TODAY -

Peace rally staged against Chakpi Dam
Source: The Sangai Express

Thoubal, March 25, 2013: A huge silent peace march was held at Chandel district headquarters today against the State Government's plan to construct Chakpi Multipurpose Project on Chakpi River in Chandel district under the aegis of Chandel District Christian Forum, an apex body of inter-denominational Church organisation of the district.

Besides holding a public meeting prior to the rally, a memorandum was also submitted to the Prime Minister of India through the Deputy Commissioner of Chandel district.

Placards and banners reading, "India, safeguard and protect the place of religious worship,' 'We do not want our Churches to be submerged and displaced by Dam,' 'Protect poor tribal land,' 'No mega projects without people's consent, protect agriculture land' 'Respect indigenous people's rights,' etc were displayed during the silent peace rally that was also participated, among others, by pastors, representatives of civil society organisations, public leaders and Church members.

In the memo, the Chandel Christian leaders pointed out that construction of Chakpi Dam is initiated without prior, informed consent of the people concerned.

It also pointed out that the concerned departments including the Central Water Commission have not yet given their approval for the construction of the Dam for which the State Government had submitted a DPR.

In the DPR, the Government mentioned that only 44 villages would be affected by the Dam in the catchment area while it would actually affect 65 village, the memo pointed out while adding that the area to be affected by the catchment area is 700 sq km against the Government's estimation of 510 sq km.

The memo also mentioned that the total area of land that would be submerged by the water would be 3100 ha against the Government's assessment of 9615.54 ha in its DPR while also highlighting that the inhabitation of various indigenous communities would be threatened by the dam.

A large number of Church members took out a rally till Chandel DC Office and handed over the memorandum to the DC.

A copy of the memorandum was also forwarded to Chief Minister, IFCD Minister, and two MLAs of Chandel district.

Various speakers at the public meeting insisted that the rights of indigenous tribals be respected by the Government.

They also pointed out that the protection and safeguarding of land and resources of indigenous people rest with the Government as enshrined in article 32 of UNDRIP, World Commission on Dams, 2002 and UNCERD.


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