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SIPHRO Press Release on Tipaimukh Dam

Friday, July 15, 2011

/ Published by Simon L Infimate


July 15, 2011

The Sinlung Indigenous Peoples Human Rights Organisation (SIPHRO) is deeply concerned by the recent statement of the new Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD) of North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd., (NEEPCO) who alleged that environmentalists and NGOs are misleading the people on the proposed 1500 MW Tipaimukh Dam project. The allegation and the government's plan to forcefully go ahead with the proposed Mega Dam project despite peoples objection clearly reflects the insensitivity and indifference of the Government and NEEPCO on the issue of environmental justice and sustainable development of the indigenous peoples in the region.

The government and NEEPCO are instead misleading the public on the proposed destructive project through false promises, militarisation, staged and restrictive public hearings that were held without free, prior and informed consents of the indigenous peoples.

The insensitivity and indifference of the government and NEEPCO are absolutely inhumane, undemocratic and unconstitutional. The peaceful co-existence and survival of the indigenous peoples who, otherwise, are marginalised, with their rivers, land and natural resources is more important than the loose wagging tongue and blind adventurism of a career-minded CMD, who is foreign to us, our land and rivers, our lives and our survival prospects.

A dictated and imposed project will forever stand against the intent and spirit of any democracy. It will never stand to be acceptable nor palatable to the people who represents and constitute the heart of democracy.

It should be noted that:

  1. The indigenous peoples who will be directly and indirectly affected by the Tipaimukh Dam project were already left out and marginalized by the proposed project. As a result, they are unaware of the adverse impacts the project would have on them.

  2. The democratic process for delivering “free, prior and informed consent” was totally absent. Moreover, there is no “active, free and meaningful” participation from the public.

  3. There is no identification of the people who would be affected by the project.

  4. There is no recognition of the survival and cultural uniqueness of the indigenous peoples who, along with their land and resources, will be affected.

  5. Monetary compensation was employed by the implementing agencies and dam builders as a method to win the consent and approval of the indigenous peoples in their pursuit to build the dam.

  6. There is no culturally appropriate development plan based on full consideration of the options preferred by the indigenous peoples.

  7. Nothing about the proposed project is transparent or made accessible to the public.

  8. The project is absent of any social assessment process.

  9. There is no assessment of the legal status of the indigenous peoples as reflected in the Country’s constitution and legislation.

  10. The adverse impacts of the Tipaimukh Dam project, whether short term or cumulative, have been seriously under-estimated.

  11. Monetary compensation should never be employed to reduce and alienate the indigenous peoples from their land, rivers and natural resources.

  12. The Fundamental Rights of the people, along with their land rights, who will be affected by the leviathan project, should never be under-estimated. It shall remain to be Fundamental for all purposes.

In view of the above, SIPHRO reiterated its demand that:

  1. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) inked between NHPC, Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVN) and Manipur Government is without the knowledge, consent, confidence, and approval of the Hmar people and as such be declared null, void and invalid.

  2. The government and the implementing agencies immediately and comprehensively adopt the recommendations of the World Commission on Dams (WCD).




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