Sunday, July 19, 2009

Anti-dam lobbyists to meet Dhaka team

Imphal, July 18, 2009

With the obvious intention to internationalise the controversial construction of the Tipaimukh Multi Purpose Project, representatives of the Citizens' Concern for Dams and Development (CCDD) are all set to highlight destruction likely to be caused to the overall environment when the Bangladeshi Parliamentary team arrives here.

The CCDD had been spearheading movement against the construction of the massive structure with the contention that the dam, in case constructed, would have disastrous consequences on the region's ecology besides literally submerging history of the land.

The Bangladeshi team is scheduled to make spot inspection of the dam site which is located on the Manipur-Mizoram boundary on July 30 .

according to CCDD chairman Aram Pamei the high level visiting delegation would be apprised on the negative impact the proposed project with capacity to generate 1500 megawatt of electricity will have on the rich bio-diversity and flora and fauna of Tipaikmukh area in particular and the region in general.

Aram Pamei said, "We have been demanding to scrap the proposed Tipaimukh Dam over the past one decade.

Besides holding awareness campaigns on the ill effects of the dam across the State, number of anti-dam rallies had been staged but the Centre is adamant in going ahead with the construction".

Confirming the anti-dam campaigners agenda to meet the high level team deputed by the Bangladesh Govt, Aram said apart from the dreadful results that would befall upon both india and neighbouring Bangladesh 'we have to see for the future generation'.

It had been reported that the 15 member strong Bangladesh team will fly to the dam site in the remote area of Churachandpur district on a chopper to physically assess impact of the dam with regard to flow of the Barak river into Bangladesh.

As per report of anti-dam lobbyists here in the State, the mega project would submerge over 7000 square kilometres of forest land that would also result in more than 100 villages located along the river to dip under the dam water permanently.

They also claim that large tract of ancestral sites of historical importance to the indigenous community would be destroyed beyond recovery.

Bangladesh Govt is apprehensive that once the construction begins or the Tipaimukh project is finalised the structure would choke flow of water as the Barak river joins Surma river on the Bangladesh side.

From being a relatively local tussle against the State Gove when the project was in its conceptual stage, anti-dam campaigners had been at loggerheads with the Government of India after foundation stone for the project was laid by the then Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on December 16, 2006 .

The controversial project snowballed into a major issue recently when Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina intimated Prime Minister Dr Manmohan on the mega hydel project on the sideline of the NAM Summit in Egypt.

Anti-dam lobbyists of Bangladesh had also protested against the dam construction in front of the Indian Embassy in Dhaka.

Meanwhile, a senior police officer of Churachandpur district contended that no official intimation had been received in the proposed visit of the Bangladesh parliamentarians.

He, however, confided that the district administration have chalked up necessary measures to ensure the dam site inspection programme passes off smoothly.

Source: The Sangai Express

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