Public consultation on Tipaimukh Dam in Manipur, India held
The meet affirmed that Tipaimukh dam should not be built over the Barak River due to its enormous scale of impacts on the flora and fauna, natural heritages of Manipur and the threats to the livelihood, survival and human rights of indigenous peoples depending on Barak River.
The Citizens Concern for Dams and Development, North East Dialogue Forum and Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipurco-organized a public meet on “Tipaimukh Dam and Indigenous Peoples Rights” at Manipur Press Club, Imphal on 3 May 2016. The consultation is also organized to discuss visit of the representatives of the National Human Rights Commission in Imphal on Tipaimukh dam from 3-6 May, 2016 and deliberate on the longstanding concerns of Tipaimukh dam. Mr. Jiten Yumnam, Secretary, Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur presented key note in the consultation. Ashen, People Action for Development, Joseph Hmar, ATSUM, Majabung Gangmei, Speaker, Zeliangrong Baudi, U. Nobokishore, NEDF, Phulindro Konsam, Chairman, and Committee on Human Rights spoke as resource persons.
Mr. Joseph Hmar, President, ATSUM shared how Land is life and crucial for indigenous peoples livelihood and survival.The loss incurred by Tipaimukh dam in terms of submergence of peoples land, forest and resources is simply disproportionate to the projected benefits. The aggressive move for Tipaimukh dam construction despite peoples’ objection exposes the ulterior motive of the Government. Development process should be sustainable and people friendly and be pursued with their consent.
Majabung Gangmei, Speaker, Zeliangrong Baudi expressed concern that the aggressive move of the Government of India to build Tipaimukh dam is meant to destroy peoples land and their survival sources.There is underestimation of impacts, especially forest and agriculture land by project proponents. Mr. Ashen, Peoples Action for Development shared how the Tipaimukh dam will involve submergence of huge trace of agriculture land and forest in Tamenglong andChurachandpur District. The Tipaimukh dam will involve felling of 7.8 million trees and 27,000 bamboo columns in Manipur.
Mr. Phulindro Konsam of COHR shared how the Tipaimukh dam is anti-people, anti-environment project. Mr. Nobokishore of NEDF stressed the need to promote alternative energies, Solar, Wind, mini hydel etc, instead of large scale and unsustainable development projects such as Tipaimukh dam.
The participants of the consultation on Tipaimukh dam adopted several resolutions, first to appraise the NHRC officials visiting Manipur to meet all communities affected by the Tipaimukh dam project and their representatives. The second resolution affirmed that the 1500 MW Tipaimukh dam should not be built over the Barak River due to its enormous scale of impacts on the flora and fauna, natural heritages of Manipur and the threats to the livelihood, survival and humanrights of indigenous peoples depending on Barak River.The Ministry of Environment and Forest should revoke the Environment Clearance for Tipaimukh Dam on 24 October 2008 despite community objections in all the five public hearings.
The resolutions further urged the Government to revoke all MoUs signed on Tipaimukh Dam by the Government of Manipur with NEEPCO, NHPC and SJVNL etc and that the dam Tipaimukh HEP should not be constructed without the Free, Prior and Informed Consent of indigenous peoples, as also recommended by UN CERD committee and UN DRIP, 2007. Further affirms indigenous peoples self-determined rights over our land, forest and resources and to develop and define all development priorities in Manipur as also outlined in the UN Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007.
RESOLUTION OF THE PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON “TIPAIMUKH DAM AND FOREST CLEARANCE”, ORGANIZED BY THE CITIZENS’ CONCERN FOR DAMS AND DEVELOPMENT, COMMITTEE ON LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES, COMMITTEE ON THE PROTECTION OF NATURAL RESOURCES IN MANIPUR AND THE ACTION COMMITTEE AGAINST TIPAIMUKH DAM PROJECT HELD AT MANIPUR PRESS CLUB, IMPHAL ON 9 JULY 2013.
The participants of the one day public consultation on “Tipaimukh dam and Forest Clearance” organized by the Citizens Concern for Dams and Development, Committee on Land and Natural Resources, Committee on the Protection of Natural Resources in Manipur and the Action Committee Against Tipaimukh Dam Project, held at Manipur Press Club on 9 July 2013 hereby:
Further affirms indigenous peoples self determined rights over our land, forest and resources and to develop and define all development priorities in Manipur as also outlined in the UN Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007.
Express concern that the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) is meeting on 11-12 July 2013 to consider the proposed 1500 MW Tipaimukh Multipurpose Hydroelectric Project for “Forest Clearance”
Further express concern that for the possible “Forest Clearance”, the FAC of MoEF is relying for reports of a one day aerial survey of officials of Government of India, and also the request from the Government of Manipur and the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation, all of which recommended for felling 7.8 million trees and 27,000 bamboo in Manipur without proper and comprehensive impact assessment due to proposed Tipaimukh dam construction.
Recall that the Ministry of Environment and Forest of the Government of India conceded “Environment Clearance” in October 2008 for the proposed Tipaimukh Dam project despite peoples’ objections in all the five public hearings held from the year 2004 till 2008.
Also recall that an MoU was signed with the Government of Manipur, the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) and Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVNL) on 28th April 2010, reaffirmed on 22nd October 2011, without obtaining the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of all affected communities in Manipur, Mizoram and Assam.
Remind of the recommendations of the UN Committee on the Elimination of All forms of Racial Discrimination in 2011 on Tipaimukh Dam not to construct the dam without the free prior and informed consent of all affected indigenous peoples.
The participants further resolved that:
- The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), Government of India should desist from granting Environment Clearance for the proposed Tipaimukh Multipurpose Hydroelectric Project as this would amount to clear cut violation of the rights of indigenous peoples in Manipur.The FAC of the MoEF should also take cognizance that all Indigenous Peoples of Manipur have full rights over their lands and resources, as also recognized by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007.
- The FAC of the MoEF should refrain from making recommendations for Compensatory Afforestation as Manipur is such a small State with huge pressure on land and forest already and the forest to be submerged by Tipaimukh HEP is so huge that it is irrational to compensate similar areas in other parts of Manipur with afforestation.The Government of India should ensure that the proposed 1500 MW Tipaimukh HEP is not constructed without the Free, Prior and Informed Consent of indigenous peoples.
- The MoEF should revoke the Environment Clearance Granted for Tipaimukh Dam in October 2008 based on the stern objections by the affected communities in all the five public hearings from 2004 till 2008.
- The MoEF should recommend that the proposed Tipaimukh dam should adhere to the recommendations of the World Commission on Dams, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples and the recommendations from the UN CERD Committee in 2007.
- The MoEF should recommend revoking all MoUs signed on Tipaimukh Dam by the Government of Manipur with NEEPCO, NHPC and SJVNL etc.