Chadonang villagers cry foul against government in compensation distribution for dam displaced families

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IMPHAL, April 28: Chadonang villagers today demanded that the government should chalk out a way to pump out the water which has submerged their fields due to the closing of Mapithel Dam Watergates.

They have also demanded that the government should properly decide on the re-settlement issue of the affected upstream families.

A media team today visited some paddy fields which had been submerged after the waterways of the dam were blocked.

Speaking to media persons, a villager Ksh David said the government is yet to complete compensation distribution even though an agreement was signed earlier with the villagers.

Violating the terms of the agreement, the government has started evacuating villagers with the explanation that water level is rising and submerging the villages, he said.

We have no desire to give our land, but only in the interest of the people and the developmental work taken up by the government, we had decided to sacrifice our land, he said.

All that the people was hoping for was the government to atleast honour their side of the agreement, instead of violating the rights of the people, he continued.

Highlighting some points of the agreement signed with the government, he said it was agreed upon that the compensation amount will be distributed in two phases and if there were any delay than the government will pay a 12 percent interest rate extra.

Now, the compensation has been distributed for atleast six-seven phases but it is not yet completed, he claimed.

The government is now trying to evacuate the villages forcibly using police forces, he continued.

Being the guardian of the Manipuri people, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh should atleast show some sympathy towards the grievances of the upstream villagers affected by the Mapithel Dam construction, he stated.

A farmer, Senghao Kasum charged that the government has not come forth to settle the issue of their resettlement.

We are farmers and our land has been submerged in water, they said.

Condemning the government`™s negligence, one of the farmers said one day the farmers and their children will raise their voices and then the government will have no solution.

Citing that their future is in grave danger, he said students are unable to concentrate on their studies.

If the children groom to be anti-social, no one other than the government should be blamed, he warned.

The government needs to consider the villagers as humans and not animals he said and continued that the attitude of the present government cannot bring any good consequence in the future.

Another villager who identified himself as Dominic said blocking the waterways of the dam without even settling the affected villagers amount to violation of human rights by the government.

He said around 100 hector of field have been submerged already and the villagers will face food scarcity next year. This is only creating apprehension and fear psychology among the villager, he continued.

At the same time, the villagers, he said, have pledged that even if their homestead gets submerged they will not move from there until the government fulfills the agreement signed earlier.

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