TODAY -

Villagers worried over permanent displacement
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, April 01, 2013: With many villages situated within Konthoujam Assembly Cons-tituency in Imphal West district staring at the grim possibility of permanent displacement due to the Tupul-Imphal railway line, a large number of people staged a sit-in protest today.

From Tupul to Gokul-chand High School of Awang Khunou Lamkhai, little public property would be affected as the railway line would pass through vacant land.

However, when land as broad as 400 metres is acquired for the same railway line from Gokulchand High School onward, vast areas of public properties would be affected.

People are also apprehensive that Konthoujam Mamang Leikai, Ahallup, Bamdiar and Malom Ha-wairou Maning villages would be wiped out for good to make space for the railway line.

Incidentally, Malom Hawairou is a new village set up by families whose homesteads were taken over by the Government for the purpose of Imphal airport expansion.

The village is currently in the initial phase of settlement and only four/five houses have been constructed so far though around 100 houses are expected to come up in the area.

Officials of the Rail India Technical Evaluations (RITE) together with officials of the State Government have been surveying these areas as a part of land acquisition process for the railway line.

Moreover, survey work has been already completed in Bamdiar for construction of the Imphal station of the railway line which would ultimately connect Manipur with South East Asian countries.

Driven by the fear for a possible situation where many villages would be uprooted apart from affecting vast areas of public properties, a land protection committee has been constituted by the people of Konthoujam and Bamdiar.

Under the aegis of the committee, a protest demonstration was staged today at Moidangpok against the railway line according to whom a large of number of homesteads, schools and playgrounds would be usurped.

One of the protester said that they were not protesting against the railway project per se but its negative impacts on the lives and properties of people.

The Govt's conduct of browbeating its way without consulting the affected people, erection of milestones and refraining from giving any assurance for proper rehabilitation of the affected people was highly condemnable.

Such attitude of the Govt is only adding salt to the wounds of the worried villagers, he added.


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