IMPHAL, Oct 20 - Villagers of a submerged hill village in Ukhrul district bordering Imphal East and Thoubal districts due to the closure of a dam under a multipurpose project are demanding a comprehensive resettlement policy with immediate effect.
The villagers of submerged Chadong, representing the Kasar, Kashung, Mahong and Mungva clans, said that their houses and belongings, besides large agricultural fields, were submerged in June and July due to the closure of the dam on January 10 this year.
�Our village has been fully submerged and this has created tremendous hardships due to the improper resettlement policy,� said Ramthing Kasar representing the Kasar clan of Chadong village. �The Government should maintain a living standard for the villagers.�
In the submerged Chadong village, no basic amenities including water supply, electricity, health care centres, etc., are available. Even the children have stopped going to schools as the educational institutions have been inundated.
�Besides facing various kinds of seasonal diseases, we have to pay Rs 100 instead of Rs 30 to reach the nearest commercial centre at Yaingangpokpi,� chairman Raymond Mahong representing the Mahong clan told media persons during an interaction on Monday.
The four clans of the village take the lead in public matters as most of the village bodies are allegedly fractured due to various factors. It is reported that some households took compensation of Rs 14 lakh each, while around 130 households have refused to claim it. The Chadong village has a population of around 1,400.
The villagers alleged that the Government�s claim that 95 per cent compensation has been paid to them exists �only on government files.� The ground realities need re-examination, the villagers felt. �We are demanding a comprehensive relief and rehabilitation package. The Government should make immediate arrangements for food, shelter, health, education and electricity till the rehabilitation process is complete, stated a press release jointly signed by the representatives of all four clans of the village.
The 66-metre high Mapithel dam, built on the Thoubal river in Ukhrul district, aims to provide 10 million gallons of water daily to Imphal and irrigation facilities to 17,500 hectares of land, besides generating 7.5 MW of power. The dam has submerged a large area of paddy fields and forests.