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Mapithel Dam, Manipur, India


The Thoubal River Valley Multipurpose project, now known as Mapithel Dam, is a mega dam. The project is implemented in Mapithel area in Phungyar subdivision of Ukhrul district targeting to irrigate 21,000 hectares of cultivable land besides giving 10 million gallons of drinking water every day and supply 7.5 MW of power. It is one of the biggest dams in the North-East India. It is 66 meter high and 1034 meter long. The main purpose of the project is to utilize the water resource of the Yangwui Kong (Local name) river which originates in the western hill slopes of Shiroi Hills and Hoomi in the Ukhrul District. Both the rivers joined at Lamlang village, flowing through the Thoubal District before joining the Imphal River at Irong Ichil.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Mapithel Dam, Manipur, India
State or province:Manipur
Location of conflict:District - Ukhrul
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Water access rights and entitlements
Dams and water distribution conflicts
Specific commodities:Electricity
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The Mapithel dam is an earthern dam at Phayang / Maphou. It was planned to impound gross water storage of 176.38 million cusecs A live storage capacity of 124.58 million cusecs A gated chute spillway to discharge a maximum peak flow of 2240 cumecs To impound water for irrigation of 17,500 hac of cultivable land and creation of annual irrigation potential of 26,500 hac for 3 valley districts A power house for generating 3 units of 2.5 MW each of power installed capacity To supply 10 Mgd of drinking water for Imphal town A barrage at Keithelmanbi- 17 km downstream of the dam having 9 numbers of 9.00X6.78 metre vertical gate spillways.

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Project area:1,180
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:8,000
Company names or state enterprises:Ansal Properties & Industries Ltd from India - Construction contract
Progressive Construction Ltd. from India
Relevant government actors:Planning Commission, Central Water Commission, Manipur State Planning Department
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Mapithel Dam Affected Villages Organisation (MDAVO), Mapithel Dam Affected Ching-Tam (hill-valley) Organisation (MDACTO), The Asian Peasant Coalition (APC)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Land occupation
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Many trees were cut down to block the roads withburning of tyres, and many women and men including children were out on the roadside displaying placards which read, 'Go back DC','No review Stop Dam','Stop militarization', 'Stop divisive Policy','We want Justice', 'We deserve Our Rights', 'No ERC Process No Finalization', 'No Review No Dam', etc..
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Negotiated alternative solution
Strengthening of participation
Violent targeting of activists
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Proposal and development of alternatives:International Rivers demands:
• Review Mapithel Dam construction for holistic impact on indigenous communities along the Thoubal
River and stop Mapithel dam construction till completion of such reviews
• The Expert Review Committee on Mapithel dam formed on 18 January 2008 should be revived and
resumed as per the wishes of all villagers affected by Mapithel dam with full reference for
implementation of the provisions of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
• The notifications of Government of Manipur on 28 September 2012 and the Cabinet Memorandum and
Secret negotiations on 24 September 2011 for Rehabilitation and Resettlement of Mapithel Dam affected
villagers should be revoked immediately.
• Implement the recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples, Mr. James Anaya
on Mapithel Dam, especially to take the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples for any
decision on Mapithel dam construction and to stop militarization
• No forcible eviction and relocation of all communities affected by Mapithel Dam without their free, prior
and informed consent as outlined in International Laws.
• Implement the Recommendations of the World Commission on Dams for review of ongoing dam
construction for its compliance with human rights, development and indigenous peoples’ rights
• Fully implement all the provisions of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Mapithel Dam affected villages during an environment awareness campaign on Mapithel valley called for the need of forest and environment protection in the area saying the undergoing Mapithel Dam construction has no environment and forest clearance.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Land Acquisition Act

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries


Intercultural Resources, JAIRATH Vasundhara
[click to view]

Register of Large Dams 2009.pdf
[click to view]

The Struggle against Mapithel Dam in Manipur, India

[click to view]

Halt construction of Mapithel Dam: APC
[click to view]

Mapithel Dam affected village objects
[click to view]

Mapithel Dam, Manipur, India
[click to view]

Review Mapithel Dam in Manipur
[click to view]

Mapithel dam affected people organises campaign
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Manipur Dam , Manipur Landscape - Maphou dam/Mapithel dam/Thoubal Dam/Thoubal multipurpose project

[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Swapan Kumar Patra
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:943
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