JAC demands priority on completing Mapithel dam
IMPHAL, 26th April: There should be no official process to commission the Mapithel dam as there are pending constructions of various components in addition to continuous seepage of water from underneath the earth dam, said chairman of JAC Mapithel Dam Downstream Affected People, Yumlembam Thoiba. Speaking to newspersons on the side-lines of an inspection visit on Wednesday, Thoiba contended that non-adherence to standard construction norms has been the main factor for alarming increase in the number of leakages in the earth dam.
Noting that many villagers settling at the downstream of Thoubal river, where the dam has been constructed, are gripped with fear due to apprehension over possible collapse of the massive structure, he said that in-spite of the dam’s top surface designed to bear weight of vehicles the said portion sinks when one walks on it.
Thoiba also termed construction of the earth dam without segregating the roots as another factor for the leaks. Moreover, there is no sign for construction of the power generation while the tunnelling work for water supply component of the dam is likely to take over two years to complete, he claimed, while reiterating that there is no justification on the part of state government’s plan to inaugurate the project.
While several villages on the upstream of Thoubal river have submerged under the dam water the project has been causing miseries to people residing along the downstream as their source of sustenance on stone and sand quarrying activities have been affected severely, the chairman noted. If at all the government is determined to partially commission the project, then the villagers of Tumukhong, Itham, Laikhong, Keithelmanbi, Nongren, etc., should be ensured metalled approach roads and other basic facilities like healthcare service and electricity, he said.
Thoiba also informed that a memorandum highlighting grievances of the villagers was submitted to the chief minister on April 19 but there is no positive response to address the woes till date.