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Hmar Students Association vows to stop Tipaimukh dam 'at any cost'

Monday, January 30, 2012

/ Published by Simon L Infimate
SILCHAR: Hmar Students Association (HSA), a powerful student's body in Manipur, has threatened to stop the implementation of proposed 1500 MW Tipaimukh Multipurpose Hydro-electric Project near the Manipur-Mizoram border, 500 metre downstream from the confluence of the Barak and Tuivai rivers "at any cost".

Talking to a group of Silchar and Dhaka-based journalists at Tipaimukh village in Churachandpur district of Manipur, nearly 140 km from here, the HSA activists, who were visibly angry with the government and those supporting the proposed 162.80 metre-high rockfill dam, said they are ready to give their blood, but they would not allow the dam to be contructed in their village.

"We have been on an awareness drive in the six or seven villages adjacent to Tipaimukh against the ills of the dam. The villagers are on a constant vigil to stop any officials from visiting of the project site in this area. Although there's no sign of the project here till now, we are leaving no stone unturned to stop it," said Ringa Khabru, a member of HSA.

The Hmar students' activists said if the dam is constructed here, thousands of tribal people will lose their habitats and livelihoods. "They will lose everything - the traditional land, culture, economy and the nature surrounding us. We don't have faith in the promises of rehabilitation made by the government. We believe that the governments both at the Centre and in Imphal understand our sentiment and will not come forward to implement the project," an HSA activist said.

The Tipaimukh hydro-electric project is set to be implemented as a joint venture with the equity participation of the NHPC and Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd (SJVNL). The MoEF cleared the project on October 10, 2008. Work for forest clearance is in progress while the completion cost of the project is estimated at Rs 9,211 crore. The project was expected to take 87 months for completion and would come up during the 12th five year plan.

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