Updated 15 Mar 2022, 3:02 am
Nungleiband Village Authority has expressed concern with the plans to build the 70 MW Nungleiband Dam and the 66 MW Loktak Downstream Hydro project over the Leimatak River. The detailed impacts of proposed dams over the Leimatak River have not been provided to the people and the loss of land for dam building will cause intergenerational impacts, they said.
Representing people of Nungleiband village, Nungleiband Village Authority member, Namshadei Kamei expressed concern while addressing the gathering of the International Rivers Day celebration.
The Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur (CRA) and the Nungleiband Village Authority celebrated the International Rivers Day at Nungleiband Village, Noney District, on Monday with the theme “Let us Protect our Rivers for Sustainable Development”.
The celebration aims to foster the intrinsic relationship of indigenous communities with their rivers, forest and land.
Secretary, CRA, Jiten Yumnam shared the importance of the river in sustaining the livelihood and cultures of indigenous peoples of Manipur. Rivers provided water, fish, sand and stone and sustained indigenous agriculture. Rivers also connect communities and protecting the forest, land and fostering a sustainable development is key to project the rivers, he said.
Secretary, Lu Phuam Society, Pinjang, Part IV, Ramthailiu Gangmei, while expressing concern with proposed plan to build Nungleiband dam over the Leimatak River, shared the Khoupum dam in Tamenglong district lies defunct without providing any benefit to the people.
The discharge of waters from Loktak power station of the 105 MW Loktak Hydro project on Leimatak River affected fishing, collection of sand and livelihood dependence on the river, including women’s access to the river.
Themson Jajo, Environmentalist, shared that people affected by Mapithel Dam realized the importance of Thoubal River once the river is submerged by the Mapithel Dam reservoir. The people along Leimatak River should learn from the experience of people who lose their land and livelihood due to Mapithel dam, Loktak dam, Khuga dam, Khoupum dam etc. Rivers are the Gift of God, passed on by our ancestors and it’s our duty to protect them to pass on to the next generation in good health.
Environmentalist Gunrei shared how unsustainable development, such as large dam projects are pursued over Irang, Barak, Leimatak Rivers etc without the recognition of rights of the people.
Associate Professor, JNU University, Amarjit shared that large Dams caused social division within affected communities. Dam building fostered corruptive practices and unleashed poverty among affected communities. The compensation provided can never compensate for the loss of land and intergenerational relationship with land and Rivers.
“Our rivers & land cannot be considered as a source of corporate profit”, said Amarjit.
The participants of the celebration of the International Rivers Day affirmed to protect the rivers and to ensure the unhindered flow of all rivers of Manipur.
The government should revoke all MoUs planned to build large dams, such as the 66 MW Loktak downstream project, the 70 MW Nungleiband dam etc and further to decommission Ithai Barrage. The International Financial Institutions should stop financing dams like the Loktak downstream project in Manipur. Let the Rivers flow free in Manipur, affirmed the participants.
First published:15 Mar 2022, 3:02 am
loktak projectinternational day of riversliematak river