TODAY -
CCDD decries airport expansion move
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, January 16: Maintaining that the State should refrain from any non-agricultural initiative encroaching on farm lands, and to protect the livelihood of the people, the Citizens Concern for Dams and Development (CCDD) has urged upon the Government of India to scrap the plan for expansion of Tulihal Airport, Imphal.

In a statement, the CCDD also urged upon the State Government not to take up any developmental activity without free, prior and informed consent of the people and without studying the social, environmental, human rights and other impacts of any development project.

The move to acquire over 1000 acres of land for Imphal airport expansion and other proposed mega projects like the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Manipur University expansion, the Trans Asian Highway and Railway will serious undermine food security, deepen economic crisis and increase dependency on outsiders manifold, it cautioned.

Absence of effective rehabilitation and resettlement policy of Manipur has already led to massive displacement, impoverishment and other survival threats to the people of Manipur as was evident in the case of the Loktak Multipurpose Project, Khuga dam, Mapithel dam, NIT construction, Capitol complex construction etc, observed CCDD.

Citing small international airports like the Kathmandu International Airport, Phnom Penh (Cambodia) International Aiport etc, the CCDD asserted that Imphal airport can be developed for larger air traffic by increasing efficiency in its management and operation.

The airport expansion will lead to further militarisation of the State through deployment of more security forces which would aggravate the situation of civil rights violation, it alleged while reminding that Malom Massacre of November 2, 2000 was perpetrated by personnel of 8 Assam Rifles posted inside the Imphal airport premises.

Taking into account of the strict restriction being imposed against entry of foreign nationals in Manipur, the CCDD questioned the rationale of the proposed conversion of Imphal airport to an international airport.

It asked whether the expansion is for civilian purpose or military purpose.


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