TODAY -

Mapithel Dam
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, September 30 2013: The Citizens' Concern for Dams and Development (CCDD), Committee on the Protection of Natural Resources in Manipur (CPNRM) and Mapithel Dam Affected Villages Organisation (MDAVO) have urged the IFCD, Govt of Manipur to halt the construction of Mapithel Dam before obtaining final forest clearance while also insisting the Govt to make detailed assessment of forest land affected by Mapithel dam with the participation of all affected communities.

A joint statement issued by the CCDD and CNPRM flayed the Govt of Manipur for failing to obtain final 'forest clearance' for the construction of Mapithel Dam of the Thoubal Multipurpose Hydroelectric Project even as Nov 2013 and March 2015 have been set for the commencement of filling up of Mapithel Dam reservoir and completion of the mega multipurpose project respectively.

A joint statement issued by the CCDD and CPNRM further expressed concern over the alleged Manipur Govt's disrespect to the directives of the Ministry of Environment and Forest, GoI to stop the construction of Mapithel dam for violating India's forest laws under the Forest Conservation Act, 1980 and Forest Rights Act, 2006 .

Asserting that it was a matter of serious concern that the State Govt has arbitrarily sought Stage-II forest clearance only on Aug 27 after members of communities affected by the Mapithel dam filed a case of forest clearance violation with the National Green tribunal, the statement demanded the revival of the Expert Review Committee (ERC) set up in January 2008 with the Govt of Manipur and the affected communities so as to conduct a thorough assessment of all impacts on forest land, livelihood, flora and fauna, cultures and traditions of the communities.

Pointing out that the construction of Mapithel Dam is still fraught with the absence of a detailed impact assessment on communities with their rightful participation, especially impacts on forest land and other livelihood sources and further down in the downstream portion of Thoubal River, the CCDD and CNPRM further demanded that all forest land diversion should be under Forest Rights Act, 2006 and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007 .

Meanwhile, a separate statement issued by the MDAVO urged the State Govt to halt all temporary and piecemeal approach for impact assessment of Mapithel Dam while also insisting the Govt to conduct all impact assessment for rehabilitation and resettlement through the officially instituted ERC formed in 2008 .

Raising strong objection to the order issued by the State Govt through IFCD on Sept 17 for assessing impacts on standing properties in respect of Chadong, Lamlai Khunou, Lamlai Khullen, Riha and Thawai villages on the ground that it violates the directives of the MoEF, the MDAVO registered its strong condemnation to the repeated attempt made by the SDO of Phungyar Subdivision, Ukhrul to made assessment of standing properties.


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