam Mising Mimé Kébang(TMMK) have said that faulty planning and corruption had been responsible for the perennial problems of flood and erosion in the State. Hundreds of members of the organisations today staged a demonstration at Dispur Last Gate, highlighting their grievances and calling for a permanent solution to the problems.

“Floods used to be a boon for the farmers in the past but faulty planning, departmental inefficiency and corruption have combined to turn it into a curse. Deforestation in the neighbouring hilly States, large-scale extraction of boulders from riverbeds, and construction of big hydro-electric projects have compounded the problem manifold with the government authorities content to look the other way,” the TMPK said in a statement. Pointing out that release of water from the Ranganadi project caused unprecedented floods in Lakhimpur on June 14, 2008, the TMPK said that the proposed 160-odd mega dams in Arunachal Pradesh would spell doom for Assam and “we will continue to fight such irrational projects in the name of development.” Opposing the Government’s practice of constructing embankments without putting in place effective anti-erosion measures, the TMPK said that all-out efforts should be directed towards saving Matmara, as without protecting Matmara it would be impossible to protect Majuli. The TMPK also alleged that failure of the Finance Department to release funds on time was adversely affecting construction of critical embankments.

Other demands of the organizations included land survey on Mising-inhabited areas for granting of land patta to the Misings, adequate relief and rehabilitation measures for the flood-affected people; review of “faulty” construction process of the Bogibeel rail-cum-road bridge; and putting a stop to the practice of “whimsical” land requisition under the pretext of facilitating developmental project. The organisations warned that unless the Government took serious note of its grievances and initiated corrective measures, they would be compelled to launch an aggressive agitation.

Courtesy:The Assam Tribune,06-01-2009,Please refer