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Sakawrdai, April 17, 2010: The Hmar Peoples Convention-Democratic (HPC-D) in its press statement today urged the Mizoram government to reconsider its policy on the construction of the controversial Tipaimukh Dam project to be built near the Mizoram and Manipur border.
The armed HPC-D group is an offshoot of the Hmar People’s Convention (HPC), which came into existence in 1986, spearheading a movement for self-government in the north and northeast of Mizoram.

H. Zosangbera, General Secretary of the HPC-D, stated that it is the duty of the Mizoram government to provide protection to the people in the demand areas of the HPC-D. Last year, the HPC-D demanded the creation of Hmar Territorial Council (HTC) in the State of Mizoram within the scope of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India.

The HPC-D stated that it is firmly committed not to seek separation from Mizoram but to strengthen it against outside actors who are planning to steal and grasp the rich natural resources and land of the people of Mizoram.

It also added that if the Tipaimukh Dam is forcibly built without first considering the destructive impacts it will have on Mizoram and its people, and without taking the consent of the Hmar people, it will create more conflict and bloodshed.

The press statement also said that if the Mizoram government allows the dam to be built, then it will be fighting against its own people. It asked the Mizoram government in protecting the interests of its people and land.

The armed group destroyed the foundation stone of Tipaimukh Dam and some drilling machinery used by NEEPCO in 2008 at the remote Tipaimukh Dam site.
The Tipaimukh Dam is a 1500MW hydroelectric project proposed to be built 500 metres downstream of the confluence of the Tuivai river (Mizoram) and Tuiruong (Barak) rivers in Manipur.

Last year, the Government of India asked the NHPC Ltd, Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd (SJVN) and the Government of Manipur to form a joint venture (JV) for developing the project. NHPC would hold a majority 69 per cent stake in the project, while SJVN would take up another 26 per cent stake. The remaining 5 per cent would go in favour of the Manipur government.
The project was initially awarded to the state-owned utility North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd (NEEPCO). The company had, however, expressed its inability to take up the project citing lack of budgetary support. The Mizoram government had 1-2 percent stake then.
Different national and international organisations have long been resisting the construction of the Tipaimukh Dam.

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