Guwahati, Saturday, March 10, 2012
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Subansiri dam lacks flood cushioning
Staff Reporter
 GUWAHATI, March 9 – The Brahmaputra Board has maintained that the Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Power Project (LSHEP) being executed by the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) Ltd, has insignificant flood cushioning provision.

Instead of the provision of flood cushion for 2500 MCM proposed by the Board, the “current proposal of the NHPC Ltd does not have any flood cushion and the project authority claims to accommodate 442 MCM (to be verified with DPR).” This has been stated by the Board in its reply to an RTI petition filed by city-based consultant engineer J N Khataniar.

The Board maintains that this is quite negligible compared to the volume of flood water released by the Subansiri and the devastation it causes in the valley of the river downstream of the project.

“The flood management aspect is totally ignored including its impact in further downstream as a whole in the Brahmaputra Valley in the post project situation as is revealed in the Expert Group report, as well as, it is contrary to the flood management policy being pursued by the Brahmaputra Board as per the approved Master Plan of Brahmaputra Main Stem (Part –I),” said the Board in its reply to engineer Khataniar.

The Master Plan of Brahmaputra Main Stem suggested that “the key to a long term, effective and reasonably permanent solution to the flood problem of Brahmaputra Valley lies in constructing some large reservoirs. This is clearly established by the study and analysis of the hydro-metrological, topographical and geological data. With the latest expertise on dam construction now available, high dams on major tributaries of Brahmaputra are considered feasible. No other measures, be it embankments, aforestation or watershed management would independently contribute as much to the reduction of the flood problem of the valley.”

The Board has also maintained that there is no information regarding requisite statutory and regulatory clearance of the Subansiri Lower Hydro-electric project issued by it to the NHPC Ltd prior to the starting of the construction works of the LSHEP.

Khataniar has requested the C D Thatte and Reddy Committee, which is examining the LSHEP matter to not to ‘ignore these real facts.’

He has also resented that his RTI petitions to the NHPC Ltd have remained unanswered even after expiry of 30 days.

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