Meghalaya waits for DPR on Kulsi dam project to be built on Meghalaya-Assam boundary

Shillong, Sept 10: Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma on Tuesday said his government would wait for the detailed project report (DPR) before taking a call on the proposed construction of the Kulsi dam, a national project, along the inter-state boundary with Assam.

Replying in the Assembly here on Tuesday, Conrad said the Kulsi dam project has been declared as a national project (of the Brahmaputra board) – under hydro power and irrigation and therefore compensation and rehabilitation will be done as per guidelines of the government of India given under the laws applicable to the same including conduct of public hearing.

According to him, the steps that will have to be taken will require consideration of the outcome of the public hearing also.

The project is located in the border between Assam, Kamrup District and Meghalaya in West Khasi Hills and Ri Bhoi District.

He said huge area of land will be submerged and people of both the state will be affected.

Conrad however said the government has not issued No-objection certificate to the Brahmaputra Board, Assam.

When the opposition member from Rambrai-Jyrngam, Kimfa Sydney Marbaniang sought to know the number of villages and areas to be affected if the project is implemented, the chief minister said he could not provide the information since the DPR is not ready.

But Marbaniang said that as per information he received through RTI, it was revealed that a total of 35 villages and total area of 15.55 sq km in Assam and 5.5 sq km in Meghalaya will be affected.

He also wanted to know how the survey was allowed to be carried out when the NOC was not given.

Responding to this, the chief minister informed that a joint meeting of both the state governments was held on April 21, this year besides a joint inspection and it was decided to go ahead with the DPR.

On the other hand, Leader of Opposition Mukul Sangma also asked the state government to verify whether the project falls within the areas of difference and make known its stand when the chief minister maintained that he would be in a position to know once preparation of the DPR is completed.

Not satisfied with the reply, Mukul said, “This means the CM has not done his homework…whether project will be allowed or not (you should) assure the state.”

The chief minister however maintained that the government would wait for the DPR. “Once the DPR is completed will be able to make a decision (on the matter),” he added.