April 26, 2012
APC joins global call to revoke plans to build Tipaimukh dam
The Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) joins global call to revoke plans to build Tipaimukh dam in Borak River East India.
“We denounce the Government of India for pushing the construction of the proposed 1500 MW Tipaimukh Multipurpose Hydroelectric Project (HEP) across Barak River in Manipur. and within 100km of Bangladesh border. All of the five public hearings on the project held between 2004 and 2008 have ignored the voices of the indigenous Hmar and Zeliangrong communities violating their right to participate in the decision-making processes and the right to their Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC),” remarked Fathima Burnad, APC Chairperson and concurrent leader of the Tamil Nadu Women’s Forum (TNWF).
“The construction of the dam when completed would bring about a major disaster for Bangladesh, virtually drying up the Surma and the Kushiara Rivers in winter season, which water most of the North-Eastern regions of Bangladesh. The dam would hit the people badly,” according to Badrul Alam, APC Vice-chairperson for External Affairs and President of the Bangladesh Krishok Federation (BKF).
Burnad stressed that, “A large number of Zeliangrong and Hmar people in India will be displaced permanently with the submergence of about 311 sq. KM covering 90 villages, affecting an area of nearly 2000 sq. KM.”
Both leaders said, “The project has put at stake the rights of the affected communities to their lands, territories and resources, including their livelihood, traditional knowledge, cultural values and identity.”
Both leaders added that, “ the construction work of the Tipaimukh Dam was postponed in March 2007 due to protests from different parts of Bangladesh and India. We can do it again! Let us intensify our action against the construction of Tipaimukh Dam.”
The APC calls on the Government of India and the Government of Manipur to:
1. Revoke the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Government of Manipur in India and National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) and SatlujJalVidyut Nigam Limited (SJVNL);
2. Fully adhere to the recommendations of the World Commission of Dams and UNDRIP – particularly regarding FPIC – before proceeding with the dam;
3. Conduct holistic Impact Assessment, such as on the socio-economic, environmental, cultural, health and human rights impacts due to the proposed Tipaimukh Dam, oil and petroleum exploration in the Barak River Basin in Manipur , Mizoram, Assam and Bangladesh with due participation of all affected peoples; and
4. Stop all forms of development aggressions and militarization. #
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