TODAY -

IFCD violates MoEF directives: MDAVO
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, September 30 2013: The order issued by the Government of Manipur through the Irrigation and Flood Control Department on 17 September 2013 for assessing impacts on standing properties for the villages of Chadong, Lamlai Khunou, Lamlai Khullen, Riha and Thawai Village and the survey by SDO of Phungyar in Chadong Village with full reliance on security forces violated the directives given by the o Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), Regional office, Shillong to the Government of Manipur on 23 August 2013 and earlier on 28 December 2006, R.Sakhathan, Chairman of Mapithel Dam Affected Villages Organisation (MDAVO) has alleged.

In a statement Sakhathan said that MDAVO condemned the repeated attempts made by the Sub Divisional Officer of Phungyar to make assessment of standing properties in the villages of Chadong, Lamlai Khunou, Lamlai Khullen, Riha and Thawai with full reliance on security forces despite the directives of the MoEF to stop Mapithel Dam construction and to comply with the conditions set in the stage I forest clearance for the project, primarily the need for taking consent under the Forest Rights Act, 2006 and to establish redressal mechanisms for forest dwellers to seek their rights and claims.

The proposed survey plan will be another incomplete and futile exercise as the committee set up for the assessment comprises only the Government officials and there is no involvement and participation of communities affected by Mapithel Dam.

This assessment plan is just a continuation of the ongoing piecemeal approach and violation by IFCD for rehabilitation.

The assessment plan decided only on 17th September is highly objectionable as the IFCD had already fixed March 2015 and November 2013 as the time for complete completion of the Mapithel dam and to commence filing up the dam reservoir.

A detailed assessment of forest and other livelihood sources impacts should have been conducted much earlier before the construction of dam with due participation of all affected communities.

And this delay and piecemeal process is just confirming that there is no free, prior and informed consent for affected communities for Mapithel dam construction, Sakhathan said.

He went on to say that the affected communities through MDAVO have been calling for conducting a holistic impact assessment under the Expert Review Committee formed in January 2008 including detailed impact on forest, on standing properties and the loss of livelihood, etc.

with participation of affected communities, based on which a clear 4 rehabilitation and resettlement plan appropriate and acceptable to the communities can be formulated.

The proposed survey plan is also a clear cut violation of rights of indigenous peoples affected by the dam and also a violation of the Gauhati High Court's stay order of 25th April 2012 .


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