Imphal May 14:
One day consultation program on “Challenges of Asian Development Bank Financing in Manipur” organised by The Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur and United Action Committee and Affected Pattadars from Lilong to Wangjing was held today at Manipur Press Club, Majorkhul, Imphal.
The consultation programme was organised amidst the increased involvement of Asian Development Bank (ADB) in financing development process carried out in Manipur, which are mainly of infrastructure projects such as the reform of power sector, roads, etc. in Manipur.
General Secretary of United Action Committee for Affected Pattadars, Lilong to Wangjing, Md. Islam Makakcha in his keynote address express that there are numerous lacks of uniformity in the land acquisition processes in Imphal to Moreh road as well as the survey works and the land acquisition from Lilong to Wangjing Bazar which focused on residential areas.
Whereas, the additional land acquisition for Service Land has further led to additional pressure on the land affected by ADB financed Imphal to Moreh road projects, due to such pressure, villagers are anxious of manipulative and corruptive activities in the land acquisition process.
In this regard, concern government should stop the ongoing effort to acquire land through direct purchase, Md. Islam Makakcha continued.
Phulindro Konsam, Chairman, Committee on Human Rights; Aram Pamei, Co-Chairperson, Citizens Concern for Dams and Development; Panti Gonmei, President, Rongmei Lu Phuam; W Ibopishak, President United Action Committee for Affected Pattadars, Lilong to Wangjing; T Rameswar, Working President, United Action Committee for Affected Pattadars, Lilong to Wangjing and Kangjam Maharabi, Langthabal, Ring Road Affected chaired today’s consultation.
Sharing the problems faced due to the involvement of ADB in the financing development process in Manipur Panti Gonmei, President, Rongmei Lu Phuam shared that ADB financed Imphal Town Ring Road project has threatened communities settled in Langol areas, Patsoi, Langthabl and Kongba, etc. while the project authorities tried to acquire land without informing details of the project and without the consent of the affected villagers which is very unfortunate.
Even the Ring Road has been pursued without a detailed impact assessment and rehabilitation and resettlement plan, whereas the affected villagers will be improvised due to the forced acquisition of their land, agriculture areas and homestead land without providing alternative livelihood options, she added.
Phulindro Konsam, Chairman, Committee on Human Rights shared that the ADB financed road projects in Manipur has affected the livelihood of affected communities and the projects authorities has failed to consider the survival impact and challenges of the affected communities.
Since the government has failed to conduct detailed impact assessment and to consult and take the consent of the affected villagers, ADB and Government of Manipur should desist from forcibly acquiring land for the ADB financed road projects from Imphal to Moreh.
Any forcible development of the project which gives huge impact on people can be stated as anti-people, Phulindro asserts.
One Chalamba from Wangjing, affected by the ADB financed Imphal to Moreh road also shared that affected people are worried of forcibly acquisition of their lands. ADB and the Government should end the non-uniform, partisan and divisive acquisition of land, suh as 50 feet to 62 feet at different locations from Lilong to Wangjing stretch, he added.
Chalamba also shared that the project proponents should stop undervaluing the land and peoples relationship with their land in any rehabilitation process and the project will be improvised affected communities and the land rehabilitation should be carried out in due consultation with the land owners and pattadars.
Meanwhile, participants in today’s consultation expressed concerns that the infrastructure support provided by ADB and other financial institutions in Manipur will further facilitate the expropriation of land and natural resources in Manipur, in such ADB should review and rescind all financing and facilitation of corporate bodies in the plunder and expropriation of land and resource in Manipur.
ADB and other International Financial Institutions should strictly adhere to all development as per the human rights norms, especially indigenous people’ standards, such as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007 in Manipur.