From Bhupen Goswami
GUWAHATI : Public sector company NHPC Limited on Tuesday said that the 2,000 MW Subansiri hydroelectric project will be operational by March 2022. In Assam-Arunachal Pradesh, work on the project was stopped for nearly eight years due to massive protests by various groups. Union Minister of State for Power and Heavy Industries Krishan Pal Gurjar visited nhpc’s lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Project at Gerukamukh in Dhemaji district of Assam to review the ongoing construction activities at various locations.
Gurjar visited various sites of the hydroelectric project and took stock of the ongoing construction activities.. Representatives of major construction contractors engaged in the project also briefed them about the quantum of construction activities on individual fronts. During his visit, Union Minister Gurjar laid the foundation stone for the commencement of turbine assembly of Unit No.1 of the project. The Minister also inaugurated a 160 kW rooftop solar power plant set up in the new administrative building of the project. The Minister also visited an exhibition organized by registered farmer-producing companies for livelihood intervention initiated by NHPC in the field of piggery, sericulture and handloom in downstream areas of the project.
The Union Minister appreciated the efforts and initiatives of NHPC for the people living in downstream areas.Representatives of district administration of Dhemaji and Kamal were also present during the minister’s visit. The Union Minister’s visit to nhpc site at Gerukamukh was opposed by the All Assam Students Union (ASU) in Gogamukh. Asu’s Gogamukh unit staged a demonstration at Gogamukh demanding that the construction work of the dam on the Subansiri river at Gerukamukh be stopped until the safety of the lives and properties of the people in downstream areas is ensured. NhPC said in a statement that Union Ministry of Power Secretary Sanjeev Nandan Sahai, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar and Company Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) A K Singh visited subansiri hydroelectric project on Friday and launched the revival of power works. “Later, the Power Secretary held a review meeting where the NHPC chief briefed about various construction activities and work being done by the company for river conservation,” the statement said. The project is expected to be commissioned by March 2022.
The construction of this ambitious project over subansiri river at Gerukamukh on assam-Arunachal Pradesh border was stalled due to protests by locals from December 2011 to October 2019. The protesters said it would adversely affect the flow of the river. The initial expected cost of the project was Rs.6,285 crore, which increased to Rs.20,000 crore in 2020. The Assam government and the Centre had constituted several committees to address the concerns of the agitators.