NHPC to resume Subansiri dam construction

Guwahati: A memorandum of agreement (MOA) has been signed between the state government of Assam and NHPC Limited for the implementation of 2,000-MW Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Project on August 23 at Guwahati, Assam. The news is crucial as the dam has been stuck for over a decade even though its construction started in 2007.

Why has the dam not been completed?

Subansiri lower hydroelectric project is the largest hydro project of the country, presently under construction with an installed capacity of 2,000 MW and an annual generation of 7421.59 Million Units (MU). It is located on the border of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. However, the construction of the dam has been stalled since 2011 by environmental groups because of ecological concerns.

Environmentalists have claimed that the dam will damage the ecosystem and lead to land loss. The hydropower project had been the subject of several litigations. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had formed an expert committee to review the design of the dam to reduce the environmental damage in downstream Assam. The dam had also received a clearance from the NGT.

NHPC ready to resume construction

“After a number of committees appraised the project and suggested remedial measures, all the technical apprehensions stand assuaged and legal hurdles cleared. NHPC is now set to resume the construction work of the project after the rainy season is over. NHPC is fully committed to completing the project with the support of local people,” NHPC said.

‘Dam will provide relief from floods’

“Being part of the cascade development conceived by the Brahmaputra Board, the project would also afford relief from floods by moderating the flood in Subansiri River. NHPC has undertaken protection works along both the banks of Subansiri River in the downstream area for containing flood water and checking soil erosion,” an official statement from NHPC said.

NHPC is also implementing downstream developmental works which include livelihood intervention and infrastructural developmental works.

The construction of the project will bring an overall development in the area and give a fillip to the overall economy, the statement added.

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