Mr. Baorei Kamsuan, Thoubei Secy, speaking in the meeting he highlighted that since the people have been experiencing a negative impact of the developmental projects in the village due to the construction of railway track. Prior to the construction of the railway track large number of people inhabited in the area were given false promise in the name of providing jobs in every house hold, construction of schools, water system, etc, however, till date the people are fooled by these developmental projects. People living in the area have been restricted from their agricultural land and their livelihoods are threatened due to such projects. As the people living in the hill have not been part of the development and dreaming of the same which was proposed by the companies and the govt, the people excepted without knowing what will happen but now the people are realizing that development projects are to displace the indigenous people in their own land. Likewise the ongoing oil exploration in Manipur will displace many people and their rights on their own land will be snatched by these profit earning companies. Therefore, we should not let it happen again by getting carried away by these false promises by the companies and their agents who are seeking N.O.C in every village. We shall contribute to stop oil exploration in Manipur.
Mr. Makulai Frow, Thoubei Executive, speaking in the meeting he pointed out that there are some villages where the water streams use to be the only water supply for the villages but now the streams got disappeared due to construction of tunnels for the railway track. The interesting part is the companies engaged in the construction work are supplying the water to the villages and told them not to protest against the destruction caused to the natural water supply, the question arises among the villagers that after the completion of the project who will assure the continuous water supply for the villagers. Likewise the rivers, streams, lakes, and other water bodies will be disappeared due to developmental projects. As the people affected by the railway project experienced the pollution of Erang Rivers and other small streams connected to the Erang River due to the deposition of unknown waste materials produced from the construction of the railway track. Such type of destruction caused to the natural environment in the name of development cannot be compromised by the indigenous people who are dependent on the natural environment products. Like the issue mentioned above, the people cannot let it happen for the second time, so we should not let the Asian Oil Field Service and the other oil companies to come and destroy our land, forest and river.
In the meeting Mr. Thongchalung from Pongringluang Village, Mr. Dempuilung Mark from Namduanjang , Mr. Benjamin form Okoklong and Mr. Jenison Member of NEDF was also present along with the women societies, students and village elders.
This Press Release was sent by Mr. P Asen, who is a member of Thoubei (Pei), and can be contacted at youthforum(dot)humanrights(at)gmail(dot)com.