13 injured during protest against dam const

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Imphal, Nov 8 (UNI) Altogether 13 women were seriously injured in a police crackdown during a sit-in-protest by the affected villagers of Mapithel Dam here recently.

The affected villagers of Mapithel Dam (Thoubal Multipurpose Project), supported by several associations, had organised the protest demanding the complete review of the project.

A senior member of the committee protesting the construction, R Kasar, here today informed that the Dam is 66 metres high and 1074 metres long. It was approved by the Planning Commission in 1980 for construction without the prior and informed consent of the affected villages along the Mapithel Valley.

The construction of Mapithel Dam has failed to listen to the call of affected people for a systematic and detailed environment impact assesment and in setting up rehabilitation and resettlement arrangement acceptable to all, he said.

''The dam is outdated, and does not fit into a proper planning and sustainable design,'' he added.

It would submerge as many as 11 tribal villages, including their paddy field and other lands and its natural resources.

The total area of 1215 hectares to be submerged by the reservoir consists of community forestland of 595 hectares.

At the downstream areas, 14 villages would be affected.

The government and project authority has violated even the agreed terms and conditions of 1993, further disrespecting survival issues of affected people, he stated.

The construction of Mapithel Dam has been marred with corruption and abuse of local people deployed to construct the dam, Mr Kasar alleged.

The villagers have decided to demand formation of an Expert Review Committee at the earliest to review the entire aspect of the implications and impact of Mapithel Dam to redress their grievances.


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