Marquee infrastructure projects being developed in India’s north-east have been affected due to the ongoing violence in the Bodoland territorial autonomous districts of Assam.

Some of these projects include state-run NTPC Ltd’s 750 megawatt (MW) Bongaigaon project in Assam and NHPC Ltd’s Subansiri Lower 2,000MW hydropower project in neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh.

Seeking shelter: Villagers on their way to a relief camp in riot-hit Assam on Thursday.(Diptendu Dutt/AFP)

“Work has stopped on our Bongaigaon project. One day of closure results in loss of two to three work days. The project is to have three units of 250MW each with the first unit to be commissioned next year," said a senior NTPC executive, requesting anonymity.

Over the years, the state has been the site of violence orchestrated by rebel groups such as the United Liberation Front of Asom, the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, the Bodo Liberation Tigers and the Muslim United Liberation Tigers of Assam.

“All our materials go through Assam to our other sites in the region. This violence may impact the ongoing projects in Agartala, Sivasagar, Jorhat and Silchar," said an ONGC executive who also didn’t want to be identified. “While our exploratory sites may be affected due to the stoppage in the movement of goods, the producing sites may go on for some time due to materials present on the sites. However, going forward, if the situation doesn’t improve, it may impact production."

ONGC has a gas production capacity of 3 million standard cubic metres per day (mscmd) of gas, of which it is currently producing 1.7 mscmd.

At least 170,000 people from 4,000 villages in Assam have taken shelter in camps and other protected places. Security forces were absent in the first 24 hours since the clashes erupted, fuelling a cycle of violence and counter-violence without any let-up or hindrance.

State-run NHPC’s Subansiri Lower hydropower project in Arunachal Pradesh, the utility’s biggest, is being hampered by blockades in Assam that have affected the movement of material to the site.

“Whenever there is a problem in Assam, our project gets affected as our equipment passes through Assam. Subansiri has been affected due to the current crisis," said an NHPC executive who didn’t want to be identified.

Another state-run explorer Oil India Ltd, which has interests in Assam, Rajasthan and Arunachal Pradesh, said it should have “no problem" given the ample stocks at its sites.

Officials in the Union home ministry said there were no fresh cases of violence and casualties in the state.

Home minister P. Chidambaram said Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi is visiting the affected areas and will report about the situation after his return. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will visit the state on Saturday followed by Chidambaram next week.

Union home secretary R.K. Singh said the situation has improved in the past two days. “Forty-two companies of paramilitary forces are already deployed and another 22 will reach by today evening (Thursday)," he said.

Earlier in the day, Muslim members of Parliament from across parties met Chidambaram over the ethnic clashes.

“We told the minister that we have lost confidence in the state government’s ability to control the situation," said K. Rahman Khan, Congress member in the Rajya Sabha. “Chidambaram has assured that necessary action is being taken. Main problem is to bring back displaced people and gain their confidence. Home minister said situation has normalized...but we have reports that situation is still tense."

sahil.m@livemint.com

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