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Villagers near Tipaimukh leading uneasy lives
Published on 8 Aug. 2009 11:38 PM IST
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Villagers living in Tipaimukh Dam area have been leading sleepless and uneasy nights thinking about their future after the construction of the dam. Manipur government, as a joint undertaking with Sultez Jal Bitan Nigam Limited and National Hydro-Electricity Project Corporation (NHEPC) has taken up construction work of Tipaimukh dam at an estimated cost of Rs 900 crores. The height of the dam is 162.8 meters which would be constructed at the joining point of Barak River and Tuibai River located at the border between Manipur and Mizoram will submerge not only villages in Tipaimukh area but also the surrounding areas. In an interaction with some villagers from interior Imphal in Churachandpur district including Tipaimukh and Lungthulien, expressed strong opposition to the construction of the dam fearing that they would be displaced. Ramingthang, a village fisherman said the people of the area lived by earning livelihood through fishing at Barak and Tubai rivers and with the produces collected in the nearby forest. Barak river being the main source of livelihood, the erection of the dam will affect their means of livelihood apart from submerging some of the villages into the water. Parbung village secretary, Laleng Lien said 75 percent of the total area of Parbung village would be affected by the dam. Their fields would also be submerged under water once the dam was erected. Fertile lands where villagers are producing, pepper, cotton, tobacco and fruits would be destroyed affecting the livelihood of the people, he said. The secretary said that the issue of hardships to be faced by the people by the dam construction was brought up during public hearings but lamented that the authorities took up the work contradicting the people’s opinion. (Correspondent)

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