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Items filtered by date: Tuesday, 01 August 2017 - Imphal Free Press
Wednesday, 02 August 2017 00:00

Service training

IMPHAL | Aug 1

“Not only the politicians but also officers should be patriots for the welfare of the state,” appealed works minister Th. Bishwajit during the inauguration of foundation training of state civil and police service officers.

The session was held at State Academy of Training (SAT) Takyelpat.

  1. Nabakishore director general SAT said this session will be conducted for 45 days and training will be given to the newly recruited MCS, MPS, MSS, SDC, EOs on the provisions of Indian laws, acts and rules.
Published in News
Wednesday, 02 August 2017 00:00

Major rivers in Imphal to be dredged: Letpao

IMPHAL | Aug 1

The government has plan for de-silting, dredging and re-sectioning major rivers like Imphal, Nambul and Kongba Rivers. It would be done once the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the same is finalised and fund is made available to the department.

The remaining retaining walls of Nambul River adjoining Sagolband will be implemented as per availability of fund. Later late in the evening of IFC Demand Discussion, Letpao clarified that the state has not sent any DPR to repair river banks to the Centre.

This was stated by IFCD minister, Letpao Haokip while replying to questions during question hours today in the ongoing Assembly session.

Letpao Haokip further said that river embankment work has been taken up by the IFCD to ease flood woes in the State. The Department is also working on to prepare a DPR covering the entire State as a long-term policy to prevent flood.

Responding to a question, Health and Family Welfare minister L. Jayantakumar said that Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS), Imphal has 100 MBBS seats and 47 PG seats. Out of the total seats in MBBS, 85 per cent of the seats are reserved for the State while the remaining 15 per cent seats would be filled through Central quota. In respect of PG courses, 50 pc of the seats would be filled through State quota while the remaining seats would be filled through the Centre quota.

He further said that the ministry of Health and Family Welfare (Dental Education Section), government of India has issued letter of permission on May 26, 2017 for starting Dental College of JNIMS with 50 admissions from the academic session 2017-18 and admission to BDS course is under process.

Replying to a question, RD & PR Minister Th. Bishwajit said one work has been recommended by the present MLA of 44-Ukhrul AC for construction of playground at Shangshak Phunghon after the constitution of 11th Manipur Assembly for the year 2016-17. He said that there is a balance of Rs. 50 lakh remained unutilised for Ukhrul district for the financial year 2016-17.

In Ukhrul, the fund for 2nd and 3rdinstalment of 2016-17 amounting to Rs. 50 lakh is pending at the level of the Deputy Commissioner, Ukhrul due to dispute in status of works between the ex-MLA and the present MLA.

Whereas the ex-MLA claimed that he had already executed the works before his resignation on September 14, 2016, the current MLA has claimed that these works were not executed by the ex-MLA. The RD&PR Minister further said that the DC, Ukhrul was asked for an enquiry report and the matter is still under examination to settle the conflicting claims.

To another question, RD&PR minister Th. Bishwajit replied that there is a road under PMGSY Phase-IX, which is yet to be taken up in Tengnoupal block due to a pending Court case. The work will be taken up once the matter is settled.

Works minister Th. Bishwajit also informed the House that no new work programmes for Ukrhul AC has been finalised yet by the present Government. The budget allocation thereof for financial year 2017-18 has not yet been finalised.

Th. Biswajit, who is also in-charge of IPR, said that newspaper hawkers are not covered under the Manipur State Journalists’ Welfare scheme. He said that the Govt would look into the welfare of the hawkers in consultation with the CM if the hawkers’ union approaches the Govt. for the same.

Responding to a question, Education Minister Shri Th. Radheshyam said there is no plan for construction of main building of Sagolmang Higher Secondary School as of now. He further said that there is no provision as of now for construction of infrastructure of aided high schools.

Th. Radheshyam further said that the Government for the appointment of teaching gives no approval and non-teaching staff to five private colleges, which were upgraded to Govt, aided college by the previous government.

Published in News
Wednesday, 02 August 2017 00:00

Increase in footfalls at Kangla fort

Ningthoujam Prasant & Elangbam Nikita

IMPHAL | Aug 1

Kangla, a historical site of the state, has seen an increase in footfalls. As indicated by information accessible from the Kangla Fort Board, the revenue earned from footfalls was Rs. 12, 46,500 approximately in 2016 and in the present year till June, it has earned Rs. 7, 67,500. The historical site has attracted more visitors—local, national, foreigner and student—than at any other time.

An authority of the Kangla Fort Board, stated, “Allowing the visitors to enter from the western gate of Kangla has prompted the increase in the number of footfalls.” According to the board, the number of guests is most elevated on Sunday, but when there is no rain, and auspicious days of the state. Higher numbers of foreign tourists are seen during Sangai festival, asserted the board.

The ticket rates for Indian, foreign tourist and student are Rs. 10, Rs. 50 and Rs. 5 respectively and the western gate remains open on all days of the week, except Wednesday, from 9 am to 5 pm in summer and 4 pm in winter.

Manipur Cycle Club also introduced bicycle rental service inside the fort for Rs 20 per bicycle for an hour.

There are six tour guides accessible which are outsourced by JCRE skill solutions however, the number can increase as per request, said the authority of the board. The charge for tour guides varies according to the number of guests.

For students up to 60 in number, the charge is Rs. 1000 only. For Indians and local people, Rs. 750 for 1-5 individuals, Rs. 900 for 6-10 individuals and Rs. 1,200 for 10 and above. Also, for foreign visitors, the charge for the tour guide is Rs. 1,500 for 1-5 individuals, Rs. 2500 for 6-10 individuals and Rs. 4500 for individuals more than 10 in numbers.

The board said that students in school uniforms are not allowed to enter during school hours. However, they can visit if the school authority gives the permission. The reason for the restriction is to keep students from investing their time and energy inside Kangla by bunking classes, said the authority.

“Kangla is the green lung of Imphal city with 2-3 degree Celsius cooler in temperature than the rest part of the city. It is likewise home to migratory birds particularly egret.” claimed the authority.

 The indigenous-food-serving cafeteria inside the fort is fabricated with locally accessible material, for example, mud, wood, bamboo and thatch keeping in mind the end goal to make the right ambience and supplement the value of culture and heritage of the then royal residence of Manipur.

Other than indigenous foods, other vegan fast foods are also available just on Sundays in view of customer’s request, said the owner of the cafeteria. One among the many visitors said that this antiquated fortress holds archeological, religious and historical importance and it is well-kept, spacious and brimming with trees and flowers.

The expert of the Kangla Fort Board said that they are making their best level to fulfill the needs of the visitors, and in the meantime protecting the cultural heritage for the coming generations.

In 1891, Kangla was taken over by the British after the Anglo-Manipur War. Afterwards, the Assam Rifles took control of it, until 2004. On November 20, 2004, the Kangla Fort was handed over by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Manipur government.

Published in News

Newmai News Network

DIMAPUR | Aug 1

 The Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu faction of the Naga People’s Front (NPF) has given a “last and final call” to all those NPF legislators supporting TR Zeliang to withdraw their support to the latter by August 5 midnight and “come back to the party fold”.

 In a “calling notice” to those legislators, the Dr Shurhozelie faction of the NPF, cautioned that “noncompliance of this calling notice would compel the party to file disqualification petition against the erring NPF legislators” on the expiry of the time frame i.e. August 5.

This development has come a day after the TR Zeliang faction had “selected” Neiphiu Rio as “interim President of NPF”. The TR Zeliang/Neiphiu Rio faction of NPF had also asked Dr Shurhozelie to step down as NPF President within 15 days.

Meanwhile, the Dr Shurhozelie group of NPF has convened “an emergency meeting” of the Central Office Bearers (Parent Body) at 5 pm on August 2 at the central office, Kohima.

The NPF also called a separate emergency meeting with the central frontals and Cell at 11 am on August 2 at central office, Kohima. “Both the meetings were called in exercise of the power conferred on the president, Dr. Shurhozelie Liezietsu vide Article No. V Clause 3 of the party Constitution. Therefore, all members concerned are requested to attend the respective meetings positively without fail.

This was notified by KG Kenye, M.P (RS) & secretary general, Naga People’s Front,” the Dr Shurhozelie group said this evening.

The Dr Shurhozelie group said that its attention has been drawn to a news item which appeared in the local media wherein it was reported that the “expelled and suspended” NPF legislators along with a few NPF legislators have served a 15-day ultimatum to the party President to step down, and selection of Lok Sabha MP Neiphiu Rio as “interim NPF President” empowering him with all sorts of ridiculous so-called prerogatives.

“This is to remind the honourable legislators that the NPF constitution clearly specifies about election of central office bearers including the president of the party. Article IV, section 5 of the Constitution of the party specifies the procedure to be followed and nowhere in the Constitution has it empowered the legislators of the party to act on their whims and fancies.

“Moreover, there is no provision or even mention of any post in the party constitution going by the moniker interim President, and it is quite possible that the legislators are confused with the ephemeral Presidentship held by a respected but misguided party leader during the 2015 crisis.

According to the statement, the MLAs would do well to know where exactly they stand lest they end up in political oblivion when the dusts settle down. “They would also do better to know who started the present crisis in the NPF party: whether it was the party functionaries or the legislators who camped in Kaziranga and staged their coup d’ tat from outside the State in connivance with leaders of the saffron party,” it said.

But if it is any consolation to the legislators, or gives them any comfort, the party organisation is intact and solidly behind the party President barring a few individuals and Constituency units who have not shown their loyalty to the party but to their elected representatives which, it goes without saying, should and would be discarded like rotten potatoes, the statement added.

Again, when the Naga society was facing one of the worst crisis ever when there seemed to be total breakdown of law and order and an almost anarchy-like situation gripped the entire State in January-February this year, these honourable MLAs who are calling Dr Shurhozelie as a “fraud” now, furtively went to Dr Shurhozelie on February 15 night and begged, beseeched, pled and almost sobbed themselves silly asking him to take over as the Chief Minister to save the party and the party-led DAN Government,” the statement further said.

“Juxtaposed with such ignoble behaviour of our honourable legislators, it is most delightful to see that party rank and file of the NPF are steadfast behind the party President and most willing to forego material gains offered by legislators to part ways with the party”, it added.

Published in News
Wednesday, 02 August 2017 00:00

Ready to quit if found guilty, says Radheshyam

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Aug 1

Education minister, Th Radhesyam Singh today informed the House that he is ready to quit if allegation levelled against him, of issuing DO letter for admission of student was found true.

Th. Radhesyam was replying to cut motion moved by the Opposition bench during the voting and discussion hour for education department during the ongoing budget session.

He said there are altogether 16,780 sanctioned post of teachers in the department out of which presently 12,373 are filled leaving vacancies of 4407 post.

Clarifying on the prevailing controversy arising out of recent mass transfer and posting of graduate teachers, he claimed that the transfer was carried out as per requirement and not politically motivated.

He pointed out that altogether 447 graduate teachers were promoted to lecturer by the previous government without any proper assessment.

In addition to that, over 278 teachers were transferred within the period of two months by the end of 2016, he said.

Accordingly, after painstaking assessment teachers from 202 different schools were taken out and posted in 51 higher secondary schools.

With regards to framing of transfer policy, he opined that framing a transfer policy at the present juncture was almost impossible unless a comprehensive approached it adopted.

Nevertheless, the department is doing its best to review the criteria of recruitment of teachers to able to comprehend with the prevailing situation to some extent, said Radhesyam.

In response to the introduction of private school bills, he clarified that it was not to abolish the private schools but to regulate and control private schools particularly from turning into commercial.

Consumer affairs, food and public distribution (CAF&PD), Karam Shyam said that department received several complaints on National Food Security Act (NFSA).

On April 25, 2016 the targeted public distribution system (TPDS) was introduced in the state with a target to avail benefit to 87 percent beneficiaries (24, 84,540). But, the department could avail the benefit to 74.6 percent beneficiaries including AAY, priority households, with monthly quota of 11,786.56 metric tons of rice.

He said that since the formation of the new government, the rice quota of the state has been increased to 22, 54,681 metric tons. Strong instruction was also issued to concerned officials to entire district to expedite all the necessary process including issuance of beneficiary cards in order to achieve its 87 percent target, he added.

Karam Syham further pointed out that the monthly quota of Kerosene is 1456 KL since March last against the previous quota of 1168 KL and added that accordingly the monthly quota for AAY and priority households beneficiaries have decreased.

Maintaining that there was a backlog of 5542 KL of SK oil, he said the state have requested the GOI to give permission to lift the backlog however only 1000 KL could be lifted due to disturbances on the highway.

He said the responsibility of loading and unloading of food grains is the responsibility of the labour contractor and that Rs. 25 crores has been sanctioned by the government to clear the pending dues of the fair price shop agents.

The House unanimously passed four demands amounting to Rs. 1934, 61, 33,000 after the cut motions were withdrawn by the Opposition bench. Motion for disapproval for policy cut was moved by the Opposition in education, Consumer affairs, food and food, and IFCD.

The demands passed by the House are demand No.10 education Rs.1464,68,01,000, demand No.15 consumer affairs, food and public distribution Rs. 57,93,65,000, demand No.38 panchayat Rs. 77,33,42,000 and demand No.40 Rs. Irrigation and flood control.

The MLAs who participated in the cut motions and discussions were AK Mirabai, K. Ranjit, N. Loken, Kh. Joykishan, RK. Imo, Alfred Kanngam Arthur, Surjakumar Okram, Th. Lokeshwar, Dr. Chaltonlien Amo, Md. Abdul Nasir, K. Meghachandra and Okram Henry, S. Bira, Sapam Ranjan.

Published in News
Wednesday, 02 August 2017 00:00

Calibrating liquor ban

The tragedy at Oinam Sawombung in which five people died after consuming moonshine, is undoubtedly a tragedy. In response, the chief minister, N Biren has convened an all-party meet to take a decision on the matter. He spelled out some resorts. One is to include traditional rice brews to the ban on liquor in vogue in the state since 1991 with the enactment of the Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act. The second is to lift the 1991 prohibition altogether as this is proving to be a complete failure, and we may add, a farce. While these proposals are important and needs to be thrashed out so a new, effective policy beneficial to the state as a whole can be formulated, what is worrisome is there seems no thought at all to fix responsibility for the tragedy. It is true, the vendors as well as the brewers are being hounded and booked, but the responsibility cannot possibly end there. If so, it would amount to mistaking the wood for the forest. Quite obviously, the hooch was adulterated. As to where this adulteration occurred – at the vender’s shop or at the place of their brewing – however is as yet not certain, but it would be soon. But beyond the guilt of the people behind this cottage industry level business, the government surely must be know it cannot declare itself innocent on the matter. It has a full-fledged department, under the important and much sought after ministerial portfolio of Food and Civil Supplies, which is tasked to check and ensure food and beverages in the market are safe for consumption. The concerned minister and officials must also be made to answer, and if their commitment to the responsibilities they are given to handle have been found wanting, they too must be made to pay as severely as the vendors.

In many ways, tragedies like this one were waiting to happen for a long time. If the government tries to put a seal on the larger issues by merely diverting public gaze away from itself to the vendors in this case, let nobody doubt it that there will be more tragedies to come sooner than later. This time it is locally made liquor, but next time it could be any other foodstuff, for food adulteration by unscrupulous businessmen is widespread today and not restricted to liquor. If hospital records of food poisoning cases were to be scrutinized, this would become evident. Media reports every now and then on these cases, either of hospitalization after eating contaminated food stuffs or else of retailers caught red handed mixing contaminants to foodstuffs they sell to make illegal profits, tell the same story. Remember there was even a sensational report of plastic eggs reaching the market. The question that has been begging an answer is, was the government sleeping all the while. Once the dust settles on the present crisis, let the government pull up its socks and clean up the mess of food adulteration. We would even suggest the all-party meeting the chief minister convened to discuss this matter and even think of tough measures to control the menace.

Returning to the present case, there are many things to be said of the causes and effects of the tragedy. To begin with the most obvious questions, as indeed the chief minister has proposed, would complete banning of all sorts of alcoholic drinks help? Or should it be the other way around and the prohibition already in existence be repealed? Prohibition we know has not worked. There is no dearth of liquor in the state, and nobody has stopped drinking because of prohibition. As a matter of fact, as always banning something which is in great demand drives the commodity underground, and this is exactly what has happened. The liquor black market has grown, and if legitimate dealers have lost out, their losses have been the gains of black marketeers. The ban did not cover making and consuming local traditional rice alcoholic brews, as this is deemed to be part of the culture of many. It is likely that after the ban on Indian Made Foreign Liquor, IMFL, demands for these local drinks shot up, and their makers were under pressure to produce more. The temptations and financial incentives to spike and splice with complementary intoxicant may also have increased reciprocally. It is known for a long time now that hospital grade spirit which is poisonous, and lethal if consumed in excess, has been a preferred contaminant of unscrupulous vendors to heighten the kick in their prized ware. However, it must also be remembered that the 1991 ban came because alcoholism was becoming a social nuisance, and indeed the Meira Paibi movement, once known as Nisha Bandh, had its genesis in the fight against alcoholism. It should also be recalled the government’s ban followed another ban by an underground organization.

Our suggestion is for the government to strike a balance between the pros and cons of either side of the argument. In other words, let the prohibition be calibrated. As for instance, only licensed retailers and vendors could be allowed sale of liquor. Likewise, prohibition should also remain for the under-aged. Again, while drinking is made no longer illegal, drinking or drunkenness in public places should remain so.

Published in Editorial
Wednesday, 02 August 2017 00:00

Locals repair village road

CCPUR | Aug 1

The locals of Thingkangphai village organised a social work and repaired the road which had been in a deplorable condition for the past 20 years.

The local participants were from Young Mizo Association (YMA). One of locals said that the social work which was commenced today will continue in the days to come by hiring the service of JCB to work on the bricks and sands collected by the participants.

Published in News
Wednesday, 02 August 2017 00:00

ACTSUI extends dateline

IMPHAL | Aug 1

All College Tribal Students Union Imphal (ACTSUI) notified that the dateline for the disbursement of ST scholarship is extended to August 8 and maintained that scholarships should be disbursed on or before this date failing which it will start their agitation.

In a statement signed by Changkhanpou Gangmei, president of ACTSUI, it said that the date is extended after meeting the officials of the Tribal Affairs and Hills citing the on-going state Assembly session.

The union formerly set their dateline as July 31 but due to the inconveniences resulted from the on-going Assembly session had delayed the work process. 

Published in News
Wednesday, 02 August 2017 00:00

Sit-in-protest staged

IMPHAL | Aug 1

Condemning the alleged unfair distribution of PDS to Kwakeithel Heinou Khongnembi Ward number 11, a sit-in-protest was staged today at the market shed of the locality by the meira paibis (women torch bearers).

Memmi Wangkheirakpam, one member of the meira paibi of the locality said that the food items distribution system of Naoriya Pakhanglakpa constituency is being unfair. “We have been given only 3kgs and other ward were given 4kgs when they were supposed to give 5kgs”, she claimed.

She urged that responsible authorities to take concern in this matter and be brought up also in the on-going Assembly session.

Published in News
Wednesday, 02 August 2017 00:00

DRDA Chandel staff ceases work

THOUBAL| Aug 1

Staffs of District Rural Development Agency, Chandel have stopped working from today, in protest against the non-payment of their salaries for the past 19 months.

The staffs have also organised a meeting today in front of the agency’s office at Chandel, addressing their grievances. Playcards which read “No Pay, No Work” were displayed in the meeting.

Published in News
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Imphal Free Press is a widely circulated English daily published in Manipur, North-East India. Started in 1996, it has relocated its head office from Sega Road, Imphal to Palace Gate, Imphal.

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