Locals afraid to restart Lemro Dam construction project

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The locals afraid on a French company had made surveyed the possibility of Lemro hydro-electric power project in Lemro river, Paletwa township in southern Chin state recently.

In this regards, 157 people from 33 villages nearby Lemro river in Paletwa township had met and discussed about Lemro Dam project and its possible impacts in Kohpeyshe village on 12-14 in this month.

“Most of Dai people, nearby the river will be driven from their homes, and many villages will be relocated, then flooding of agricultural land and crops will be happened, these are our livelihood. Our condition will be unthinkable in bad way,” said U Pum Luai Thang, nature protection group in Phun Lawng area, Paletwa township.

However, Salai Isaac Khin, Minister of Electricity department said that the state government has not yet decided to start Lemro Dam project currently.

“As the company is doing an initial stage of surveying only, after that they have to do EIA/SIA, then they have to make public awareness about the impacts on livelihood, environment, nature and others. There is a long way to go to restart the Dam project,” he added.

In fact, the Dam project surveying has been started from 2009 and estimated that it can produce about 600 MW with the cost of billion Chinese yuan (1.6 billion US$) by Chinese Datang Overseas Investment Co.Ltd and Burmese Shwe Taung Co.Ltd companies. At least 22 Villages will be flooded if the Dam can operate.

With a total length of 162 miles, the Lemro river stretches from Matupi, Chin state, to the Bay of Bengal near Sittwe, Arakan state. It is the second largest river of these two states. Chins and Arakanese living along the river depend on it for agriculture, transport and fisheries.

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