Guwahati: Protests against the 2,000 MW lower Subansiri hydroelectric power project were “unjustified” as the project will help Assam and the northeastern states tide over the power crisis, DoNER Minister Gen. (retd.) V.K. Singh said here Saturday.
“Power is a priority sector. However, there are issues with some power projects in the region. There is propaganda at work against the projects,” he told media persons. “I have seen that most of the projects here are run-of-the-river projects and my own assessment is that it is not going to cause any danger,” he said.
V.K. Singh said the power ministry was looking at all aspects regarding the 2,000 MW power project, so that the country can reap the maximum benefit.
Anti-dam groups in Assam have been up in arms against the central government after Union Minister of State for Coal, Power and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal, during a recent meeting with Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki, said his ministry had resolved the impasse over the mega power project and that the remaining work on the project would resume shortly.
“However, we are asking all the state governments to review the projects all over again. There is great power potential in the region and if we cannot harness it, we are only depriving ourselves,” he said.
The protests forced Assam BJP president and Union Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to take up the issue with Goyal, who assured the people of Assam that no construction would be undertaken till the matter was sorted out. V.K. Singh, however, said the people were not informed about the benefits of the project and that was why it was languishing for the last two years with the fear of downstream impact.
V.K. Singh is visiting the region in connection with the National Cold Chain Summit in Guwahati.