TODAY -

DC urged to extend deadline for public suggestions
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, July 22 2021: Youth's Forum for Protection of Human Rights (YFPHR) has appealed to the deputy commissioner of Imphal West district to postpone the deadline for seeking public suggestions in connection with undertaking construction of a portion of the proposed Imphal Ring Road.

In a press release, YFPHR urged the DC to postpone the deadline for seeking public suggestions or opinions of the people for construction of a portion of the proposed Imphal Ring Road (Langjing to Ghari via Lamjaotongba and spur to FCI Godown) through direct purchase of land with funding from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The Forum pointed out that various ADB-funded projects initiated in Manipur violate the rights of the indigenous people, destroying large scale forest, hills, paddy land, etc., which are the sources of livelihood of the people of the state.

It then termed the DC Imphal West's letter (dated July 16) calling for suggestions within 10 days as "an act to suppress the participation of people in decision making processes in development projects knowing the fact that Covid-19 lockdown will be imposed from July 18 for 10 days," adding, "It is not the right time to seek opinions or suggestions from the affected general public who are psychologically, mentally and physically affected by this pandemic and also struggling for their lives for daily basic needs".

YFPHR further said that the earlier project of ADB had already compromised large tract of prime cultivable land in Manipur without providing alternative arrangement for the paddy production, which is violation of rights to food.

Food sovereignty of the people cannot be compromised with mere compensation which needs to be considered by the ADB and the state government, it added.

The Forum then reminded the ADB and the state government that it is mandatory to "obtain free, prior, and informed consent of the people" and to make public aware of the Detailed Project Report (DPR), adding that it is needed to take social impact assessment, environment impact assessment, cumulative impact assessment and human rights impact assessment before any development project is taken up.

While stating the youth of the state can no longer allow destruction of wetland, paddy land and forest in the name of development, YFPHR appealed to DC Imphal West, ADB and state government to consider the facts given by the Forum and to postpone the deadline until the affected people are ready to participate in the decision-making process soon after the Covid-19 crisis is over in the best interest of the people.


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