TODAY -

CRAM stresses on negative impact of dev projects, urges Govt to revoke unsustainable dev models
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 04 2018: The Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur (CRAM), an indigenous organization promoting sustainable development and human rights of indigenous peoples in Manipur has expressed serious concern regarding the rapid degradation of environment in the State.

A press release issued by president of CRAM asserted that, in view of the World Environment Day tomorrow, the worsening of environmental degradation and devastation in Manipur is primarily due to the pursuance of unsustainable development processes.

The pursuance of India's Act East Policy with massive thrust on infrastructure projects and extractive industries for trade and commerce through funding by Asian Development Bank, World Bank etc, has undermined the sustainability of the land and environment, it added.

It further asserted that the massive execution of hydropower projects like the 105 MW Loktak Multipurpose Hydroelectric Project, the Mapithel dam, Khuga dam, Khoupum dam etc also caused a huge loss of forest and agricultural land.

The Mapithel dam had led to the submergence of 595 hectares of forest land while the proposed 1500 MW Tipaimukh Multipurpose Hydroelectric project will lead to submergence of more than 27,000 hectares of forest land and the signing of MoU with the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation on 28 August 2014 (to construct four hydro power projects, viz, 60 MW Irang HEP, 51 MW Tuivai HEP, the 67 MW Khongnem Chakha and 190 MW Pabram HEP projects under the Manipur Hydroelectric Power Policy, 2012) will inflict destruction of the environment, the press statement claimed.

The cumulative impact of these hydropower projects will destroy forest and people's survival sources while worsening the climate 'in Manipur, it added.

The construction of 111 km long Jiribam to Imphal railway line led to destruction of 1,005 hectares of forest land with clear violation of the Forest Conservation Act, 1980 by the Northern Frontier Railways, it claimed.

The excavated earth from tunnels are directly dumped in the forest and cultivable land, while chemical-laden cement discharges are dumped in Ejei River (that flows to Irang and Barak Rivers), affecting the ecology of Barak River system and the very livelihood of the communities who are dependence on the rivers.

The plan to explore and drill oil and gas by multinational companies and the mining of Chromite and Limestone will also entail widespread destruction of land, forest as well as agricultural lands.

The Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur would has urged the State Government to rethink and reverse all unsustainable development models which has led to wanton destruction of forest, water bodies, agricultural land and environment in Manipur.

"The Government should stop the increased corporatization of peoples land and resources and revoke the pursuance of unsustainable development model assisted by fast unfolding globalization, privatization and corporatization processes in Manipur, including scrapping all plans for construction of hydropower projects and also halt oil and gas exploration and mining plans in the State", it stated.

The organisation further pointed out that the root cause of environment destruction such as the 105 MW Loktak Hydroelectric Project that devastated the Loktak Wetlands ecology should be addressed while adding that fostering sustainable development and environment protection requires a developmental approaches rooted in human rights and recognition of communities' rights and role in all development processes.


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