Anti dam bodies foiling the Govt attempt to hold a hearing
IMPHAL, Mar 27 : The March 26 Public Hearing on the construction of Tipaimukh dam ended inconclusive as the villagers of the affected areas and the volunteers of various social organisations disrupted it through a Peoples’ Hearing. This was conveyed to the media today during a joint press conference called by Citizens Concern for Dams and Development (CCDD), Action Committee Against Tipaimukh Dam (ACTIP) and Committee Against Tipaimukh Dam (CATD) at the office of UPF at Keishampat.
The first of the proposed two Government Hearings was scheduled to be held at Keimai of Tamenglong district on March 26.
“We changed the dais of the Public Hearing into a platform to educate our people regarding the drawbacks of the dam construction”, said CATD convenor Aram Pamei.
She added that the defying campaign was initiated jointly during the Peoples’ Hearing held on March 25 hosted by ZSUM and Nungba Area Village Authority Association at Nungba Bazar, which was participated by representatives of around 30 affected villages and supported by CCDD ACTIP and CATD.
Speaking at the press meet, CCDD joint secretary Jiten Yumnam said that the Public Hearing hosted by Manipur Pollution Control Board and North Eastern Power Corporation Ltd (NEEPCO) tried to bring a conclusion by taking opinion from a handful of peo- ple from a particular community. Such attempt of the Govt may affect cordial relations amongst various communities residing in the district, he warned.
Asserting that the Public Hearing had been rejected by the people of Tameng-long district, ACTIP co- convenor O Bikramjit maintained that the Govt must drop the plan to construct Tipaimukh dam as it is against the interest of the people of the area. Producing snaps of the disruption of the Hearing before the media, he reaffirmed that the people of the affected areas would nev-er support the construction.
Demanding the revocation of the MoU signed be- tween NEEPCO and the State Government, he also urged the Government to stop further introduction of mega development projects in Manipur till peoples’ rights over their land and resources and livelihood dependence are fully recognised.
He also said that the Peoples’ Hearing affirmed that the land, rivers, forests, mountains are the sources of livelihood, culture, identity, traditions of the people of the affected areas and its loss is a serious threat to the survival of these people.
Bikramjit also informed the media that a protest rally will be staged at Imphal on March 31 against the dam and the second Public Hearing at Churachandupr scheduled for the same day.
The Sangai Express