Maptihel Dam affected people have threatened to impose bandh on Imphal-Ukhrul and Imphal-Kamjong roads alleging the government’s failure to disburse pending rehabilitation packages.
If the state government fails to release the pending “economic livelihood rehabilitation package” and RR programme on or before December 5, bandh will be imposed from December 7 to 10, JAC against Force Construction of Mapithel Dam and Mapithel Dam Affected Headmen’s, Chiefs’ and Elders’ Organisation (MDAHCEO) said on Wednesday.
Addressing a press conference, MDAHCEO vice president Thanmi alleged that despite repeated requests, the state government failed to address their demands till date. He said that regarding their demands, a talk with the state Water Resource minister was scheduled in March. However, it was postponed in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and held the talk on October 7 last. No consensus was reached in the talk, he said. After the talk, they have submitted memorandums to the concerned authorities of the state government on several occasions. The latest one was submitted on November 20, he added. However, no response comes up till date.
Thanmi then said that around 20 villages were affected by the construction of the dam and the state government has so far released around 70% of the funds meant for economic livelihood rehabilitation package and RR programme.
The JAC and MDAHCEO have been requesting the state government to release the pending amounts at the earliest. However, the state government does not pay heed till date. This has compelled the JAC and MDAHCEO to give the bandh-call, Thanmi added.
If no necessary steps are not taken to address the demands, they will be compelled to launch intense agitations, he said.
“JAC and MDAHCEO have no willingness to resort to such agitations like bandh or any other forms which will disturb normal activities of the general masses in this hard time of pandemic. However, the adamant attitude of the government has compelled us to take the decision of calling bandh”, he added.
Mapithel Dam or Thoubal Multipurpose project was one of the biggest dam projects in Northeast India. The project intended to generate electricity and to supply water for irrigation and drinking was commenced from 1990. The dam has blocked the Thoubal River since January 2015 and has submerged a huge tract of agriculture and forest land.