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International Rivers Day held

 International Rivers Day at Nungbrung village, under the theme “Let the Rivers Flow Free in Manipur

International Rivers Day at Nungbrung village, under the theme “Let the Rivers Flow Free in Manipur

 

Source: Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL | Mar 14

International Rivers Day was held today at Nungbrung village, Imphal East district under the theme “Let the Rivers Flow Free in Manipur”.  

A press release by president of the Centre for Research and Advocacy Manipur (CRAM), Sanaton Laishram said that the function was organised by the Mapithel Dam Downstream Affected Village Level Committee, the Mapithel Dam Downstream Affected Peoples, CRAM and the Irabot Foundation, Manipur.  

Secretary of CRAM, Jiten Yumnam during the function has shared that rivers of Manipur are targeted to unsustainable development processes such as the construction of hydropower projects that curtailed the free flow of rivers and undermining the survival relationship of indigenous communities.

He stated that mega hydropower projects like 1500 MW Tipaimukh Dam are planned across the rivers of Manipur even as commissioned dams like Khuga Dam, the Khoupum Dam which have failed to fulfil their objectives.

President of Mapithel Dam Downstream Affected Village Level Committee, Khundongbam Bimola, shared that the construction of Mapithel dam destroyed the fragile ecology of Thoubal River and impoverished the affected communities in downstream villages such as Laikhong, Tumukhong, Nungbrung among others, as villagers could no longer collect sand and stone due to the impoundment in the dam reservoir.

A villager from Nungbrung village, Ibetombi Nameirakpam also said that the blockade of the free flow of the Thoubal River since January 2015 by Mapithel dam caused much hardship to the people living along the Thoubal River. The government’s order against the extraction of sand by using machines has further affected the livelihood means and sustainability of the villagers. Therefore, the dam does not have any significance to the locals and hence, the government should restore the river back to its original state. 

Later the villagers, women leaders of Nungbrung, Laikhong and Tumukhong held a symbolic protest along Thoubal river in Nungbrung village urging the state government to ensure free flow of the river. It also urged to stop the commissioning of Thoubal river, to ensure the livelihood of all communities in both upstream and downstream affected by the Mapithel dam.