The anti-dam activists in the North Eastern states have welcomed the rejection of the Tipaimukh dam by the Forest Advisory Committee. However the Union government feels that this could be overcome. In fact India has been in consultation with Bangladesh on the issue of the construction of the dam which will generate 1500 MW out of which Manipur will get 15 per cent free of charge as the host state. The mega dam is set to be constructed at the junction of Mizoram, Assam and Manipur.
All these years Manipur and Mizoram have been objecting to it. However the recurring flood in the Barak valley in Assam shall be controlled and vast areas could be brought under agriculture and horticulture. A consultative meeting on the proposed Tipaimukh hydroelectric power project was held at Manipur Press club on Thursday. Organised by the Union NGO Mission Manipur the speakers pleaded not to construct the dam since Manipur stands to lose in many ways. 27,777.50 hectares of forest will be subjected to diversion. At least 13 tribal villages will be submerged in the dam waters. Some portions of highway 37 will be destroyed. Besides there will be irreparable loss in flora and fauna.
At the end of the meeting ten resolutions were taken. It said, among others, that the recommendation of the World Commission on dams, the UN declarations on the rights of the indigenous peoples should be implemented. Now that the Forest Advisory Committee has rejected the Tipaimukh dam it also called for the revocation of the environment clearance of the mega project given on October 24, 2008.
Meanwhile NGOs and some high officials in Meghalaya are not happy with the statement of Jyotiraditya M. Scindia that 1279 sites have been identified in the NE region for setting up mini hydel projects. 97 of the sites are said to be located in Meghalaya. Ranking officials say that they are not aware of these sites. Some NGOs say that since these sites are believed to be located in private land the owners will not readily cooperate. They said that if the mini hydel projects come up Meghalaya will be submerged.
The speakers in the consultative meeting in Imphal said that since the dam will doom the fate of the posterity and today's generation should do everything to oppose the proposed dam. The Manipur Assembly had also adopted a resolution to oppose the dam since Manipur stands to lose in many ways. However within a few years the Manipur government was prevailed upon to extend cooperation.