Mapithel Dam downstream affected people urge for economic package ahead of dam commission

Pothashang News Service : Imphal, February 22, 2018: “How will we survive in this village without water and road? asked the Mapithel Dam downstream affected villagers of Tumukhong Moirangpurel area in meeting held today at the village community hall.

The road condition in this big dam area is miserable. The chief minister visited our village. But nothing has been seen taking up to construct roads. We have appealed him for that. We are totally neglected. How will we survive?, asked Chingakham Ibemhal while talking to the reporters.

She said the past government and the present government are the same. Our grievances are kept aside and set to commission the dam. We don’t have the courage to oppose the commissioning of the dam. But please have a glance to how the people are tolerating the impact of the dam. We can give up our life for our children. The government had assured many times to give economic package to the dam affected people. However, it remains just words. Instead, we the villagers are wrongly blamed in the House while discussing on the cause of the water contamination at Tumukhong Moirangpurel area. Will we be happy?, asked the lady.

When the river water stops flowing where from can we get water for daily use? No sand is procured along the river as the river flow stopped. The vegetation has gone fruitless. The quarrying works have failed. The ministers and the authority should come and see the ground reality before blaming the villagers for the contamination of the river and reveal the reality, said Chingakham Ibemhal.

Mapithel Dam downstream affected people has been urging the government that the communities living in the downstreem of Manipur dam have suffered disproportionately since the blocking of Thoubal River to fill the Mapithel dam reservior since January 2015. The Thoubal River is the main source of Water and livelihood for villages in the downstreem areas such as Tumukhong, Itham, Moirangpurel, Laikhong, Nongpok Keithelmanbi, Nungbrang, Lairongthel etc.The blocking of the Thoubal River has caused immense suffering the communities. A serious impact in downstream affected villages in the immense hardship due to livelihood impacts, especially difficulty of villagers to find sand and stone due to blocking of Thoubal River. The dam has seriously affected the collection of sand and stone and worsened the situation of communities entirely depended on the Thoubal River. This led to impoverishment of communities depending on the river for livelihood.

Due to livelihood difficulties and impoverishment, many families are finding it difficult to support their children’s education. Many children and youths have already dropped out from their education.

Villagers residing in immediate downstream and zero kilometer of the dam, such as Tumukhong Village should be resettled to safer grounds to case the fears. Tension and uncertainly of possible dam break.

The government has so far failed to formulate any alternative arrangement to support the livelihood of villagers in the downstream areas to ensure their survival. The pursuance of Mapithel dam has failed to consider the downstream impact of villages residing along the Thoubal River.

The dam affected villagers narrating these grievances had appealed the government to provide a special package for adequate livelihood support for families of each village affected by Mapithel dam in downstream areas, viz Tumukhong, Itham, Moirangpurel, Laikhong, Nongpok Keithelmanbi, Nungbrang, Leirongthel etc. The government have deaf ears to our voice said, Chingakham Ibemhal.

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