IMPHAL, March 25: Members of 27 Churches denominations of Chandel district have submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister of India through the Deputy Commissioner, Chandel on March 25 to disapprove the proposed construction of the “Chakpi Multipurpose Project” at Chakpikarong.
The Churches denominations members in its memorandum said that Chandel district in Manipur bordering Myanmar has a total geographical area of 3,313 sq. km. with a total population of 1,22,714 living in villages being home of more than 20 different communities with different cultural practices and beliefs, different socio-political aspirations, interest and values.
It accused the Manipur Government of pursuing the construction of a dam at Chakpikarong the Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of the people and said that its major areas of concern were that more than 30,000 members of more than 100 churches of the Forum are within the Submerged, Canal and catchment areas in an area of 700 sq.kms. covered by both the Upstream arid-Downstream projects who will be displaced and severely affected.
Pointing out that the project’s main aim is to divert the water from Chakpi River and irrigate 9495 hectares in Thoubal District throughout the year from January to December to facilitate multiple cropping and improve the economic life of the people there at the cost of indigenous tribal people and their land in Chandel district, it said that this might trigger ethnic conflict between the two districts.
“There is a grave danger of demographic impact from the influx of non-indigenous population of laborers and workers manning the project which at peak will reach 26,054 according to the report of the Govt. This will impact the small numbered indigenous tribal s and they may well be on the brink of losing their culture, custom, religious and unique way of life through mix-marriages, acculturation and assimilation,” it said.