TODAY -

Consultation : Promotion of Sustainable Development at Tousang

16 December 2021

 Consultation : Promotion of Sustainable Development at Tousang
Consultation : Promotion of Sustainable Development at Tousang



A community awareness consultation on Sustainable Development and Protection of Land, was organized by the Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur (CRA) at Tousang Village in Noney District on 15th December 2021. The consultation was organized to promote the protection of land, forest, rivers and other natural resources for the livelihood and survival of indigenous peoples across generations.

During the consultation, Mr. Jiten Yumnam, Secretary of CRA shared on the importance of sustainable development in Manipur to ensure the inter-generational survival of indigenous peoples and to protect the natural heritages.

Mr. Yumnam explained how land sustained not only the physical survival, but also the spiritual and cultural survival and identity of indigenous peoples. The construction of large dams over Rivers already entailed submergence and loss of agriculture land, forest areas and Rivers and causing hardship to affected communities.

The proposed 66 MW Loktak Downstream hydroelectric project will undermine the livelihood of communities depending on the Leimatak River and adjoining land and forest areas in villages of Thangal, Tousang, Nungleiband etc, and further in downstream villages such as Toudaijang, Nungba etc along the Irang River. The Government should review the proposed plan to build large dams over the Leimatak and Irang River, to avoid causing social and environmental impacts.

 Consultation : Promotion of Sustainable Development at Tousang
Consultation : Promotion of Sustainable Development at Tousang



Mr. Themson Jajo, Environmentalist shared that land and rivers are associated with the rich culture and history of communities. Large dams, such as Mapithel dam has long been controversial for their social, cultural, environmental impacts due to submergence of agriculture and forest land. The Government should avoid repeating the sufferings of communities due to Mapithel dam.

Dams like Khuga dam, Khoupum dam, Dolaithabai dam failed after wasting huge amount of public resources. The National Hydroelectric Power Corporation remains unaccountable for destroying Loktak wetlands. The construction of 66 MW Loktak downstream hydroelectric project and 70 MW Nungleiband dam etc over the Leimatak River lacks rationality given the potential adverse impacts. Villages like Tousang will be displaced permanently and any limited compensation awarded can never compensate the loss of their land and livelihood. Dam building only benefits dam building companies and not the affected peoples.

Mr. Gunrei Kamei, Environmentalist emphasized the need for a people friendly development rooted in human rights and environmental protection. Villages of Tousang, Thangal villages etc are sustainable villages, producing a wide variety of agriculture and forest products. Many communities affected by unsustainable development projects confronted problems with rehabilitation and resettlement.

The companies and Government officials took advantage of lack of road, health facilities etc and innocence of villagers in remote areas to promote unsustainable and destructive projects like large dams. The Government should promote agriculture, horticulture and other agro based livelihood options, instead of destroying their land and sources of agriculture production. The Government should build an all-weather road for Tousang village to improve their local economy and village livelihood.

The participants of the consultation affirmed call to ensure the free and unhindered flow of the Leimatak River. The participants also emphasized that the land, forest, water and especially, the Leimatak River is life for the people. The Government should promote development effectiveness by recognizing peoplesí rights their rights over their land and resources and seeking their free, prior and informed consent.

 Consultation : Promotion of Sustainable Development at Tousang
Consultation : Promotion of Sustainable Development at Tousang



(Sanaton Laishram)
President
Centre For Research And Advocacy, Manipur
Jupiter Yambem Centre, Paona Bazar,
Imphal 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 17 December 2021

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