Tipaimukh Dam in Manipur driving a wedge?

  • 14/10/2006

Tipaimukh Dam in Manipur driving a wedge? Octopus
Too many arms, too many aims
Work on the Tipaimukh Multipurpose Hydel Project (tmhp) is yet to start. For the past five decades the Union government has been working on it. The North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (neepco), the government agency entrusted with the responsibility of building power projects in the northeast, has been handed the project. In November 2005, it floated a global tender for the project. In July 2006, the pre-bid qualification of the tender for the first phase was opened. The ball was finally rolling.

tmhp, as it is now envisaged, is to come up in the hills of Churachandpur district in Manipur (see map: Conflict zone). A 1,500-mw project, one of the largest in the region, it is to generate power from the Barak river, the second largest river in the region. The site of the dam is almost on the border with Mizoram.The proposed 164-m-high dam will come up 500 m downstream of the confluence of the Barak and Tuivai rivers. Its reservoir will have a storage capacity of 15,900 million cubic m with a maximum depth of 1,725.5 m.

Long gestation
The project has a long history. According to the reworked detailed project report, a project on Barak was first thought of in 1954 when the government of Assam requested the Central Water and Power Commission for ways to manage floods in the river basin. The commission surveyed and rejected three sites by 1965 on two grounds. The sites were geologically unsafe and large-scale submergence of cultivable land made it economically unviable.

Then the North-Eastern Council intervened and discussed the project with the three states through which Barak flows

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