Pothashang News Service: Imphal, March 15, 2018: Farmers of Lamai, Imphal East have cautioned to take up mass agitations by blocking Imphal-Ukhrul road if the government fails to assure to provide irrigation water from Thoubal Multi-purpose project and Dolaithabi Barrage project to their agricultural land by March 31.
Prime minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the projects during his visit to Manipur on Friday.
Thoubal Multi-purpose Project Neglected Area Agricultural Development Organisation (TMPNADO), secretary Telem Dara Singh said the organization is an apex body of various organizations of 60 villages of Lamlai, majority of which are farmers.
The people’s apex body was formed on October 29, 2016 with motto “We want water, give us water, water is farmers’ life”. Its specific demand is to oppose water supply without giving it to the villagers, said the secretary, talking to reporters at Manipur Press Club, Imphal today.
The Thoubal and Dolaithabi projects’ water supply pipes crosses through Lamlai, but have no provision to give even a single drop of water for the Lamlai people. The Lamlai area has 4, 859.82 acres agricultural land. This has hurt the sentiments of the people, added the secretary.
On January 2 last year, we have appealed to former chief minister Okram Ibobi and started process for the goal. With the coming of the new government we made the same appeal to the chief minister Biren Singh on May 8 same year. The chief minster had instructed to take up a survey for the water supply to the villagers. But so far the departmental progress report has not been completed, said Dara.
The association also complains that many of the projects taken up in Lamlai including community health centres, district vetenary hospital, offices of minor irrigation, food and civil supply office and administrative offices are not included in the series of inauguration being taken up to mark the achievement of the BJP-led government. “We are neglected people”, said Dara.
It asked the government to give assurance to appease the people. It also asked to assure that the villagers would be benefitted with the “Doubling of Farmer’s Income” and “Increase of Four Times of Farmer’s income” by 2022 as publicized.
The organization set a deadline on March 31 for the assurance from the government. If the government fails it will take up a mass sit-in at Lamlai market for two days starting on April 5 waiting for the chief minister or any of his officials to assure to fulfill our demands. “If the government fails we will block the Imphal-Ukhrul road by placing agricultural machines and tools including tractors and bullock-carts on the road”, said Dara.