CRA urges revocation of tender privatising Andro Santhei Natural Park

The Centre for Research and Advocacy maintained that the villagers of Andro are apprehensive that the conversion of the park into public private partnership (PPP) model will deprive the villagers of the water source and access to their traditional forest area for livelihood.

The Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur (CRA) has urged the Tourism Corporation of Manipur to revoke the tender notification for privatising Andro Santhei Natural Park and to stop all efforts to privatise community areas.

CRA in a release expressed distress with the government’s move to privatise the Santhei Natural Park, which has been managed by the villagers of Andro in their community forest at Nongmaiching hills in a traditional and natural way.

“It is indeed unfortunate that the Tourism Corporation of Manipur issued a tender notice to privatise the park without consultation and consent of the Andro villagers who are managing the park,” the release stated.

It maintained that the villagers of Andro are apprehensive that the conversion of the park into public private partnership (PPP) model will deprive the villagers of the water source and access to their traditional forest area for livelihood.

Citing the privatisation of the Sendra Hills which allegedly benefits only the private companies and not the villagers of Sendra, it opined that the same thing will happen in the case of Andro if the park is privatised.

It also expressed concern over the “arbitrary detention” of two villagers of Andro including the medical officer of Andro Public Health Care centre for expressing their concern and objection to privatising the park.

 “The government should uphold human rights based development in promotion of tourism initiatives in community areas and should seek the consent of villagers for any development initiatives affecting their land and forest areas,” it added.

First Published:Sept. 24, 2020, 10:12 p.m.

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