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Dam affected villagers in Mnp threaten blockade of NH-102

Correspondent IMPHAL, FEB 10 | Publish Date: 2/10/2020 12:50:51 PM IST

Mapithel Dam affected villagers headmen/chiefs and elder’s organisation (MDAVHCEO) on Monday threatened to impose blockade on Imphal-Ukhrul section of NH-102 on February 17 and February 18.

While threatening to impose the two-day blockade, MDAVHCEO alleged that it has so far not received any response to the ultimatum served on the government on January 24 last.

“We have served the ultimatum to the chief minister as well as to the concern water resource department of the state government. However, no response came up so far,” MDAVHCEO) M Ngarangmi said.

He added that they have no option but to launch agitations and the proposed blockade on Imphal-Ukhrul road via Mapithel Dam will be the first step.

“If no positive response comes up even after the strike, we will be compelled to launch intense forms of agitations,” Ngarangmi told reporters during a press conference at Manipur Press Club in Imphal.

He alleged the state government of neglected their “genuine” demands for rehabilitation and resettlement as well as livelihood packages of the villagers affected by the construction of the dam of the Thoubal Multi-purpose Project.

While asserting that their demand was along pending one, he claimed that the demands were already agreed by the government but yet to be implemented.

He alleged the state government of depriving the villagers who whose livelihoods were severely hit by the coming up of the dam.

Since the coming up of the dam over the Thoubal river at Mapithel area in January 2015, as many as 18 villages were severely affected. Some of the villages at the catchment area of the dam have been rooted out while others in the downstream areas of the dam have been experiencing wide suffering and survival challenges.

The dam has undermined the livelihood of the villagers besides causing much impoverishment in the villages, especially in the downstream areas of the dam, the chairman alleged. 

He pointed out that the sand and stone brought down by the Thoubal River were now deposited in the dam reservoir and this has seriously affected the livelihood of most of the villagers who depend on the river and collect sand and stone for their livelihood and to support their children’s education. 

 “Mapithel dam today represents a symbol of destruction and miseries for the affected villagers, he alleged. He recalled that following strong and persistent pressures from the affected villagers with the supports of CSOs, Manipur government had even constituted a high-power committee to address the grievances of the Mapithel dam affected villagers/residents.

While setting up the high power committee, the state government assured that it would spare no efforts in redressing the genuine grievances of the dam affected villagers.

However, the state government has failed to come up with any policy programme to address the grievances of the affected people, the chairman went on to allege.

 

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