TODAY -

Consultation on "Involvement of Asian Development Bank in Manipur"

28 April, 2017 , Press Club, Imphal

Consultation on 'Involvement of Asian Development Bank in Manipur'  at the Manipur Press Club, Imphal
Consultation on 'Involvement of Asian Development Bank in Manipur' at the Manipur Press Club, Imphal



The Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur organized a consultation on “Involvement of Asian Development Bank in Manipur” at the Manipur Press Club, Imphal on 28th April 2017. The consultation is being organized in the context of increased role and involvement of ADB in defining and financing development processes, such as power sector reform, road infrastructure etc in Manipur .

Ms. Panti Gonmei, President, Rongmei Lu Phaum, D. Rouwaithang Maring, Executive of Rural Peoples Development Federation, Chandel and Mr. Kangjam Maharabi, resident of Langthabal, all affected by various ADB funded road projects in Manipur shared experience of impacts of ADB financed projects.

Mr. Jiten Yumnam, Secretary of Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur, in his key note shared on how the pursuance of India’s Act East Policy for connectivity and trade with South East Asia has led to increased investment of International Financial Institutions (IFIs), such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Japan Bank for International Cooperation in financing development projects in Manipur. He took serious note of the implications of financing by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) such as privatization of power sector and the impacts due to financing of road projects, such as Imphal – Moreh road and the Imphal Ring Road Project. He shared these projects will lead to displacement of several thousands of indigenous communities and entail loss of their land and other livelihood sources.

Panti Gonmei, Rongmei Lu Phaum shared how the ADB financed Imphal Town Ring Road has been introduced without considering the rights and livelihood of indigenous communities. People are not informed of the details and plans for rehabilitation and resettlement for the affected communities by the project proponents. Eviction notice for the project was issued in 2014 without considering the livelihood of affected communities. She shared that the ADB Imphal ring road project will uproot several villages along Langol area, Patsoi, Langthabal etc in the periphery of Imphal Town. The failure to take consent of affected communities and to conduct impact and option assessment is a serious matter, she said.

Mr. D. Rouwaithang Maring of Rural Peoples Development Federation, Chandel shared that the implementation of the India’s Look East Policy has led to introduction of the Trans Asian Railways and the Asian Highway and other mega infrastructure projects in Chandel District. The immediate and major concern is the ignorance of the people, primarily due to the concealment of information on both the proposed project plan and also on the multifaceted impacts of the project. The project authorities and the Government is taking advantage of the peoples’ ignorance and is aggressively pursuing the project, also targeting the land and resources. He expressed his concern that the peoples’ ignorance and non-disclosure of information by ADB is only facilitating land and resources destruction.

Mr. Meran from Chandel shared that non-provision of information is a serious concern with the pursuance of road projects financed by Asian Development Bank in Chandel district. Most people are impoverished and inhabited in remote isolated areas and it is difficult for them to engage the project authorities, related companies and ADB to seek their rights. It is difficult to seek a just rehabilitation and resettlement for loss of their land and survival source due to these ADB financed projects.

Consultation on 'Involvement of Asian Development Bank in Manipur'  at the Manipur Press Club, Imphal
Consultation on 'Involvement of Asian Development Bank in Manipur' at the Manipur Press Club, Imphal



Kangjam Maharabi, a resident of Langthabal and affected by ADB’s Imphal Town Ring road project shared that affected communities in Langthabal area are not properly informed of the road plan. There is also no information as to where communities will be rehabilitated and resettled. The project led to much fear psychosis among the affected communities on fear of the loss of their land and agriculture areas. Villagers of Langthabal strongly objected the land acquisition move in a meeting organized by ADB with the Government of Manipur in Imphal in early 2015. There’s has been rumor of late that the road alignment is re-aligned but there has been no official information from the Government so far .

Mr. Phulindro, Chairman of Committee on Human Rights expressed concern that the major road projects are also pursued with ADB financing to facilitate expropriation of land and resources, such as in areas designated for oil exploration in Tamenglong Districts, mining in Ukhrul and Chandel Districts and also in areas proposed for big dams in Tamenglong District. He express his concern that the overt thrust on privatization move and corporate led development by these IFIs and primarily ADB will only deepen inequality, impoverishment of communities. He also express concern that the ADB and other IFI’s failed to adhere to internationally recognized principle of right to free, prior and informed consent and to ensure accountability of States and Corporate bodies in IFI’s and ADB financings in Manipur. The non-adherence to human rights mechanism on development, indigenous peoples’ rights and even the 2009 safeguards of ADB, despite its limitations, is a matter of serious concern.

The participants of the consultation later affirm that the ADB and all International Financial Institutions involving in Manipur should uphold the right to self-determined development of indigenous peoples and recognize their right to free, prior and informed consent in all development processes affecting their land and resources. It was further resolved that ADB financed projects that affect communities’ rights and which failed to recognize their rights, such as Imphal Ring Road Project should be stopped. The Government and the IFIs should stop all forms of forced displacement in Manipur, especially due to their project financings.

The affirmation also stated that ADB should review and rescind all financing and facilitation of corporate bodies in the plunder and expropriation of land and resource in Manipur. ADB and other IFIs should stop facilitation and insistence on privatization and corporatization of development processes in Manipur. A clear accountability mechanism should be established for accountability of states and corporate bodies involved. The Asian Development Bank and other International Financial Institutions should strictly adhere to all development human rights norms, especially indigenous peoples’ standards, such as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007 in Manipur.


* This Press Release was sent to e-pao.net by Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur who can be contacted at cra(DOT)manipur(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This Press Release was posted on April 29 2017

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