India: ‘No commissioning of Mapithel dam’

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    Affected villagers of the controversial Mapithel Dam has unanimously resolved today not to let government to commission without fulfilling the demands of affected communities both in the upstream and downstream portion of Mapithel Dam, for their rights, including rehabilitation and resettlement.

    Affected villagers in both upstream and downstream has warned government not to commission without the peoples’ consent and decided to jointly strive and struggle if their demands were not met before the commission of the dam.

    It was resolved during a media consultation on “Mapithel dam and its Commissioning,” which was organised in the context of the announcement of the minister of Irrigation and flood Control department (IFCD), on April 1 to commission the dam within 20 days at Manipur Press Club.

    The consultation was jointly organised by Mapithel Dam Affected Villagers Organisation (MDAVO), JAC-Mapithel Dam Downstream Affected peoples (MDDAP) and Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur (CRAM).

    The participants, in considering the ongoing water leakage from the Dam, it also demanded to conduct immediate detail assessment of safety of Mapithel Dam by an expert team.

    It also strongly urged the government for proper investigation in corruption aspects in connection to the construction of the dam.

    Yumlembam Thoiba, president JAC-Mapithel Dam Downstream Affected Peoples, Laishram Mandir, Heirok Kanba Lup, Dominic Kashung, Chairman, MDAVO, and Ph Deban, president, AMUCO  among other villagers were attended the consultation program.

    Highlighting government’s loopholes and negligence while assessing the implications while implementing developmental works including the construction of dams, president, AMUCO lamented officials for not considering carefully the adverse and long term implications on communities while focusing only their personal gains.

    He suggested the Mapithel dam should not be commissioned without fulfilling the demands of affected communities and considering the large implications.

    The affected villagers in downstream of the dam have been living in extreme fear since the Dam leakage incident in July, 2015 that what if the dam breaks, said Chingakham Ibemhal, Women secretary, JAC-MDDAP.

    Source: Imphal Free Press