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Land owners oppose privatisation of Doyang Hydro-Electric Plant

By EMN Updated: Nov 09, 2021 10:39 pm

Dimapur, Nov. 9 (EMN): The Land Owners’ Union of Doyang Hydro-Electric Plant (DHEP) has strongly objected to the alleged move of the Indian government to privatise the hydropower plant in Doyang, saying that it will go against the interest of the 17 affected villages and violate the agreement signed when the project was taken up.

In a representation to the chief minister, the union stated that the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO Ltd.), the government of Nagaland and the land owners’ of the area had signed a tripartite agreement for setting up of Doyang Hydro-Electric Plant over the Doyang River in the 1980s with the objective to augment the power needs of the state, before it was commissioned in 2000.

It claimed that the government of India had ‘disinvested 100% share of NEEPCO Ltd. to National Thermal power Co-Operation Limited (NTPC Ltd.) for an amount of INR. 4000 crore in March 2020 without the knowledge and consent of the government of Nagaland and the stakeholders of Doyang Hydro-Electric Plant’.

“This unilateral decision of the government of India clearly violated the agreement signed between the three parties (Government of Nagaland, NEEPCO Ltd. and the Land Owners’ Union, DHEP) for a period of 99 years lease,” read the representation.

It claimed that ‘the NTPC limited had set a target with the Union Ministry of Power to generate (INR) 15,000 crore by disinvestment plan, which includes disinvestment and privatisation of NEEPCO Ltd. by March 2024 including Doyang Hydro-Electric Plant’.

It stated that such a drastic disinvestment policy will “directly impinge on the rights, privileges, employment opportunities and other benefits that are offered to the land affected populace in lieu of the thousands of acres of land handed over by the affected land owners for the construction of Power project”.

“It may also be mentioned here that, presently appointment and engagement of the local employees of the Doyang Hydro-Electric Plant are mainly as a compensatory appointment against the loss of our cultivable land for construction and establishment of Doyang Project,” it stated, adding that land and resources ownership are inalienable rights of the people under Article 371 A of the Indian Constitution.

The union stated that the 17 land affected villages had agreed to part with their cultivable land after several rounds of negotiation “solely” for the development of power project by NEEPCO Ltd. and not to any corporation or private agencies.

Therefore, the Land Owners’ Union has demanded to repeal privatisation of Doyang Hydro-Electric Plant to any private entities. It also appealed to the government of Nagaland, one of the stakeholders, to impress upon the appropriate authorities of the Indian government not to sell the plant to any private firms by breaching the tripartite agreement.

By EMN Updated: Nov 09, 2021 10:39:01 pm