Economic blockade for Tipaimukh project

Published: Friday 15 December 2006

as hectic preparations are in progress for the proposed visit of prime minister Manmohan Singh and United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi to Manipur, The Action Committee against Tipaimukh Project (actip), a coalition of 29 ngos , has urged the prime minister Manmohan Singh to reconsider his decision to lay the foundation stone of the controversy-marred Tipaimukh hydroelectric project (see 'Fissured Land', Down To Earth, October 15, 2006).

The committee said that the administration's decision to go ahead with the project is in direct opposition to the views of the affected people.

On November 17, 2006, the state government held its first public hearing on the project at Churachandpur district. Anti-dam activists have declared the public hearing null and void and demanded a fresh notification. Following this, actip has launched a 10-day-long economic blockade. Till reports last received, activists were blocking two national highways passing through the state: nh 39 and nh 53.

Earlier, a 24 hours bandh, on November 11 and 12 had paralysed life in several parts of Manipur. This was not the first protest. On July 28, another bandh called by actip had shut down the state.

The foundation stone-laying ceremony of the project is expected to be held on November 27. However, recent media reports, quoted the Union minister of state for heavy industries, Santosh Mohan Dev, saying that the prime minister's visit would be finalised only after the second public hearing decides on the feasibility of the Tipaimukh project.

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