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NHPC to extend developmental works
Correspondent
 NORTH LAKHIMPUR, Aug 4 - The public sector unit National Hydro-electric Power Corporation Ltd, engaged in the construction of 2000 MW Lower Subansiri Hydro-electrical Power Plant dam in Gerukamukh on Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border, will extend developmental works, sustainable livelihood schemes, smart cities and bank protection works in the downstream areas of the river in Assam. This was stated by the NHPC authorities in Gerukamukh recently at a stakeholders’ meet attended by Dhemaji MLA Pradan Baruah, Dhemaji ADC, Executive Councillors of Mising Autonomous Council, Gaon Panchayat representatives from nearby villages, executive engineer, NF Railways, AGM, APDCL and executive director and concerned officers from NHPC.

The NHPC will take up river bank protection and erosion control measures along both the banks of river Subansiri up to 30 kilometres downstream of the dam. The NHPC said that this was in pursuance to decisions taken in the Core Group, constituted vide notification of Governor of Assam to implement the Joint Steering Committee report concerning mitigation of downstream impact of Lower Subansiri Hydro-electrical Project.

It may be recalled that the Joint Steering Committee, was constituted in April 2011 to examine Part-II recommendations of Expert Group Report relating to ‘Downstream Impact Study and its remedial measures’, and to address all facets with respect to apprehension of locals residing in the downstream area in Assam.

For the bank protection and erosion control measures on either side of Subansiri, as recommended by the Core Group, the NHPC has already conducted a joint survey with Water Resources Department, Assam and identified stretches along the right and left banks of the river. The NHPC will carry out the work in three phases along the identified stretches and has already submitted proposals for first and second phases of the work before the Water Resources Department of Assam.

After these phases were technically vetted for implementation by the WRD, Assam, the NHPC undertook river bank protection and erosion control measures along the identified stretches and works are on in the left bank of the river adjacent to villages of Tamuli no. 1 and no. 2 Sonapur. Works in all the identified and vetted stretches will be taken up from October this year, the NHPC said. The PSU has also undertaken emergent erosion control measures along the villages Dirpai, Dakhin Rupahi and Kamalpur Kalitagaon from 2015 upon the request of local people.

It has also taken up emergent erosion control measures during the present monsoon season along the right hand side bank of the river close to villages Bharatpur, Haldiati, Kamalpur Kalitagaon and Kamalpur Hajonggaon.

The NHPC will also start sustainable livelihood schemes on the downstream areas in Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts as directed by the Core Group. For that, NHPC has engaged Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) for designing and strategizing implementation of Sustainable Livelihood Interventions in these two districts. An MoU between NHPC and IRMA has been signed last December in this regard.

The IRMA, after having preliminary meetings with the district authorities and Gaon Panchayats of Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts has undertaken primary survey which, inter alia, includes Focus Group Discussion (FGDs) and Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping (FCMs) to identify the livelihood schemes as per the aspirations and needs of the people. Till date total 92 revenue villages in both the districts have been covered in this scheme. This will be followed by household surveys as per the mapped aspirations of the local populace and livelihood intervention schemes will be implemented through creation of enterprises, producers company etc., on the pattern of AMUL.

Infrastructural developmental works will also be started by the NHPC in the downstream areas of the LSHEP dam as directed by the Core Group. The PSU will construct raised platform flood shelters cum school building, primary health centres, cattle shelters in Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts.

Notably, the NHPC will develop Gogamukh township on the Lakhimpur-Dhemaji border to be a smart city as recommended by the Core Group. For that, the NHPC has signed an MoU with School of Planning & Architecture (SPA), New Delhi in June this year.

Further the NHPC envisages constructing a multi-speciality hospital at Gogamukh as suggested by the Core Group. It has also introduced NHPC Fellowship Scheme for students of Assam on merit-cum-income basis.

Based upon the application forms received, for the academic session commencing from 2015, 90 students of Assam have been selected from various offered courses. Out of total 90 students, 37 students are from Dhemaji and 24 from Lakhimpur.

The Executive Director, NHPC, Rakesh said that the LSHEP dam is for the people and it would help in controlling flood and erosion problem of river Subansiri in its downstream area in Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts. He said that the dam would release the river water in a constant speed throughout the year and contribute in reducing the current of the river during the monsoon.

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