The People’s Committee on Restoration of Loktak and its Associate Wetland, Manipur has decried the extension of National Hydroelectric Power Cooperation’s related work on Loktak Lake for another 25 years.
Speaking to the media on Sunday at Manipur Press Club, convenor of the association Soibam Tomba Singh said that the Power Corporation was commissioned in 1993 but it is yet to give any benefit to the people. The Corporation has only affected the villagers living in and around the Loktak.
He alleged that the authority concerned has failed to consult the state government with the people. The Association will organise a public convention on December 10 to decide the people’s stand against the extension, he informed. He also asked for the production of a white paper on the development works carried out by the Loktak Development Authority after its establishment till now.
It may be recalled that People for Animals, PFA Manipur had declared that the extension of the Loktak Power project for another 25 years by the NHPC was “unauthorised.”
PFA Manipur had stated in a release that it filed an RTI application demanding concrete answers on LDA and nature of work. It asserted that the Loktak power project which was commissioned 35 years ago completed on May 31, 2023. However, the work to extend the project for another 25 years was carried out by the NHPC without consulting the state departments, PFA had alleged.
It highlighted the adverse environmental impacts unleashed by the project including phumdi proliferation, endangering Sangai and other wildlife and birds, massive displacement of the Meitei people, effects on the ecosystem, which raised public concerns. It added that the public have been pushing for decommissioning the project.
It expressed discontentment that the NHPC allegedly attempted to extend the project amidst the impacts the project has caused to the people and the environment without apprising the LDA and state Forest, Environment department.
It mentioned that LDA chairman M Asnikumar repeatedly wrote to the Ministry and PMO regarding the issue, following which the Ministry convened a meeting on November 23, 2023. It added that the chairman and Manipur PCCF cum chief wildlife warden S Chhabra condemned the unauthorised renovation and modernization of the project, all the while thanking them for raising their voice.
PFA Manipur is awaiting NHPC’s answers to their questions and asserted that it will launch actions along with the people to save the endangered Sangai and Loktak Lake, it added.