Dolaithabi Barrage Project becomes a threat to Saikul denizens

CORRESPONDENT
KANGPOKPI, 1st Dec: The Rs 508.48 crore Dolaithabi Barrage Project at Dolaithabi village over Iril river, also called Zildung, in the adjoining area of Kangpokpi and Imphal East districts, is gradually turning out as a threat to thousands of innocent residents of Saikul area.
People of Saikul area including nearby Zildung river and Saikul town as well as various educational institutions within the town have been reeling under fear and hardship due to closure and release of Dolaithabi Barrage Project shutters on trial basis.
When the shutters of the Barrage are closed the water level of Zildung river rises enormously and inundates vast tract land. The swollen water level often reach up to Molkon village located 15/16 km away from the project site.
When the river swells due to the closure or gets recedes on opening of the shutters, it make makes the soil lose and easily carry away huge chunks of land. Currently, Dolaithabi Barrage shutters are down and Zildung has been swelling.
Concerning the unrest situation in Saikul area, CSOs of Saikul under the aegis of Kuki Inpi Saikul Gamkai (KISG)conducted an inspection on Friday from Gangpijang to Molkon.
Speaking to media persons, KISG president Seimang Lupho recounted that the trial run of the Project since the past few months has created an extremely unrest situation in Saikul area, especially among the residents settling along Zildung river.
He also said that Ekou – Phaijang Bailey Bridge got damaged owing to the trial run as the river water inundated the base of the bridge and the land got loosen. When the water was released it carried away the soil at the foot of the bridge, thus putting the only connectivity in a dilapidated condition. He continued that the trial run also caused damage to the only bridge connecting Saikul hill town located between Saikul and Thangkanphai. As the bridge is on the verge of collapsr, movement of heavy vehicles has been restricted since the past few months.
He further said that four educational institutions, viz. Diamond Sower Academy, LL Henjou English High School, Christian English High School and Awana Academy, as well as a kids’ care centre at Saikul have been badly affected due to the trial run of the project. Hundreds of school-going children are facing hardships as Zildung river could not be crossed even in winter season.
The Inpi president also highlighted the apprehension of the people that if the water level swells further, it will inundate paddy fields, residential areas, etc., mostly along the river bank and it is likely to affect at least 50 to 60 villages located.
Considering all these grievances, all CSOs of Saikul including KWU and KSO under the aegis of KISG urged the state government to address the situation before official inauguration of the Project.


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