IMPHAL, March 15 � Dam-affected villagers and environmentalists in Manipur have urged the State Government to stop the Mapithel dam construction besides demanding a free flow of rivers including Thoubal river.
The decisions of the villagers were reaffirmed during the observation of International Rivers Day at Chadong village, beside Thoubal river, about 30 km from Imphal on Saturday.
The observation was held under the aegis of Mapithel Dam Affected Villages Organisation (MDAVO), Citizens Concern for Dams and Development (CCDD) and Campaign for Peoples Goals for Sustainable Development.
MDAVO chairman Sakhathan alleged that Mapithel dam was constructed forcibly without taking prior consent of affected communities. Informing that the government has started blocking the Thoubal river in the current month to complete the dam construction, MDAVO�s advisor Thanmi Kashung alleged it has led to submergence of prime agriculture land and forest areas in Louphoung and Chadong village.
Stating that the Mapithel dam will submerge Chadong village in Monsoon season, he said the villagers will become refugees in their own land unless the blockade of the river is stopped.
Co-Chairperson of CCDD Aram Pamei alleged that the Government of Manipur is insensitive to the land rights, livelihood and survival issues of the indigenous communities on the Thoubal river.