Work on the Thoubal multipurpose hydel project in Thoubal district has been suspended with immediate effect by the Manipur Forest Department as the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest has not issued forest clearance certificate. Officials, on the condition of anonymity, said that 80 per cent of the project construction has been completed.

Environmentalists have welcomed the latest development. They are also campaigning against the multi-crore Tipaimukh dam, at the junction of Assam, Mizoram and Manipur.

The Thoubal dam will have a height of 65 metres and length of 1020 metres and it will generate 7.5 MW. Apart from irrigation, the dam will also supply 10 million gallons of drinking water everyday to the surrounding districts.

Started in 2006, the project has faced several obstructions from militants and engineers and workers have been forced to flee the construction site.

The project report says around 1215 hectares of land, out of which 595 hectares will be forest areas, will be submerged once the dam is commissioned. .