NGOs asks Centre to stop building mega dams

Date of publication: 
19 March 2015

IMPHAL – The North East Dialogue Forum (NEDF) has asked the Government of India to stop construction of the 2000 MW Lower Subansiri dam project, 2700 MW Lower Demwe HE project and the 1500 MW Tipaimukh dam.

Expressing strong disapproval over the Union Government’s decision and its initiation of building mega dams and various other multipurpose hydroelectric projects across the entire Northeastern States, NEDF, a conglomerate of different NE-based NGOs, has demanded revocation of all such policies including Manipur Hydro Power Policy 2012 in public interest.

This was conveyed to media persons at a hurriedly called press conference here by the NEDF. The press meet was attended by NGO activists from Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland, Manipur and NEDF members.

The NGO representatives expressed serious concern over the aggressive plan of the Government of India to construct more than 200 mega dams across North East which will lead to complete destruction of the rich biodiversity of the region, without addressing the needs of the local populace. They further alleged that such move to construct mega dams was initiated without impact assessment and without prior informed consent of the people.

The Forum further asked the international funding agencies like Asian Development Bank, World Bank and Japanese Bank of International Cooperation to discontinue financing energy projects without recognising the traditional right of indigenous people over their land and without taking free, prior and informed consent.

The forum members further demanded the decommissioning of all the non-performing mega dams. It also asked the government to assess the performance of previously failed and underperforming dams in the region.

It further asked the government to cease the militarisation in the name of development in the NE region and respect the human rights of the indigenous people as outlined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of People, 2007 and recommendation of the World Commission on Dam.