Tiwa Community Opposes Prospect of New Hydro Electric Project in Assam

Controversy has surfaced among Tiwa community inhabiting along Assam – Meghalaya border relating to issuance of ‘objection’ certificate to North Eastern Power Corporation (NEPCO) by Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council for conducting survey to ascertain prospect of a 240 megawatt hydro electric project over Killing river in Assam- Meghaya border. It may be mentioned here that river Killing originates from high altitude of Meghalaya and merge with river Kopili near Nagaon district.

Karbi Anglong District Tiwa Students Union and Tiwa Mathonlai Tokhra has informed the local media through a press release yesterday that if this project is allowed to go ahead and erection of dike for the project is allowed, around 30 thousand hectors of land within Assam and approximately 25 thousand hectares of terrain of Meghalaya in the downstream of the river will be inundated whenever excess water is released.

Around 15 thousand people of Assam and 10 thousand people of Meghalaya will have to face flash flood like situation perennially. Both the Tiwa organizations have also claimed that vast areas of Nagaon, Morigaon and Kamrup district will also face disastrous situation whenever excess water is released from the project due to inundation caused by artificial deluge.

The Tiwa organizations while expressing concern over short-sighted action of the KAAC have demanded immediate withdrawal of the permission granted by the council for construction of the project. The Tiwa organizations have sought the intervention of Ministry of Environment and Forest in this matter so that the proposed project can be stopped at the opening stage.

Sushanta Roy is a journalist in Assam, India, who photographs and writes about the people, animals and flora of Assam, and the things that affect them.