Heavy security to be deployed on 99 km stretch of road to Tipaimukh dam

IMPHAL, 28: State authorities have decided to open security posts at seven kilometer intervals along the 99 km stretch of Mon Bahadur road which is to be used for movement of materials required for the construction of controversial Tipaimukh dam, a part of the Tipaimukh multi-purpose hydro-electricity project, an official source said today.

A total of 15 posts of the Central Reserved Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF) and Indian Reserved Battalion (IRB) will be opened to provide security for the movement of officials of the North East Electricity Power Grid Corporation, NEEPCO, the implementing agency of the project and the transportation of materials for the construction, the source added.

A team led by the superintendent of police, Imphal east, Th Radheshyam and commanding officer of the 1st IRB also inspected the locations where the posts are to be opened on July 26 and 27 while authorities also requested coordination with the local leaders along the side of the road for setting up the security posts.

A source said that the decision to open the security posts and to man them with CRPF, BSF and 1st IRB battalion was taken at a security meeting held on July 22 under the chair of the state police IGP, law and order–II, Christopher Doungel in his chamber.

The meeting which was also attended by representatives of the state power department, NEEPCO, CRPF, BSF and 1st IRB chalked out the company strength to be stationed at each post, the source said.

The Union minister for power laid the foundation stone of the proposed 162.8 metres high dam which is to be built at an estimated cost Rs. 6714 crores in December 2006 amidst strong objections from various civil organizations based in the state.

The dam is to be constructed on the confluence of the River Tuivai and Barak at Tipaimukh in Churachandpur district of Manipur, and will cause big losses and destruction for the people of the surrounding areas, especially the people of Tamenglong, according to civil organizations like the Action Committee on Tipaimukh project and the Citizens Concern on Dams and Development.

The construction of this dam has been controversial since various civil organizations based in the state opposed the dam and are still campaigning against the construction of the same.

There were also instances of destroying of soil survey equipments at the proposed dam site and threats to the life of the officials and workers by miscreants in the recent times. Even the officials and labourers had left the place fearinf for their lives. However, work resumed after deployment of security forces in the area.

A total area of 286.20 sq. km will be submerged forever by the dam.

Barak waterfalls and Zeilad Lake, which are connected with the history of the Zeliangrong people, will be forever underwater and all folklores and legends will have no monumental proof for the next generation. More than 40,000 people will also be rendered landless.

Eight villages situated in the Barak valley will be completely submerged. More than 90 villages mostly of Tamenglong district will be adversely affected. About 27,242 hectares of cultivable land will be lost.

The township of Nungba sub-division headquarters and the village along the NH-53 will be severely affected. The dam will cause health hazards, water borne diseases, industrial pollution and other environmental and ecological problems due to increase of water surface.

With increase in salinity of ground water it will be unsafe for drinking thereby causing a lot of problems for the people.

Possibility of frequent occurrence of destructive earthquakes in the area has already been made known, the bodies said while also alleging that the decision was taken without proper ecological studies.

Consequent displacement and destruction of the people by implementing the project will pose a grave threat to the people’s right to live.

The project once installed will submerge the exotic flora and fauna and rich gene pools as Manipur falls under one of the enetic hot spot zones of the world where rare biodiversity resources exist. There will be problem of displacement, resettlement, rehabilitation, repatriation and development issues also, the bodies said.

On the other hand, the project is targeting to generate 1500 MW. Out of this, Manipur will get 182 MW or 406 million units of electricity free of cost, which is 12 percent of the total power generation.

Source: http://ifp.co.in/FullStory.asp?NewsID=2766


About Zou Sangnaupang Pawlpi Delhi

Zou Students' Association Delhi Branch
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