IMPHAL: The representatives of All Tribal Rights’ Protection Forum Manipur (ATRPFM), Rongmei Naga Student Organization Manipur (RNSOM), Longmai Bazar Board (LBB), and Longmai Area Village Authority Council (LAVAC) have announced that the organizations will be compelled to stop movement of heavy vehicles along the NH-37 and resort to other forms of democratic protests if concern authority and NHIDCL fail to take action within five days from Wednesday for rectification of the imminent damages to buildings and private lands at Longmei-II due to the construction of a road across the village.
In a press statement signed by secretary of ATRPFM James Haokip, it was said that the representatives of four organizations comprising ATRPFM, RNSOM, LBB and LAVAC had visited Longmai-II village in Noney District, along the NH-37. The team interacted with the villagers and inspected the destructive impact to the village from the road. It found that a two storey pucca building consisting of 8 rooms has been badly affected by the landslide as an effect of the construction of NH-37. The affected land belongs to one Rongphun Rongmei. The value of the affected house and other properties like standing crops could be estimated at Rs. 30 lakhs in generalized calculation. All parts of the house got cracked and the upper storey was already destroyed.
Now, if the concerned authorities fail to address the issue and take up necessary steps so as to prevent further destruction, failing which around 30 houses with a Church, would be totally washed away from landslides as a side effect of the construction of the said road and there is a high chance of loss of lives of the residents. The road is being constructed in the middle of the village and houses on both upper and lower sides along with the paddy fields are now vulnerable for destruction by landslides.
It is doubtful whether concerned authority(s) carried out Environment Impact Assessment (EIA), Social Impact Assessment (STA), Forest Clearance, etc, because the ongoing construction of NH is badly affecting the cited area. Apart from the above impacts, there will be degradation of the environment, soil erosion and even impact the ecology/biodiversity. We felt shocked that the present government always said, “Chingmee Tamee Amattani” and there is equality in development between Hills and Valley. But, it seems only in namesake because there are lots of disparity between Hills and Valley in terms of road condition, communication etc. Recently, a patient was carried a bamboo plank for treatment along a muddy road, said the statement.
The press statement further stated the visiting team also inspected the said road beyond the said village and found that many villages can be affected by the construction of the road. The road is in extremely bad condition and the concerned authorities must take steps as most urgent and prevent further destruction of the houses and save the lives of the residents before it is too late. The situation would become acute and worsen as incessant rains become more regular as the weather conditions are becoming worse day by day. Hundreds of heavy vehicles are plying on the said road and it is one of the lifelines for the state of Manipur, the note continued.
According to the press release the highway is being constructed by the NHIDCL and was never maintained properly and various protocols were neglected. The organizations and leaders of the area have approached and requested the concerned authorities personally as well as by way of submitting representations. However, no positive response has been given till date. Therefore, the said originations appealed to the concerned authorities, NHIDCL in particular, to respond to the damage caused within 5 days w.ef. July 23, 2020. We will be compelled to stop movement of heavy vehicles along the NH and take up other forms of democratic protest if concern authority and NHIDCL fail to take action within stipulated time, the press release forewarned.