GUWAHATI, Jan 21 – Proposing a common forum to protest the big dams, the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) today said that to continue with a strong movement against the big dams, a powerful forum having support from all sections of the society would be required.
Addressing the media here, AGP president Chandra Mohan Patowary said that the State Government’s adamant approach on the big dams is against the people’s will.
“At a recent public meeting at Jonai, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi reiterated that the Lower Subansiri Hydro Electricity Project would continue. Though the State Government’s group of ministers is holding talks with dam protesters, various statements coming from government’s side indicate that the entire negotiation process is a farce,” said Patowary.
The AGP also said that the State Government is not at all concerned about the future of the State and its people.
“Due to his narrow political interest, the State Chief Minister is going against the will of the people. We accept that for the development of the State, more power production is required. The dam protestors are also not against development. But, big dams might be disastrous in an earthquake prone zone like ours,” he mentioned.
Slamming the government over the charges of corruption, Patowary said that the Central fund meant for the development of the State is not properly used due to widespread corruption. “The DoNER Ministry granted Rs 2806.59 crore, under non-refundable grant for 391 projects for 1999-2011. But, 60 per cent of the work has not been completed yet,” he mentioned.
Referring to the Delhi HC judgement that the EVMs can be manipulated, Patowary said that the Election Commission should take necessary action on this as soon as possible. “Even the most advanced countries like the US, UK or France use ballot papers in elections. Respecting the democratic values, the Government of India also should replace the EVMs with ballot paper,” he added.