Sharing a report published in The Sentinel regarding the impact of Hydel projects planned in Bhutan on Assam. The Hydel projects planned in Bhutan are in tributaries of Bramhaputra. No studies have been conducted on the downstream impact of these dams. At this point of time, Government of India is looking at these dams purely from the point of economic benefit accuring to some of our infrastructure companies that are involved in these dams. Since the impact on bio-diversity doesn't appear to be a priority these days, and Assam having a friendly Congress Government in the State who are not going to create a problem for the central Govt. this issue is expected to die down. Will Manmohan Singh, who has been elected from Assam listen to the demands of our brothers and sisters from Assam?
Bhutan's ambitious hydel projects pose threat to Assam
‘The threat that downstream areas in Assam will face from these dams will not just be in the form of devastating floods but also in the form of damage to ecological biodiversity. Assam’s people should be made aware of the threat that is looming large over their heads’
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, July 23: After the dams in Arunachal Pradesh and China, the dams in Bhutan are what the people of Assam should be concerned about. Bhutan’s ambitious hydel projects aimed at its socio-economic development may well spell doom for Assam, said Beki River Control and Flood Relief Sangram Samity general secretary Azad Ali while addressing a press conference in Guwahati today.
“The Bhutan government has set a target of generating 30,000 MW electricity and this target it plans to achieve by constructing 76 big and medium dams. Already Bhutan has completed 24 small hydel projects like Chennari, Tintibi and Darasu. The Tala hydel project is a major project which produces 1,020 MW power. The Kurichu hydel project produces 60 MW power and the Sukha hydel project produces 336 MW power. The 76 hydel projects that the Bhutan government plans to start will be constructed on 12 major rivers of Bhutan like Amochu, Sankosh and Wansu. But waters of all these rivers fall into the Brahmaputra. Needless to say that since Bhutan and the Northeast fall in a highly seismic zone, there is serious threat to downstream Assam from these hydel projects,” said Azad Ali.
He further said, “The threat that downstream areas in Assam will face from these dams will not just be in the form of devastating floods but also in the form of damage to ecological biodiversity. Assam’s people should be made aware of the threat that is looming large over their heads.”
Ali said that by Bhutan plans to sell electricity to West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha and Sikkim. “Bhutan is looking at its socio-economic development. But development at the cost of devastation in Assam will not be tolerated,” he said.
Ali cited the example of the 60-MW capacity Kurichu hydel project which wreaked havoc in Barpeta and Baksa districts in 2004 and 2007. “Around 57,452 hectares of paddy fields were destroyed in 2007 and 88,807 families in both districts were displaced. So if a 60-MW dam in Bhutan can cause so much damage and devastation, imagine how much damage will be caused if 76 big and medium dams are constructed? This is a danger that is lurking in the corner and unless we act now, it will be too late,” he said.
Ali added, “The Indian Government is supporting Bhutan’s hydel projects. We appeal to the Assam Government to take up the issue with the Centre so that appropriate action is taken.”
Source article: http://www.sentinelassam.com/mainnew...4&ppr=1#125770