IMPHAL | Sep 12: Members of Parliament of both inner and outer constituencies, Dr RK Ranjan and Dr. Lorho S Pfoze taking a joint stand has promised to do their best for the residents of Chadong and the surrounding areas who have been displaced by the Mapithel dam.
Being a former anti-dam activist, Dr Ranjan voiced sadness that the people and environment have been affected after the dam was commissioned. “ I feel sad of the damage done to the environment, Chadong has been dissected,” he mentioned that the area was under the Mapithel Chingsanglakpa Association, a body made of different village chiefs during the British times was an administrative body which took decisions for the welfare of the public and for the individual. He said that though the villagers have scattered, a commune system needs to be propagated so that a united village may emerge. The villagers needs to keep the traditional customs alive and grow at the same time.
The MP was speaking at a reception function held at new Chadong site today, organised by the Mapithel Yang Lake Tourism Association (MYLTA). He said that the woes of the villagers are understandable and rehabilitation and livelihood have to be taken up. Mentioning that he will take up measures which is within his capacity despite being the inner MP, Ranjan said that the villagers have to focus on key areas of agriculture, horticulture, handloom and handicrafts. “ We have to grow in our own capacity and the area has a large scope for tourism, we have to have community monitored regulations so that the environment is not disturbed and at the same time tourism can grow,” he said adding that he will do his best to provide potable drinking water, solar lamps and for roof top water harvesting projects.
Ramthing Kasar, president of MYLTA voiced that the villagers have many shortcomings but the main issue is of making a better connecting road from the Chadong road to the new Chandong site. He urged both MPs to address the problems faced by the villagers. “I thank both the MPs for coming to this reception function and hope that they will help us to find a means for the survival of the villagers.” The nearly 5 kilometre road is presently in a dilapidated condition and the road becomes dangerous for both 2 and 4 wheelers, especially during rainy season.The villagers had to haul rice husks in trucks to add traction to the muddy road so that vehicles do not skid off or get stuck.Adding to his comment, Wungnaoyo Kasar, Chadong village headman said that the villagers have borne the brunt of the damages caused by the Mapithel dam and the villagers have been displaced. The jhum cultivation has been destroyed, the farms have been flooded along with the homes, schools and churches. He said that the road needs to be repaired to foster tourism and so that the villagers may earn their livelihood.
Outer MP, Dr Lorho S Pfoze said that he has shared a friendship with Rk Ranjan for nearly 30 years and that they both have a common agenda to push for policies at the Centre which will bring development to both hills and valley alike. “ It’s the first time I have come here at Chadong, I have not seen your good days and your bad days first hand, but my friend Ranjan and myself will do what we can for the public of the 9 villages in this area,” he said mentioning that the villagers have to take care of the environment and planting trees is a must to rejuvenate the forest and to balance the impact caused by the Mapithel dam.
Traditional shawls and other handicraft items were presented to the MPs at the reception function. Deputy commissioner of Kamjong district, Juringla was also present at the function.
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