Mapithel JAC calls 48-hr bandh over Government apathy

IMPHAL, 24TH Oct: The JAC Against the Forced Construction of Mapithel Dam (AFCMD) and Mapithel Dam Affected Headmen Chief Elders Organisation (MDAHCEO) has declared imposition of 48 hours bandh along Imphal-Ukhrul road and approach road of Mapithel Dam from November 4 midnight to protest alleged government apathy to their demands. Decision to call the bandh was adopted in a meeting convened by the JAC at Shangkai village, Ukhrul district on Wednesday.

The meeting attended by village chiefs and chairmen and representatives of different organisations formed against construction of Mapithel Dam was jointly presided over by JAC convener LM Thanmi, co-convener AC Raising and advocate Akoijam Kebisana.

In their presentations, chiefs and chairmen of the villages affected by Mapithel dam voiced strong condemnations against the state government for the latter’s alleged failure to translate into action various assurances given to the JAC, including economic packages, rehabilitation and resettlement of villagers whose houses and farmland have been submerged by the dam water. According to Thanmi, Chief Minister N Biren had on August 14 assured a JAC delegation that a Memorandum of Understanding would be signed soon between the state government and JAC.

The MoU was aimed at clearing all obstacles in finalisation and implementation of economic packages, rehabilitation and resettlement of villagers affected or submerged by the dam construction. However, there has been no official intimation from the Chief Minister to hold meeting with the JAC and finalise the MoU. This clearly indicates total negligence and non-compassionate attitude of the state government towards the villagers who have been suffering untold miseries due to construction of Mapithel Dam, he said.

Such indifferent attitude and callousness are some factors for the JAC to strongly oppose government’s plan to commission Mapithel Dam, Thanmi maintained. JAC has no other option other than to resort to agitations against the state government and hope that the stir will make authorities concerned to gauge seriousness of the issue and keep the promises made to the JAC, the convener added.

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