The police recently blocked tribal people's protests in South Tripura district in Tripura over the Gumti Hydro-Electric Project commissioned in 1974.
The tribal people want the project scrapped and the land given back to them but the state government is not doing that. "Hydel power is still
cheaper, much cheaper than power from plants run by natural gas," says chief minister Manik Sarkar.
A 30-metre high dam was built across the Gumti river for generating 8.6 MW power and the dam submerged 46.34 sq km of fertile land--home to about 40,000 tribal people. The project, however, is not generating any power now. According to Tripura's power minister Manik Dey, power production from the project has completely stopped since March 2007. "There is hardly any water in the dam's reservoir to generate power but we are not ready to scrap the project," he says. The government has set up an expert committee to look into the condition of the reservoir.The committee is expected to give its report by July. The tribal people, however, allege that the state government is not doing anything for their uplift.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.