IMPHAL, May 20: Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh said that the state government will take up various steps and policies with an objective to make the Singda Dam last long and become a tourist destination. The steps include fencing the Singda dam with a brick wall, construction of a big gate at the entrance with security personnel being posted to allow entry of visitors and planting saplings on the slopes of the hills, according to an official statement issued by Chief Minister’s Secretariat, Government of Manipur.
In connection with the steps being taken up by the government, the Chief Minister Okram Ibobi laid the foundation stone for the main gate to be constructed near the Singda Bazar. The Chief Minister said that the tree plantation work will be completed latest by mid July. The construction of the main gate and the fence will be completed within this financial year, it said.
Chief Minister O Ibobi said that IFDC had already awarded the compensations of the landed property for the Singda dam area covering about 500 acres but the lack of fencing around the Singda dam and free movement of the people in the vicinity of the area and animals in and out of the area of the Singda dam and cutting down of trees had led to impinging on the dam. The government has finished estimating the values of standing property and houses and shops located inside the area where the main gate is to be constructed and will remove it if the occupants do not pull down their own houses and shops. Stating that the land is not patta land but the government will award the compensations on the ground of sympathy , he said that actions will be taken up with regard to the land areas following an understanding between the government and people of Ireng Village. The CM also said that adequate security personnel will be detailed to make the area become a safe and secure area with an approach road being constructed around the dam. If necessary, the existing police outpost can be upgraded to a police station.
During the visit, the Chief Minister was accompanied by IFDC Minister Ngamthang Haokip, PHE Minister I Hemochandra, Works Minister Dr. Ratankumar, MLA KH. Debendro and DK Korungthang and other top officials and DCs of Imphal West and Senapati.
Meanwhile, the general public in the vicinity of the Singda dam condemned the move to pull down the living houses of occupants who had inhabited the area before the dam was constructed with the government led by Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh making an effort to revamp the Singda dam. The public welcomed the construction works taken up by the Manipur government so as to improve the conditions of the dam and said they will extend all possible support to the government but they will not accept the government’s step to evict inhabitants of the area for many years. The organizations which expressed dissatisfaction over the government’ move to evict the inhabitants of the area include Ireng Kuilong village, Kadangbam Pt -1 Khul Committee, Ireng Women Society, Singda New Bazar Development committee and Singda Naharol Yaipha Thouni Kanglup.
Members of the organizations further said that the Chief Minister along with his Ministers laid the foundation stone for the dam gate to be constructed near Panthoibi Lampak of Kadangbam Part 1 at around 10.30 a.m.
The inhabitants of the area did not know in advance that the foundation laying ceremony would be held today. The Chief Minister and his entourage came along with the police immediately and the foundation stone was laid by using JCB. The inhabitants said that they felt unhappy.
They asked what policy of the government it was that the gate would be built 100 feet away from the existing gate of the dam. Further, they said that they will not accept the government’s step to pull down the houses of the public living for many years in the vicinity of the Singda dam outside the dam area and will fight against the government’s step.