Less, but intense
the plain drained by these rivers. In case of extreme rainfall, flooding occurs quickly, causing extensive damage.
According to Ram Wangkheirakpam, convenor of Indigenous Perspectives,a nonprofit working with the affected people downstream of Mapithel, water released from the dams under construction is also contributing to flooding.However,no study exists to confirm his observation.
The Manipur government has set up several hydel and irrigation projects in the region that is now witnessing floods (see map).The state has five operational projects and three under construction.Curiously,despite dams and barrages, the planned irrigation potential has decreased over the years. By the irrigation and flood control department’s own admission, this is largely due to inundation or flooding. In the event of extreme rainfall, these dams are not able to store water and end up flooding the same areas they are supposed irrigate, Wangkheirakpam says. Manipur is the only state in India to have enacted the Model Flood Plain Zoning Bill of 1975 that requires identifying areas that get flooded and deciding land use accordingly. But the state is yet to carry out a study on floods.
mla Shyamkumar has written to the Union government, asking it to send a team of experts to study Mapithel and other dams in the region.“I am not against dams but our people should know their impacts,else floods will keep destroying our state,”he says.