|KMSS, Akhil get environment award|
NEW DELHI, Nov 27 – Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) leader and anti-dam activist Akhil Gogoi on Wednesday advocated the idea of urgently pressurising the Government of India to negotiate with neighbouring countries to declare the Brahmaputra as an international neutral river.
Akhil Gogoi and KMSS were honoured by consortium of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) India, South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP), the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Toxics Link and Peace Institute Charitable Trust with Bhagirath Prayas Samman.
Gogoi said that the award has come at a time when China had commissioned the first phase of Zangmu Dam. More dams are in the pipeline in Chinese part of the Brahmaputra. Arunachal Pradesh and Assam will face the consequences of this. Assam’s western districts had already been facing massive ecological challenges because of dams in Bhutan.
Also, despite Assam’s long standing demand and democratic movement, the Government of India has not yet declared Assam, as the downstream State, he said.
Gogoi also said upcoming dams in Arunachal Pradesh will have catastrophic environmental and economic impacts on Assam and further down. Without Assam being politically and legally considered as downstream of region, Assam will always be at the receiving end, he cautioned.