IMPHAL | Dec 15
The Citizens Concern for Dams and Development (CCDD) expressed its grave concern over the pursuance of the chairman and managing director, national hydroelectric power corporation (NHPC) with chief minister N. Biren Singh, for early commencement of the construction of 66 MW Loktak Downstream Hydroelectric Project across the Leimatak River, said a release.
CCDD considers the said NHPC’s pursuance as a complete disregard of the longstanding call of the indigenous peoples of Manipur to commission the Ithai Barrage of the 105 Loktak Multipurpose Hydroelectric Project, in view of the severe environmental impacts and its detrimental effect on the livelihood of communities living in and around the Loktak wetlands, namely, Laphupat Tera Khordak Nongmaikhong, Arong, Ithai Wakokpi, Kumbi, Thanga, etc., it mentioned.
That, NHPC continues to reap maximum benefit at the cost of destroying the livelihood of several communities and devastating Loktak wetlands. The most notable impact being, the submerging of over 83000 hectares of agricultural land, the release added.
Further, the construction and operation of the proposed project on Leimatak River would mean the continued operation of Ithai Barrage for another 40-50 years, which will result in the complete devastation of Loktak wetlands due to the increased sedimentation aggravated by forest loss in the catchment areas of rivers flowing into Loktak wetlands, the release informed.
Lastly, CCDD urged the NHPC, the state government, as well as the central government, to decommission Ithai Barrage as demanded by the people of Manipur, and as recommended by the chief minister and governor of Manipur. That, the destruction of Manipur’s land and resources for the multinational companies should be stopped at the earliest, it added.