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Last service before being submerged

By Correspondent
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IMPHAL, July 27 - Chadong villagers in Manipur�s Ukhrul district on Saturday congregated in the Chadong Baptist Church to participate in the last worship service before the church is submerged by the waters of Mapithel dam of Thoubal multipurpose project water. The entire village is to go under water.

A profound sense of sadness envelopes the village now that one of the oldest churches in Manipur, would go under water and disappear.

�We have taken a resolution that the Board of Deacons of Chadong Baptist Church will approach all doors available for justice,� stated the Pastor of the Church, Reverend L Ningthar, in a press release.

�We also urge all Church bodies to take note of this obliteration of a Church without due process and help defend the sanctity of a Church,� the release added.

It is alleged that the Church authority or the Board of Deacons were not informed about the dam construction or the recent rise in the water level. Also there were no provisions of alternate space to build the church. The villagers have also expressed concern over the alleged �serious and grave violation of the religious and cultural rights of the people.�

�We urge the Government of Manipur to immediately safeguard and protect the existing churches and associated buildings until new places of worship are constructed for the villages under submergence,� the release said. The newly-constructed Chadong Government High School has also been submerged substantially.

Meanwhile, the people living in the upstream areas have expressed strong resentment against the authority�s failure to give due information before the dam gates were closed.

Chadong villagers expressed strong suspicion that the government decided to speed up the dam construction work based on an alleged one-sided report which says that seepage of water may exacerbate if the dam construction work is not completed soon.

The villagers further alleged that the claim of the government that 95 per cent of the compensation have been paid to the villagers was �only on government files.� The ground realities need re-examination, they said.

The students of Chadong and other villages affected by Mapithel Dam have urged the State Education Minister to make an alternative arrangement to continue classes for the students of affected villages as they are on the verge of losing an academic year.

The 66 metre high Mapithel dam, built on the Thoubak river in Ukhrul district, aims to provide 10 million gallons of water daily to Imphal, irrigation facility to 17,500 hectares of land, besides generating 7.5 MW of power. The dam is now in the process of submerging more than 1,000 hecatares of paddy field and forest cover.

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Last service before being submerged

IMPHAL, July 27 - Chadong villagers in Manipur�s Ukhrul district on Saturday congregated in the Chadong Baptist Church to participate in the last worship service before the church is submerged by the waters of Mapithel dam of Thoubal multipurpose project water. The entire village is to go under water.

A profound sense of sadness envelopes the village now that one of the oldest churches in Manipur, would go under water and disappear.

�We have taken a resolution that the Board of Deacons of Chadong Baptist Church will approach all doors available for justice,� stated the Pastor of the Church, Reverend L Ningthar, in a press release.

�We also urge all Church bodies to take note of this obliteration of a Church without due process and help defend the sanctity of a Church,� the release added.

It is alleged that the Church authority or the Board of Deacons were not informed about the dam construction or the recent rise in the water level. Also there were no provisions of alternate space to build the church. The villagers have also expressed concern over the alleged �serious and grave violation of the religious and cultural rights of the people.�

�We urge the Government of Manipur to immediately safeguard and protect the existing churches and associated buildings until new places of worship are constructed for the villages under submergence,� the release said. The newly-constructed Chadong Government High School has also been submerged substantially.

Meanwhile, the people living in the upstream areas have expressed strong resentment against the authority�s failure to give due information before the dam gates were closed.

Chadong villagers expressed strong suspicion that the government decided to speed up the dam construction work based on an alleged one-sided report which says that seepage of water may exacerbate if the dam construction work is not completed soon.

The villagers further alleged that the claim of the government that 95 per cent of the compensation have been paid to the villagers was �only on government files.� The ground realities need re-examination, they said.

The students of Chadong and other villages affected by Mapithel Dam have urged the State Education Minister to make an alternative arrangement to continue classes for the students of affected villages as they are on the verge of losing an academic year.

The 66 metre high Mapithel dam, built on the Thoubak river in Ukhrul district, aims to provide 10 million gallons of water daily to Imphal, irrigation facility to 17,500 hectares of land, besides generating 7.5 MW of power. The dam is now in the process of submerging more than 1,000 hecatares of paddy field and forest cover.

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