TODAY -

Suffering in the name of development
Villagers reel under effect of polluted water from railway tunnel construction work

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, January 29 2019: The debris and residue from the ongoing railway tunnel construction work at Saheibung village in Kangpokpi district which flows out and gets carried down through drains and waterways has polluted many water bodies, paddy fields and land resources at multiple surrounding villages in Imphal West district.

The pollution of many water bodies in addition to the cutting off of water supply at Tairenpokpi, Atongkhuman, Sairenkhul and Phayengchigntaba villages, which surrounds Saheibung village where the NF Railway tunnel 12 is being constructed, has also resulted to water scarcity in the said villages.

While inspecting the spot by a joint team of media and Youth's Forum for Protection of Human Rights, Manipur (YFPHR) today, it was found that the cement treated liquid which flows out from the tunnel construction work flows into Yembunglok, a waterway where many drainages and water bodies connect and passes through the said villages.

The media team also witnessed the water of Yembunglok had almost dried up at the certain areas due to the filling up of the cement treated debris that seeped out from the tunnel.

Such condition indicates that the remains of the railway tunnel construction were left unchecked.

Many villagers of the Tairenpokpi, Atongkhuman and Sairenkhul villages who turned up at the community hall of Tairenpokpi complained that the paddy fields, land resources and water bodies in their villages have been polluted by the cement treated remains which were carried down from Yembunglok through drainages and waterways during rainfall.

Saying that the pollution of water and land resources badly affects cultivation of rice and other crops thereby producing only a meagre amount of agricultural produce, the villagers lamented that they also faced acute water shortage at their respective villages as many of the ponds and water bodies were polluted.

It is also said that the pipes carrying water from Ningthoulok Water Supply has been blocked at Saheibung village and connected at the Railway tunnel construction site only to be used by the authorities.

This enforced the villagers to travel long distances and line up to fetch water from few selected ponds in the villages, they added.

The villagers further said that the pollution of ponds and water bodies apart from the dusty roads due to the routine plying of numerous trucks, carrying soil and cement for the construction work, have caused many health problems including skin disease, cough and respiratory problems.

Many aquatic animals and insects were also been affected at a great scale adding that the cement treated remains were found inside the dead aquatic animals and insects.

Drawing immediate attention of the State Government and the authorities concerned concerning the grievances of the locals, the villagers also warned that they will be compelled to block the road in protest against the Government's apathy towards the problems of Tairenpokpi, Atongkhuman, Sairenkhul and Phayengchigntaba villages.


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