Anti-dam crusader Medha Patkar on Thursday added more decibels to the raging anti-mega dam agitation in Assam and said that it was now snowballing into national movement for the mass support it had generated.
Addressing an anti-big dam rally organised by eight agitating organisations at Chauldhuwa in Assam's North Lakhimpur district, Patkar said, "This struggle against mega dams is being carried out by people who are dependent on and love the rivers. It is going on in Assam and has transformed into a national movement now."
She lauded the people of Assam mobilsing such a mass movement against mega dams, particularly the 2000-MW Lower Subansiri Hydel Power Project that is being constructed by the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation at Gerukamukh in Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border.
"This dam will render thousands of people homeless and snatch away their means of livelihood. This must be stopped and the determination of the people encourages me to believe that people's power will prevail," Patkar said adding that she looked forward to meet Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to explain to him the ill effects of dig dams.
The rally was jointly organised by eight groups, including the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad and a Mising tribe body called Takam Mising Porin Kebang to demand halt to construction of mega dams that will have disastrous effect on Assam valley.
KMSS general secretary and Right to Information activist Akhil Gogoi while addressing the mass rally, appealed to the people to keep the momentum of the struggle going as the survival of the future generations was dependent on the big dams that were being constructed in the fragile Assam-Arunachal Pradesh boundary and as well as in the upstream of rivers amid Arunachal Himalayas.
Akhil reiterated that the protests would continue against the NHPC dam at Gerukamukh till their safety concerns were satisfactorily addressed.
The protestors in northern Assam have enforced a blockade against movement of all construction material for the Gerukamukh dam site since mid-December last year, precipitating halt to all work at the site.