Road construction around Singda Dam worries locals

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IMPHAL, July 25: The Singda Dam located on atop of Kangchup Hill, a multi-purpose project run under the Irrigation and Flood Control Department (IFCD), Government of Manipur and which has been providing valuable benefits to people residing in and around the place since 1974-75 is now giving cause for concern to the people of the area.

The apprehension was expressed by villagers of the area to a team of reporters who went to the dam on an inspection visit.

The villagers informed that officials of the State Government using heavy machinery like Bulldozer, JCB, Proclain etc has started constructing a vast roadway on the dam’s western and southern hills, thereby posing an eminent danger for the dam’s survival.

The said road which is a double lane is being constructed by carving out the hill slope adjoining the dam and for which plants and trees growing on hills slope and a huge quantity of mud have immersed inside the dam water which in turn is posing a serious threat not only to the dam but also to the ecological balance.

Moreover, there is also possibility of the water level plunging to a large extent due to the sudden changes in the dam’s features.

The ongoing works on construction of the new roadway is for a seven km stretch from Kharam Vaiphei Village to Singda Water Treatment Plant.

The media team also witnessed the dismantling of the Water treatment plant chowkidar and a large storeroom being dismantled as the road has been constructed passing through the Water Treatment Plant campus.

Above this, the team also witnessed cutting down of a large number of trees growing inside the Water Treatment Plant.

Notably, the whole location where the road is being constructed and the places where the plants and trees are being destroyed are located inside the catchment area of the Singda Dam.

Taking serious note over the sudden changes in the natural and ecological status of the dam, the villagers have questioned the motive behind the construction of the new roadway.

The villagers further stated that there are around 62/63 houses residing in Kharam Vaiphei Village and that the chief of the village has been rendering auction works of certain area inside the catchment area of the dam for selling stones and trees every year on regular basis.

Saying that works of cutting trees in order to make coal is also taking place in the area, the villagers conceded that such kind of illegal works would bring a catastrophic state to the already worsening condition of the dam.

In view of the drastic changes and other potential threats because of the dam, the villagers have sought the intervention of the government to curb the damages and threats adding that if the concerned authorities do not act swiftly in time, the dam would lead to major calamities.

Nonetheless, the change in the condition of the water of the dam are also clearly palpable. In earlier times, i.e in the rainy season of June-July month, the water of the dam used to overflow through the spillway. Now, even as the month of July has come near its end, the water of the dam could not reach the spillway, the villagers rued.

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