Villages fear submergence of forests, agri land

DIMAPUR, MARCH 13 (MExN): The Public of Yongnyah Area has written to the Chief Minister of Nagaland demanding an immediate stop to the construction of the Dikhu Hydro Project at Dikhu joint. The letter signed by leaders of five villages under Longleng stated that the public of the area were “totally unaware” of the extent of “submergence” during its initial stage of the project.  “But as per the present survey mark being shown, 261 m (848 fts) high of concrete gravity Dam would completely engulf the ongoing Shishi Bridge construction that stretches between Tangha-Kangching NEC Road the only bridge which connects the Phom area”, stated the letter.
Stating that Longleng-Ladigarh road was their dream of 50 years, the letter stated that this “dream cannot be submerged in the name of development” and that they were “not in a position to accept any alternative (diversion or whatever)”. The letter also claimed that the gravity dam would “submerge 1,302.46 ha of forest area which is 90% of agricultural land whereas 90% of the total population of Phom villages directly depends on agriculture for their sustenance”.
The open letter has also stated other factors such as ecological imbalances, loss of natural and mineral resources, and loss in all round economic developments was apprehended causing severe setbacks to the general public of that area. Further, it stated that the present scenario of Climate Change was expected to increase severity of floods and massive emission of Green House Gas Methane pointing out that this may have greater impact on Global Warming. “Therefore, we will never let hydro plant to submerge our mainstay because we want roadways not waterways”, it stated.
The letter stated that it at all authority concerned continues to carry on the said project against the will of the public, people of the area would have no other option but be compelled to face any eventualities which may bring serious consequences and for which the authority concerned shall be held responsible.
Meanwhile the letter has also informed that the public of Yongnyah area would abstain from the meeting which is scheduled to be held on 15th March at Dikhu joint. The signatories included M. Chingda, Council Chairman of Yongnyah village; Yongi, Council Chairman of Tangha village; Ongdong, Council Chairman of Nian village; Wangshong, Council Chairman of Yongshei village and Nyemnyei, Head GB of Yongam village.