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
NameMapithel Dam, Manipur, India
SiteDistrict - Ukhrul
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Water Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Dams and water distribution conflicts
Water access rights and entitlements
Specific Commodities
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe 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.

Left and right main canals off-taking from the barrage for a total length of 57 km and distribution system for total cultivable land area of 21,860 hac
Project Area (in hectares)1,180
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population8,000
Company Names or State EnterprisesAnsal Properties & Industries Ltd from India - Construction contract
Progressive Construction Ltd. from India
Relevant government actorsPlanning Commission, Central Water Commission, Manipur State Planning Department
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersMapithel Dam Affected Villages Organisation (MDAVO), Mapithel Dam Affected Ching-Tam (hill-valley) Organisation (MDACTO), The Asian Peasant Coalition (APC)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment 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-economic 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
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Negotiated alternative solution
Strengthening of participation
Violent targeting of activists
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Development of AlternativesInternational 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 as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.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 and Materials

Land Acquisition Act



The Struggle against Mapithel Dam in Manipur, India

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

Intercultural Resources, JAIRATH Vasundhara
[click to view]


[click to view]

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

Mapithel Dam affected village objects
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Mapithel dam affected people organises campaign
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Mapithel Dam, Manipur, India
[click to view]

Media Links

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

Meta Information
ContributorSwapan Kumar Patra
Last update24/06/2014