Asserting that Mapithel Dam has forfeited the right to life of a large number of people, UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing and Land Rights Miloon Kothari has called for an immediate halt to the dam construction work. Speaking to media persons at Manipur Press Club here today, Miloon Kothari remarked that the negative impacts of the dam far outweigh its positive sides. The negative impacts of Mapithel Dam have become a bane for a large number of people. Women and children are the two vulnerable groups who have been affected the most. The Government need to take up immediate relief measures. However, even as the condition of the affected people have been growing worse, the State Government has been paying little attention, Kothari said.
The affected people had submitted a representation to the Prime Minister seeking immediate intervention. Housing and Land Rights Network, Delhi director Shivani Chaudhuri observed that a large number of women and children have been severely affected by Mapithel Dam. A large number of people have been victimised for a prolonged period in the name of development projects. The authorities must give a clear account of how many people have been affected by Mapithel Dam and how many affected people have been rehabilitated.Shivani said that she would like to know from the officials concerned how much money has been spent on Mapithel Dam, the construction of which has been going on for years.
Mapithel Dam Affected Villages organisation (MDAVO) chairman Dominic Kasung said that they have resolved to oppose the State Government’s decision to commission the dam in September. He said that the State Government has not been paying any attention to the Prime Minister’s office, Ministry of Power and the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights who asked the State Government not to commission the dam. There are also many works which need to be completed before the dam is commissioned, Dominic said.