HAFLONG, Sept 22 - There is a growing apprehension among the people of Dima Hasao in general and Garampani and Umrangso area in particular as the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) has reportedly started the works for increasing height of Khandong dam by six to eight metres from existing height of 719 metres.
According to the locals, the NEEPCO established the Kopili Hydro Electric Project (KHEP) in 1984 and the process was started from 1976, when the foundation stone of the project was laid by the then Prime Minister, Late Indira Gandhi. She had promised many things to convince the people to allow the project to be established, but till date the NEEPCO authorities have failed to fulfil all those promises.
The recent attempt of increasing height by the NEEPCO faced strong objection and criticism from various organisations as it would submerge a vast area creating havoc to the people of the adjacent area.
Head of the project, Hemanta Kumar Deka, talking to this correspondent at his office at Umrangso, said that they have started the works of increasing height so that more power could be generated and even during the winter, the water level would be sufficient so that the generation of more power would be maintained.
When asked whether they had the permission from N C Hills Autonomous Council (NCHAC) in the matter, he said that no permission from NCHAC was required since they were having all required formalities cleared during the conceptual stage of the project.
According to the locals, due to faulty agreement between the NEECO and the NCHAC, the latter is getting nothing and the Assam and Meghalaya governments are getting six per cent each of total profit of the project.
Lakpa Lama, a social activist, talking to this correspondent, said that they were planning to launch an agitation soon opposing the increase of height of the dam and demanding appropriate revenue to the NCHAC.