Dams development and rights of indigenous peoples: a legal perspective on the proposed Tipaimukh Dam in Northeast India
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 10:16 by Sheikh Salauddin
Tipaimukh dam is a proposed 1500 MW hydroelectric project in Northeast Indian State of Manipur. According to the Indian government a large scale hydroelectric dam is necessary for the overall electricity demand of the country and to generate local employment, promote pisciculture, tourism, navigation, flood control and irrigation. The local people are against the dam because it will submerge thousands of houses and will destroy the livelihood of indigenous Hmar and Zeliangrong Naga peoples. It will also destroy the biological diversity of the area including endangered species of flora and fauna. Most of the literature in the field is focused on the socio-economic and environmental effects of the dam. In my research I will examine the building of the dam from a legal perspective. I will adopt a comparative critical framework to analysis the laws and regulations that could enable the government to build such a dam and also the legal instruments that the people could use to oppose the dam. I will also build my argument an case studies of successful court cases and people's movement from India and around the world. As the indigenous peoples are closely related to the environment and land, I will focus on laws relating to the protection of indigenous people's land rights and protection of the environment. I will also look at alternative sustainable sources of producing electricity that could be adopted to save the people and environment. There is a strong chance that the government might decide not to proceed with the project due to its adverse effects on the people and environment, but if it does then the people will have to go to the court as the last resort. My research will be focussed on the legislation and precedents that could be useful in such a court case.