Mapithel Dam displaced villagers defend 'beneficiary list'
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, November 12 2012: The Mapithel Dam Multipurpose Project Displaced Villages Committee (MDMPDVC) and authorities of Chadong and Lamlai Khunou villages have expressed strong exception against the recent report over the verification process of Rehabilitation and Re-settlement (RR) packages of the two villages under Mapithel Dam Thoubal Multipurpose Project, while terming it as totally misleading and an attempt to derail the lawfully agreed compensation and rehabilitation due since 1972 .

Reacting to a news report carried on November 10 edition of a local English daily, which alleged irregularities and manipulation in photo verification exercise undertaken for RR packages and land compensation for Lamlai Khunou and Chadong, MDMPDVC and authorities of Chadong and Lamlai Khunou have furnished documents to prove the veracity of the beneficiary list submitted to the State government.

MDMPDVC and the two-village authorities have placed on record that the beneficiary list was prepared as per the Hill House (2010-11 & 12) tax paid to the Government, for which the facts and figures can be gauged from the office of Phungyar sub-division and Ukhrul, and the list has been approved by the State Cabinet.

"There is no question of irregularities and manipulation in the beneficiary list of RR package and land compensation of the two villages," MDMPDVC Information Secretary Mathotmi Jajo asserted.

MDMPDVC also clarified that the construction of Maipthel Dam Thoubal Multipurpose Project and its related compensation and RR packages are to be borne through centrally sponsored scheme under AIBP fund, Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India, New Delhi.

The recent report stating that the State government has to bear the fund for RR package and compensation is totally false and baseless.

Terming the charges levelled against the Ukhrul Deputy Commissioner of manipulating the verification process as completely false, the two-village authorities have stated the entire exercise has been done as per proper guidelines and instructions after conducting a public meeting separately and jointly in the two villages and asking any member to file an objection and compliant in case of any irregularities found in the process.

Till date, there is no official compliant raised by anyone from the two villages to the relevant authorities concerning the verification process.

In this regard, the Deputy Commissioner has even served official notification for compliant and objection within a stipulated period in the local dailies.

In fact, it also stated that DC and Phungyar SDO have cross-checked the data available in the villages and churches against those in the government records during the joint verification that included officials of IFCD - a team which was constituted by an order of the Governor of Manipur on September 28, 2012 .

The MDMPDVC and the village authorities opined that the report was fabricated and planted by Mapithel Dam Villages Affected Organisation (MDVAO) to derail the lawfully agreed RR packages and land compensation due to two villages since 1972 .

In 2010, it may be recalled that the State authorities had derecognized the MDAVO for anti-dam activities and has been dealing with MDMPDVC, which is legally instituted by Chadong and Lamlai Khunou villages' authorities and villagers.

It also stated that the Expert Review Committee (ERC) is not a decision making authority but only a guideline body and therefore, there is no question of undermining it as reported.

Appealing to the local media not to indulge in random publication of report relating to Maipthel Dam Thoubal Multipurpose project, it stated that all development schemes of the two villages have been suspended since 1972 pending settlement at new village sites.

As per the official records, the submerged/displaced villages are T.Phayang (Kuki village), Louphong, Chadong, Lamlai Khullen, Lamlai Monbung (Kuki village), Lamlai Khunou under Ukhrul district.

Whereas, the affected villages are Maphou (Kuki village) under Senapati district, and under Ukhrul district are Nongdam (Tangkhul village), Nongdam (Kuki village), Riha, Thawai, Tumukhong, Thangchingpokpi, and Shangkai.

On September 3, 2002, the Mapithel Area villagers held a public meeting and it resolved not to accept the 14 percent arrears (final installment) unless the revision of the rate as per the actual Agreement.

However, Thawai and Riha village dishonoured the resolution and drawn the compensation during 2004-05 & 2006.Thereafter, Lamlai Khullen village got the final installment in 2008 while Lamlai Mongbung received the compensation in 2010 .

Further, the MPMPDVC furnished on record that the above mentioned villages have received all the compensations except Lamlai Khunou and Chadong, while asserting that any complaint or objection raised by any other villagers is unacceptable and invalid.

It also stated that certain individuals and groups have lodged compliant and registered biased memoranda to State authorities against the two villages.

The Chadong village administration has been threatened by MDAVO members of Chadong village with "unwanted outside orders" of certain armed group.

"That after the verification notice issued on 22nd October, 2012 in local dailies´┐Żmembers of MDAVO and some militants started issuing threats and announcement was even made during the Church service on October 28 ordering the villagers not to take part in the photo verification exercise for the RR packages," stated the MDMPDVC.

On November 9, the Chadong Catholic pastor Mr.Michael was attacked by Honchingsing Kashung, s/o Honreikhui Kashung.

On that night at about 7pm, the village authorities said, Honchingsung fired a gunshot at the pastor residential quarters reportedly because the pastor cooperated with the verification exercise.

Fortunately, no one was hurt in the attack and the pastor has to flee the village to save his life.

Meanwhile, the MDMPDVC and the two village authorities have strongly condemned the inhuman attacked meted out to the clergyman.

An official report stated that the plugging of Thoubal River has already begun since 2010 with local reports stating that 60 percent of paddy fields have been submerged.

Eventually, the two villages beside others will be rendered uninhabitable and hence, the entire process for RR packages and land compensation should be finalized at the earliest, stated the MDMPDVC.

Further, it appealed to the local media to refrain from any random reporting without assessing the ground realities as it may affect the long-suffered villagers who has to give up their ancestral homes for greater interest of the State.

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