MNS: The Citizens Concern for Dams and Development, North East Dialogue Forum and Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur co-organized a public meet on “Tipaimukh Dam and Indigenous Peoples Rights” at Manipur Press Club, Imphal on 3 May 2016. The consultation is also organized to discuss visit of the representatives of the National Human Rights Commission in Imphal on Tipaimukh dam from 3-6 May, 2016 and deliberate on the longstanding concerns of Tipaimukh dam. Mr. Jiten Yumnam, Secretary, Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur presented key note in the consultation. Ashen, People Action for Development, Joseph Hmar, ATSUM, Majabung Gangmei, Speaker, Zeliangrong Baudi, U. Nobokishore, NEDF, Phulindro Konsam, Chairman, and Committee on Human Rights spoke as resource persons.
Joseph Hmar, President, ATSUM shared how Land is life and crucial for indigenous peoples livelihood and survival.The loss incurred by Tipaimukh dam in terms of submergence of peoples land, forest and resources is simply disproportionate to the projected benefits. The aggressive move for Tipaimukh dam construction despite peoples’ objection exposes the ulterior motive of the Government.
Development process should be sustainable and people friendly and be pursued with their consent. Majabung Gangmei, Speaker, Zeliangrong Baudi expressed concern that the aggressive move of the Government of India to build Tipaimukh dam is meant to destroy peoples land and their survival sources. There is underestimation of impacts, especially forest and agriculture land by project proponents. Ashen, Peoples Action for Development shared how the Tipaimukh dam will involve submergence of huge trace of agriculture land and forest in Tamenglong and Churachandpur District.
The Tipaimukh dam will involve felling of 7.8 million trees and 27,000 bamboo columns in Manipur.
Phulindro Konsam of COHR shared how the Tipaimukh dam is anti-people, anti-environment project.
Nobokishore of NEDF stressed the need to promote alternative energies, Solar, Wind, mini hydel etc, instead of large scale and unsustainable development projects such as Tipaimukh dam.
The participants of the consultation on Tipaimukh dam adoptedseveral resolutions, first to appraise the NHRC officials visiting Manipur to meet all communities affected by the Tipaimukh dam project and their representatives. The second resolution affirmed that the 1500 MW Tipaimukh dam should not be built over the Barak River due to its enormous scale of impacts on the flora and fauna, natural heritages of Manipur and the threats to the livelihood, survival and human rights of indigenous peoples depending on Barak River.The Ministry of Environment and Forest should revoke the Environment Clearance for Tipaimukh Dam on 24 October 2008 despite community objections in all the five public hearings.
The resolutions further urged the Government to revoke all MoUs signed on Tipaimukh Dam by the Government of Manipur with NEEPCO, NHPC and SJVNL etc and that the dam Tipaimukh HEP should not be constructed without the Free, Prior and Informed Consent of indigenous peoples, as also recommended by UN CERD committee and UN DRIP, 2007. Further affirms indigenous peoples self-determined rights over our land, forest and resources and to develop and define all development priorities in Manipur as also outlined in the UN Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007.
Read more / Original news source: http://manipurmail.news/2016/05/04/discussion-on-dam-held/