NEEPCO condemned for pushing Tipaimukh dam project

Source: The Sangai Express, Northeast India

Imphal, October 15: The Action Committee against Tipaimukh Project (Actip) has strongly condemned ‘another deliberate’ attempt by the North Eastern power Corporation Ltd to push through the project by hosting a meeting of Expert Appraisal Committee on River Valley & hydroelectric Projects scheduled today at Guwahati.

Highlighting that the meeting is being convened to get environmental clearance on the Tipaimukh Project which Actip observed is in violation of all existing international and national norms and in total disregard to laws of the land and people’s concern, the Committee also quoted March 10, 2007 report of the UN CERD that prevailed upon the Govt of India to follow ILO Convention 107.Actip also urged State party to respect and implement right of land ownership, collective or individual, of the tribal people, seek consent of communities that would be affected by construction of dams in the North East, compensate affected people and to provide alternative land and housing facilities.

Further citing UN General Assembly resolution (Dec 12, 1999) that prohibits Govt of India against dam constructions that could imperil indigenous/tribal people, the Actip also doubted composition of the Expert Appraisal Committee on River Valley and hydroelectric Projects saying that neutrality of the panel is questionable.

Opining that the Expert Committee seem to be favouring the NEEPCO’s pursuit as the meeting is being convened in the Guwahati office of the power corporation, Actip questioned purpose of the said meeting by referring to denial of environmental clearance on the proposed Project by the EAC and the fact that the issue is pending in the gauhati High Court, Imphal Bench.

Highlighting that the Ministry of Environment and forests as one of the respondents in the court case is unable to file a counter affidavit till date, Actip contended that the State Govt had been disrespectful of the people’s sentiment.

While reiterating its demand for totally scrapping the Tipaimukh project, Actip said along with other like minded organisations and groups it would relentlessly protest in a democratic manner till the project is shelved.

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