Monday, August 3, 2009

Bodies reaffirm opposition on Tipaimukh dam construction

Hueiyen News Service

Citizen Concern on Dams and Development today announced that if the authority try to construct the controversial Tipaimukh Dam without prior consent of the affected people, the body will try its best to block the construction of the dam.

Speaking at a press conference held at Manipur Press Club today, leaders of the body alleged the authority that the opinion of the affected people against the construction of dam during the public hearing was kept aside.

The body also condemned the environmental clearance given by the Union ministry of Environment and Forest in 2008 .

The clearance was given without the basis of the actual detail impact assessment reports of the dam which was compiled with the opinion expressed by the people to be affected by the dam, they said.

Despite objection from various different sides on the construction of the dam in an international river and becomes an issue in the international level, Central and Manipur government is trying to construct the dam at any cost, they alleged.

Newmai News Network add: The Barak river has been the source of livelihood of the Hmar people for generations, but it would stop being a source of livelihood once the Tipaimukh dam is constructed, said Joseph Hmar, spokesperson of Hmar Students' Union.

The overall benefit in construction of the dam is much less than the loss to be incurred, he stated.

He further stated that the Hmar people are not anti-development and alleged that the ministers of the state do not care for the feelings of the people.

Samson Remmei, president of United Naga Council (UNC) pointed out to the media that the government of Manipur cannot feel the pulse of the people in spite of the numerous protests and continued that the detailed plan of the project has not been shown to the public giving an indication of lack of transparency on the part of the government.

The impact due to the construction of the Tipaimukh dam is going to be multi-dimensional, said Jiten Yumnam, co-convener of Action Committee Against Tipaimukh Dam (ACTIP).

He said that the government should maintain transparency about the Tipaimukh dam and inform the people about any discussion regarding the dam.

Aram Pamei, convener of COLNAR said that the Barak river is very important to the people living near the river.

She said that different types of rare fishes and other species of animals and plants are going to disappear if the dam is constructed.

She continued that the government of India or Manipur or Bangladesh cannot decide anything without the consent of the people living near the Barak river.

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