“Riha village school students leaving school as Mapithel Dam water rises”

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IMPHAL, April 20: A large number of students are leaving the United Christian Academy (UCA) located in Riha village, Ukhrul district due to apprehensions after the water level of the Mapithel dam rose recently.

Due to the flocking away of the students, the building of the school which is the only government recognized high school in the Mapithel valley since the last 13 years have become a lifeless mansion, according to the Mapithel Dam Affected Villagers Organisation.

Expressing concern, the organisation said that the school is located in the perfect environment for the students as the area is free from any general strikes or bandhs.

A spokesperson of the organisation said the school has so far produced around 270 matriculates since it came to existence in 2003.

It is the only institution where the poor families could afford supporting their children’s education with a minimum cost, he said.

But to the total dismay of those poor families, the ingression of dam water they experienced in the previous year compelled them to migrate to other safer place leading to the complete defunct of the institution, the organisation said.

MDAVO further expressed a serious concern that, besides closing down of the school, many houses have been destroyed and forest & its resources in and around the school campus have been depleted for fear of losing in the water rising.

Additionally, the current rise of dam water has cut off the water pipeline of the school campus, parts of the water GI pipeline of Ramrei has gone beneath the water and water lines of Riha and Thoyee villages have no guarantee whether the GI pipes can sustain inside the water and calls for assurance from the project proponent, it said.

Finally, Govt should take up assessment of the loss and damage caused to the affected area last year and its mandatory to take up precautionary measures assuring that water GI pipes could sustain even beneath water reservoir before the onset of monsoon rain, it said.

MDAVO lamented that, if drinking water lines of the affected villagers are cut off, coupled with the shortage of foodstuff that already prevails in the area, the region will become a complete famine, where water thirsty human being nearby a big water reservoir could happen.

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