IMPHAL, March 17: The Government of Manipur has deceived the people of Churachandpur as well as central leaders including Sonia Gandhi, chairperson UPA, opined the Joint Action Committee on Khuga Multipurpose purpose project.
The JAC made the statement while expressing their discontentment over the breaching of a left side canal of the Khuga Multipurpose Project barely four months after it was inaugurated by the UPA chairperson during her November 2010 visit to the state.
The recent breach of the left canal is reported to be the third such instance since its inception.
A portion of the left side canal between Lingsiphai and Tangmual, breached an opening of about 40 feet wide all of sudden yesterday morning. The opening has resulted in submerging of some paddy fields of the nearby area with mud. Moreover cracks have started to appear in both sides the banks of the canal indicating possibilities for more such unwanted events.
“It is very fortunate that the incident occurred during the lean season of the water volume or else the incident could have been a lot more catastrophic” said a member of the JAC.
On the other hand, another portion of the left canal at Kawnpui area, a densely populated area, which was breach in the month of February 9 opening a gap of about 30 feet wide, still remained unattended and exposed.
Reports said that the area was first breached on December 8 last. Subsequently it was repaired. But the said canal banks crumbled again on February 9.
The JAC member informed that the canal remain defunct almost all the time. Whenever the water is release the canal shows its failure posing a threat to the whole project and also to the people.
A separate press briefing was also held in this connection by the JAC at its office today. While speaking to media persons Lun S. Gangte, secretary of the JAC, said that the state government has deceived the public of Churachandpur, central leaders including Sonia, who inaugurated the project on the November 12, by cooking up a baseless statement that the project have adequate water in the reservoir of Khuga Dam project both for water and irrigation, besides informing that seventy percent of the installment of work of power component has also been completed and the project has started giving benefits for the people of Churachandpur.
But on the contrary the people here have lost their faith and expect none of the three assured components which included irrigation, drinking water and power with the frequent failure of the canal, said Lun S. Gangte. He said that the JAC are not against the building of the dam and is only demanding the completion of necessary pending works related to the dam.
Lalpu Hangsing, chairman JAC, further pointed out that apart from the flaws of the canal, the JAC had earlier detected cracks at the spillways also.
He alleged that the motive of the politicians for taking up major dam and developmental projects in the sate is only to generate funds from central government ignoring peoples’ interest, adding the JAC would not sit as a silent spectator on the matter.
The JAC pointed out that the project was sanctioned by the Planning commission in 1980 fro an estimated cost of 15 crore. The project is also included in the prime minister package announced during his visit to Manipur. And the Hydro Power component was separately sanctioned by the Planning commission (power and energy division) in 1983 for an estimated cost of 1.23 crore and revised to 16.88 crore.