Big dams threat for downhill areas of NE states: Gogoi

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Guwahati, Jul 24 (UNI) Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has opposed construction of big dams in the Northeastern states, especially Assam, if those created hazards.

Mr Gogoi quoting Dr Singh told mediapersons that the extent of damage and danger of big dams must be studied thoroughly before going ahead.

The construction of big dams in Arunachal Pradesh and other NE states has raised apprehensions about safety of down-hill areas, with Assam already at the receiving end of flash floods caused by such dams.

Supporting state Governor Shiv Charan Mathur's stand in favour of small dams, Mr Gogoi said, '' Smaller dams will have less dangers involved and also help in irrigation.'' He stressed the need to examine with greater details the pros and cons of big dams and added he would suggest the Centre to form an expert committee to review the green signal given to big dams in the region.

The chief minister also highlighted the need to make his Arunachal Pradesh counterpart see the dangers involved.

'' He must be convinced as it is in the country's interest,'' he said. Mr Gogoi reiterated the urgency for a NE water authority, which could not be constituted due to Arunachal Pradesh's refusal to be a part of it.

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