Chin villagers complain about Japan's coal mining Featured

Valvum village, Tedim Township, Chin State (Photo: Phualva Lungtuak Media/Facebook) Valvum village, Tedim Township, Chin State (Photo: Phualva Lungtuak Media/Facebook)
13 July 2016 -- Residents in Valvum, Tedim township of Chin State says they are not happy with the ongoing coal mining work managed by a Japanese company as it has not acted in accordance with its commitments made.

The villagers complained that what the company had promised before the start of the venture had not been met and that it had not informed them of any information on the progress of the project.

According to the Phualva Lungtuak Media, the mining activity is still going on but the community has not been updated on the work and are not aware of the actual extraction.

Community leaders told members of the Tedim Youth Fellowship at a meeting during their visit to the village on 13 February this year: "We were told that five percent of the profit would be given to the village and a new road big enough for a ten-wheel vehicle to travel would be constructed between the two villages of Valvum and Khuainuai. But none of them has been done."

The project started in 2012 when the Chin State government led by the Union Solidarity and Development Party granted permission to the company.

However, the village leaders said that they had never seen the contract and that they did not know anything about the length of the project.

Some villagers said that the project had created more jobs and hence generated more income while others argued that they had already made a living by coal mining before the Japan-run project.

They also raised their concerns over the lack of transparency and accountability of the responsible company and expressed their disapproval of the continuity of its existence in the area.

According to a Valvum school teacher who asked not to be named, villagers question if the Japanese company is engaged in other activities that they have not been informed, in addition to the coal mining project.

They believe that the coal from Valvum has been transported to Rangoon, the former capital, on a regular basis.

Valvum is home to a population of 1,003 people, comprising 505 males and 498 females, of 145 households.#

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