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Communities call to revoke 60 MW Irang dam plan

IMPHAL: A community meet cum tentative programme on protection of land and environment held today at Taobam (Irang) Village in Tamenglong District has adopted certain strong resolutions including revoking of the MoU signed between Government of Manipur and NEEPCO to construct a 60 MW Irang Multipurpose Hydroelectric Project.

The community meet cum tentative programme was organised by the Irang Area Village Authorities, Citizens Concern for Dams and Development (CRA) and Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur.

The gathering resolved to make Irang river flow free, stop construction of the project and disallow any development project in Irang river without people’s consent.

It is said that the Government of Manipur and NEEPCO signed the MoU to construct the multipurpose hydroelectric project in Irang river in 2010.The proposed site of the project is located near Taobam (Irang) village and the project envisages constructing a 104 metre high earthen dam across Irang river.

The power house is to be constructed at the feet of the dam with an installed capacity of 60 MW having four units of 15 MW each. The Electricity Department had notified that survey and investigation of the project has been almost completed except for balance geological investigation works. GSI Shillong is undertaking the balance work of geological investigation.  Before adopting the resolutions, several resource persons spoke on various topics at the programme.

Professor Amarjit Gurumayum of JNU asserted that the North East region witnessed a huge impact in its natural resources in the last 15-20 years due to the changing development policy of the Central Government. The policy identifies North East as the region which is rich in natural resources, he added.

He said that India changes its perception towards North East region in the last 15-20 years though the region has been considered as a conflict prone area in the past.

India follows a new economic policy in the last 15-20 years with emphasis given on more production of domestic products to minimize its import for domestic requirements.


It resulted in formation of a design to exploit more natural resources in the region, he elaborated. He claimed that the design is an anti-people step as the demand for extraction of natural resources from the region like oil exploration does not come out from the dwellers.  The design only aims at empowering oil companies to earn more profit, the professor observed.  He contended that India tries to become a regional super power in terms of energy among the neighbouring countries of Asia with exploitation of natural resources in North East.

He noted that India’s Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 plans to invest huge investment in oil exploration in North East India. Secretary of CRA Jiten Yumnam underscored the need to assess and analyse the worst impacts on existing dams in the State and its functioning.

He maintained that many of the existing dams, like Khuga dam are not functioning although several villages have been submerged and lost their agricultural lands and livelihood due to the construction of dams.

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