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Assam power plant on militants' radar
K Anurag in Guwahati |
January 25, 2008 15:52 IST
Kopili Hydel Project of North Eastern Electric Power Corporation located at the remote part of Umrangshu sub-division of North Cachar Hill district of Assam is facing serious threat from tribal Dimasa militants belonging to the Black Widow group.
Many NEEPCO employees in the hydel power project have fled following the January 14 killing of five persons, including two security men of the plant and a minor girl, by suspected Black Widow militants at the gate of the power project.
NEEPCO alleges failure on part of Assam government to provide adequate security cover to the employees working in the power plant located in remote part of the violence-affected North Cachar Hills.
The plant's location is so remote that its officers and other employees have to travel a 20 kilometer hilly stretch daily from their residential colony to the plant site through dense forest under constant threat from prowling militants.
The NEEPCO authority had submitted a memorandum to Assam government last week setting a deadline for augmentation of security to its staff working in Kopili Hydel Project with an installed capacity of 275 MW.
The power project supplies 500 million units of hydro-electricity to Assam a year out of which 60 million units (six per cent) are provided free of cost and the rest of the units at 50 per cent of the actual cost. Assam pays Rs 1 per unit to NEEPCO authority for the power procured from Kopili Hydel Plant.
Alarmed by the deadline set by the NEEPCO authority, Assam government has assured to provide adequate security to lives and property in Kopili Hydel Project in no time.
A source in the NEEPCO informed that the Director Personnel of the NEEPCO met the Assam's Principal Secretary Home, S C Das, the DG of police R N Mathur a couple of days back to apprise the gravity of the security situation in Kopili power plant.
Senior Assam government officials had assured the NEEPCO to facilitate adequate deployment of security personnel to guard over Kopili power project near Umrangshu after making the on the spot assessment of the ground situation in the power plant.
According to a police source, the Black Widow, the anti-peace talks faction of Dima Halam Daogah militant group, has been creating trouble for NEEPCO operations in the hill district. The militants of Black Widow are out to extort money from the NEEPCO plants and its employees.