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Items filtered by date: Sunday, 13 August 2017 - Imphal Free Press
Monday, 14 August 2017 00:00

KSO expands its executive body

KANGPOKPI | Aug 13

The executive body of Kuki Students’ Organisation (KSO) has been expanded in pursuance of the constitution of the organisation yesterday at Kuki Inn, Imphal.

The newly nominated executives of KSO for the term 2017-2019 were Thangminlen Kipgen as vice-president (External), Doumang Haokip as secretary (Education), Boilhing Lhungdim as secretary (Social and Culture), Solomon Joute as treasurer, L. Thangkhupreng Kom as secretary (Relief and Rehabilatation), Victor Jangkhotinthang Doungel as joint secretary, Lynda C. Sauntak as secretary (Law and Justice) and David L. Gangte as secretary (Information and Publicity).

Chairman of KSO, Standing Committee, Kamkhohao Khongsai administered the oath of affirmation to the nominated executives in the presence of Thangkhosei Haokip (Kumpipa).

Students organisations of Kuki cognate tribes such as Gangte Students’ Organisation (GSO), Komrem Students’ Union (KRSU), HAS and others have also nominated their members to KSO, said David L. Gangte, secretary, Information and Publicity.  

Published in News
Monday, 14 August 2017 00:00

Patriots’ Day widely observed

BISHNUPUR| Aug 13

Patriots’ Day was observed today organised by Public Theatre Artistes Association, Phoijing Nambol at its theatre hall of the association.

Former union minister, Th. Chaoba Singh, vice chairperson, Nambol Municipal Council, A. Bimola Devi, theatre critics, Makhonmani Mongsangba, Budha Chingtham, Kh. Loya, editors,  Naharolgi Thoudang,  P. Ibomcha attended as chief guest, president and guests of honour respectively.

Kh. Loya said that there are phases in history when we were defeated by our enemies and added that the celebration being observed today is also a mournful occasion as Bir Tijendrajit, Thangal General and Pukhrambam Kajao were hanged in front of the public. However, this can cause us to unite together and become a stronger community instead of being divided and weak, it added.

He further said that we should be able to become independent and harness the strength of our patriotic leaders.

Floral tributes were paid to the portrait of Bir Tikendrajit, Thangal General, Pukhrambam Kajao. A drama based on the life of the unsung hero, Pukhrambam Kajao written by Kunjo was performed by the artistes of Public Theatre Artistes Association.

Meantime, the day was also observed at mini secretariat complex, Bishnupur district headquarters organised by district administration, Bishnupur where DC, Bobby Waikhom attended as the chief guests. Floral tributes along with religious rituals were held where the district level officers and district police took part.      

A team of police led by SI, district police, Motilal gave salute to the patriots paying their respects.

Meantime, United Multipurpose Educated Voluntary Organisation (UMESVO), Nambol celebrated the day in the office of the organisation.

The day was also observed at Kwakta High School.

MOREH

As celebrated in different parts of the state, 126th Patriots Day was also observed today at Moreh by various civil organisation of Moreh.

The observance function was held at the premises of Ima Kongdong Lairembi, Heinou Makhong Leikai of Moreh Ward VII organised by Meitei Council Moreh, All Community Development Organisation, Moreh, Kha-Nongpok Apunba Nupi Lup, Nupi Khunai Chaokat Lakjing Lup, Muslim Women Development Association, Minority Women Development Society, All Manipur Student Union, Tengnoupal district committee.

The function was attended by Tengnoupal SP, S. Ibomcha, Moreh ADC, N. Gojendro, SP of custom preventive force, Moreh, Whk. Luwang, MCM president, M. Thoiba, ACODOM president, RK Sanayaima, KNANL secretary, L. Bina Kumari, NKCLL president, Th. Jamuna Devi, MWDA president, Jubeda Begum, MWDS vice-president, Npprbanu Begum and president of AMSU, Tengnoupal district committee, L. Rocky Singh as the chief guest, president, special guest and guests of honour respectively.

All the dais members and other people attending the function paid floral tributes to the portrait of Yuvaraj Tikendrajit and Thangal General.

Speaking at the function, S. Ibomcha Singh said that we were colonised by others as we were not united at the time due to our own selfishness. 

In order to bring a developed nation, we should be united and think for the goodness of the society as a whole instead of one own self, he added.

He further said that drug abuse and drug business have been increasing not only in Moreh but also in the district and assured that persons involved will be arrested and appealed for the co-operation of the people.

THOUBAL

126th Patriots Day was also observed today at the counting hall of DC office complex, Thoubal organised by district administration, Thoubal.

The observance function was attended by adhyaksha, Thoubal Zilla Parishad, Kh. Surnalata Devi, Thoubal DC, L. Nabakishore Singh and ADM, Thoubal, Ng. Bhogendra Singh and Thoubal SP, K. Meghachandra as the chief guest, president and guests of honour respectively.

Delivering her speech, Surnalata said that we should follow the path of the great leaders who made supreme sacrifices for their motherland and also expressed concern about the increase in crime against women.

Meanwhile, the Patriots' Day was also observed at the Manipur Tikendrajit House, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi today.

A release from the deputy resident commissioner, Government of Manipur, New Delhi said that photographs of Paona Brajabasi, Bir Tikendrajit and Thangal General were decorated where a large number of Manipuris in the national capital paid homage to the patriots of Manipur who sacrificed their lives fighting against the British during Anglo-Manipuri War in 1891.

MLA Ginsuanhau and resident commissioner Vineet Joshi led the VIPs, officers, staff and guests of Manipur Bhawan and the public while paying floral tribute to the patriots. The observance was followed by two minutes silence as a mark respect for the patriots.

Lions Club of Canchipur  was also observed Patriots’ Day at Singjamei Thongam Leikai SROY Club. Floral tributes were paid to the portraits of the patriots by the members of the Lions Club.

Manipur People’s Party observed Patriots’ Day at the office of the party. The party had been observing the day since 1972.

Manipur Home Guard Employees Welfare Association also observed the day at the headquarters of the association. Floral tributes were paid by the president, vice president, home guard officers, members of action committee, managing committee as well as home guard personnel.

Shiv Sena Manipur State Unit also observed the day at the office of the unit, Shiv Sena Bhavan, Babupara. All members of the party paid floral tributes and held a two minute silence in mourning for the loss and prayed for the departed souls.

Published in News
Monday, 14 August 2017 00:00

Push for meat slaughter house

By Thomas Ngangom

IMPHAL | Aug 13

Raw meat shops in the Imphal Municipal Corporation (IMC) area mostly sell “uncertified meats.” The certificate they have is only for retail sale or whole sale. Certified meat can be brought for consumption after creation of slaughter houses in the state.

Commissioner of IMC, Th. Harikumar told IFP that meat shops are holding certificates for opening shops. The state needs slaughter houses and creation of meat inspector’s post.

He said MAHUD minister Th. Shyamkumar’s decision not to allow sale of meat without license from IMC and veterinary department is a good initiative.

According to the rules and regulations governing the licensing of meat shops in Imphal, meat shops should be regulated as per the directions of Manipur Municipalities Act 1976, Prevention of food Adulteration Act 1954 and related bylaws (municipal license byelaw) named The Municipalities or Nagar Panchayats (Regulation of market) Model Bylaws 1998 and the Sale of Meat Bylaws 1987 framed under provisions of the Manipur Municipalities Act 1976.

He said “meat shop” means any premises used wholly or in part for the wholesale or retail sale of raw meat for human consumption. “License” means licence granted to an owner or a keeper of meat shop.

As per Section 163 of the Manipur Municipalities Act 1976, no place shall be used for any of the purpose listed in the section in the limits fixed by the Municipal Board without a license.

It is said that in the reply to an RTI application the Municipal Board said meat shops require license. As per the byelaw, no meat shop shall be established or run or continued in the Imphal Municipal Area except under the order of a licence.

According to the reply, IMC is the supreme body in its area regulating licenses and the executive officers of IMC is the authority to issue the license. Veterinary and animal husbandry department also has a key role in licensing the meat shop.

Under Manipur Municipalities Act 1976 the meat shop must follow the conditions that is “meat should be brought from the licensed butcher. No slaughtering of animal is permitted in the premises of the shop. The shop should be properly walled. The meat should be kept in a properly arranged place or box where flies cannot enter. All articles such as scale, knives and others should be properly washed. No person shall be employed in any room who is not cleanly clad or who is suffering from  any  infectious,  contagious or  loathsome  disease  or  who  has  recently  been attending  upon  any person  suffering  from  such  disease  nor  shall  any  person  be permitted to enter any meat shop who is known to be suffering from any infectious, contagious or loathsome disease. The premises of the meat shops shall not be used for residential proposes or as eating house. No animal should be killed in the premises of the shop and the meat to be kept for sale should be from a licensed slaughterhouse.”

Harikumar further said, IMC has completed survey of 80 percent in IMC area. During the survey IMC collected data on number of meat shops with licence and  without licence.

He appealed to the concerned minister and the government to take initiatives for creation of slaughter houseand appointment of meat inspector. Before the appointment of meat inspector a veterinary doctor can be deputed, he added.

Director of veterinary and animal husbandry, H. Chaoba told IFP that a slaughter house is a must for selling certified meat. Only after having a slaughter house people can get certified meat for healthy consumption. The department is ready to co-operate with the initiatives taken by state to bring a healthy society, Chaoba asserted.

Published in News
Monday, 14 August 2017 00:00

Rivalries among two NPF camps continue

Fear of law and order collapse in Kohima

Newmai News Network

DIMAPUR |Aug 13 

Rivalry between the Naga People’s Front (NPF) led by Dr Shurhozelie Lizietsu and the other NPF led by Neiphiu Rio is becoming tense day by the day.

Yesterday a large number of NPF Youth Wing members from Northern Angami-I assembly constituency came to the temporary office of NPF (Rio group) at Hotel Legacy Complex, Bayavu Hill in Kohima and served an ultimatum to close down the office by August 13. However, the Rio led NPF did not pay heed to the ultimatum.

Following this development, tension is fast mounting in Kohima as there is apprehension of law and order issue if things are not checked on time.

“It has come to our notice that an office said to be NPF office has been inaugurated at Hotel Legacy, Bayavu Hill, Kohima, which was unauthorised and illegal, by so-called Interim president Neiphiu Rio on August 10, which falls under the jurisdiction of 10 Northern Angami I Assembly Constituency,” said the NPF Youth Wing of Northern Angami-I assembly constituency.

It also said that the NPF has only one president, and he is Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu “who was duly elected in the general convention on November 26, 2014 and the same was reaffirmed on April 30, 2015 and there is no other president, Interim or otherwise”.

Meanwhile, the NPF led by Dr Shurhozelie said, “It is simply amazing how stubborn some people can get repeating ad nausea that majority of the MLAs had elected Neiphiu Rio as the interim president of the Naga People’s Front party”, adding, “These people have obviously learned nothing from the 2015 crisis when majority of NPF legislators elected Noke Wangnao as the president of the NPF and moved the Election Commission of India for the party symbol.”

“Did the ECI recognize Wangnao as the NPF president then and allot the group the party symbol?” it asked.

 Just as in 2015, majority of the Central Office Bearers and the Central Executive Council members along with, in the instant case, twelve out of thirteen Division Units, are with the party and President Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu, it added.

So, it brings us to the question of how the illegal party of expelled NPF legislators and the political gypsies could claim that the interim president elected by the legislators on July 31, has any legal backing, it added.

According to the statement, party workers/ supporters elect the legislators, and not the other way round. “And once these legislators are elected, they cannot be replaced at one’s whims and fancies before expiry of their tenure, namely, five years, even if they make fools of themselves, gallivant in Kaziranga or shift their allegiance to the highest bidder just as persons in the world’s oldest profession do,” it stated.

It continued, “Having shredded legalities into tatters with the Speaker of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly acting like the main villain, and the governor of Nagaland playing the role of the Godfather in the whole sordid affair, this group of illegal persons had presumed that they could do anything and get away scot free, like setting up an illegal office, appoint someone to a non-existent post as interim president, and also make absurd demand to the legally-elected president to step down within fifteen days and hand over the properties of the party to them!”

Published in News

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Aug 13

The chief minister Nongthongbam Biren Singh today announced that the joint interrogation cell at Kangla Fort will be shifted out, so as to to maintain sanctity of the fort. He was making this announcement while addressing the Patriots’ Day function at Bir Tikendrajit Park.

“The joint interrogation cell is being shifted from Kangla fort to another place as per the wishes of the people. This is to maintain sanctity of the fort and I don’t want to hear cries,” Biren said.

The joint interrogation cell was opened inside Kangla fort when the Assam Rifles was headquartered here. The Assam Rifles was remov ed from Kangla in 2004. After the Assam Rifles left the place the joint interrogation cell continued to exist.

However Biren did not give any hint where the joint interrogation cell will be opened.

He reiterated that the “Nongpokthong” which is an important gateway according to “Puya” will also be installed in the campus area of Kangla. Study of maps and the process will be started soon, he added.

He also warned civil organisations or any individuals not to pollute the minds and thinking of the public with vested interests and disturb the harmony between the people of various indigenous groups. It will only create misunderstandings, he added.

He also requested the general public especially the student community to focus on studies rather than just beating around the bush and going for strikes and bandhs. He made a big appeal that a solution be achieved through dialogue rather than violence.

Patriots ‘Day is observed to pay respect and honour to the martyrs of the 1891 war between the Manipuris and Britishers. Twenty two leaders including Maharaja Kulachandra were exiled for life and five were hanged to death on this day and the other five were hanged to death on different dates on the false charge of waging war against the British Empire.

The governor of the state Najma Heptullah, during the occasion said that series of battles in 1891 showed the courage of the Manipuris who fought against the strongest force of the then world and it showed that freedom is more important than their lives.

In the present situation of the state facing many problems, she commented that “we should amicably resolve all our differences to make our state strong rather than harping on our differences.  

Bandh culture, economic blockades etc at the drop of a hat even for minor incidents has harmed the pace of development in the state and such acts need to be avoided. The administration and the population must go hand in hand to ensure that divisive forces do not have an upper hand and that peace is the hallmark of the state, she remarked.

Floral tributes were paid by the state officials at Shaheed Minar, Kangla western gate before the main function at BT Park.

Prestigious award of Manipur Chief Minister’s Police Medal for Gallantry and Manipur Chief Minister’s Police Medal for Outstanding Devotion to Duty were given to five police personnel each during the function.

1) Kh. Henery Singh, SI of CDO unit IE, 2) Thangkhochon Haokip, MPS, Dy. SP (Ops) Imphal West, 3) Micro Wahengbam, Hav.No. 2nd MR attached with CDO Unit/IE, 4) P. Achouba Meetei, inspector, OC-CDO/IW and 5) L. Rocky Singh, SI of CDO unit Thoubal were conferred Manipur Chief Minister’s Police Medal for Gallantry.

For the Manipur Chief Minister’s Police Medal for Outstanding Devotion to Duty, 1)Thahgen Khaikhojam, JC No.584, Subedar,1st IRB, 2) S. Joychandra Meetei, head constable, IW, 3) Y. Robindro Singh, head constable, Bishnupur 4) Ng. Sanakhomba Singh, head constable, IW and 5) K. Ranjit Singh, inspector of police, narcotic cell, IW were named.

Published in News

By: Group of Aspirants

This article is in response to the article “Dangers of ‘Trial by Media’ and the MPSC”, written by Mr. Arshad Shah and published in this esteemed newspaper on the 11th of August, 2017.

In the article mentioned above, Mr. Shah mentioned some very misleading points regarding the MCSCC examination, 2016 conducted by the Manipur Public Service Commission (MPSC) and our objective here is to dissect those points, lay the whole truth, and not just a sliver of it, before the public.

First off, the writer raised doubts as to the authenticity of the RTI sheets circulated on social media. While a healthy sense of doubt in anything is a sign of an educated mind, the selective perception shown by our learned writer is rather unfortunate. Such a well-informed person would have read in the papers that the Government of Manipur served a legal notice to a local daily for publishing a fake news item ‘Raksha Bandhan Pangthokkadouri’. Would MPSC have remained silent if the Group of Aspirants had cooked up the entire narrative or had forged the images that ‘character assassinated’ it?

Mr. Shah mentioned in his article that the High Court-appointed independent enquiry commission had dismissed the extra paper issue as some of the petitioners had taken extra papers in certain subjects. This smacks of a deeprooted confirmation bias and is akin to saying that the Holocaust did not happen because some of the Jews survived! Moreover, the commission, in one of its reports, said ‘…this new decision (to issue extra answer sheets) was announced only orally through the invigilators to the candidates about 30 minutes after the actual commencement of the examination’ and ‘…petitioners had enough time to mentally prepare himself/herself to write well with the availing of extra papers’ . Why didn’t the commission examine the opposing claim of the disgruntled candidates that no such announcement was made? Why weren’t invigilators approached so that they, as independent witnesses, could reveal the truth?

One also wonders where the writer got the information that there were more examiners this time. According to the affidavit submitted by MPSC itself, only 1 examiner corrected 1063 Essay papers (that too in 14 days, at the rate of 75.9 answer sheets/day!) Either our esteemed writer lacks basic arithmetic skill or he overlooked a glaring error in his hurry to present MPSC in hallowed light and discredit the Group of Aspirants.

It is a heartfelt request, not only to the writer of the article, but to everyone in general, to read the fine print so that we are not subject to selective perception and selective exposure bias. It is known to all that ‘revision of marks is the norm’. What is also the norm is that there should be signature of the examiner for each time he/she revised the marks allotted. This process was skipped in a few instances, resulting in the doubt if the marks were tampered with or if these papers were not examined by proper examiners. In some cases, corresponding signatures are present, but these are different from the signature of the examiner on the front page.

Two significant clarifications need to be made before anyone brushes off the mark tabulation errors as ‘isolated inconsistencies’. First of all, it appears isolated only because MPSC has handed out not more than 40 answer sheets out of the 200+ RTIs filed. Secondly, this is not market research, where one can ignore a few inconsistent or contradictory data; this is a competitive examination, where a single mark matters.

Mr. Shah did rightly point out that this issue needs to be examined by a court of law. We felt the same and have filed a fresh case against MPSC in the High Court of Manipur. However, judging the Group for approaching the media is uncalled for. After the perceived unfairness with which the so-called commission dealt with the issue, we are left with little avenue to continue our fight for the truth but to appeal to the public and its leaders. Yes, we could have waited till the case goes to a Double Bench in the High Court and then held our collective breaths as it goes to the Supreme Court. We could have waited, and watch our careers get effectively over. But we chose action, for where is the guarantee that this same fiasco would not happen the next time, if the culprits go scot free? We have seen in the case of Assam how an effective Government can, without having to wait for judicial intervention, bring the axe down on corruption and corrupted officials.

Our intention was not to instigate a media trial but to bring to the attention of the government the irregularities that have crept into the MCSCC exam. For this unfortunate chain of events, we wish to convey our sincerest apologies to those who got selected genuinely despite all the perceived misdeeds in the MCSCC Examination, 2016. But any sort of movement to change something so deeply rooted in our system would have some unintended side-effects. If they feel their reputation has been somewhat tainted because of MPSC’s transgressions, the reputation of our state has been tarnished thousand-fold.

Published in Articles

By Amar Yumnam

Some recent developments, besides many others, demand critical attention. First, for the first time as far as I understand, a top leader of the country and as well holding the top constitutional position of the country mentioned the Aryans, the Dravidians and the Mongoloids in his speech to the nation on the eve of his completion of the term of occupation of the post. Second, another leader holding the second highest constitutional position spoke of the feelings of uncertainty of life among a section of population of the country. Third, the person leading the reformative agency of India – the agency created in lieu of the Planning Commission – left his position for a return to his original academic position. Fourth, more than five dozen children have died in the medical college hospital in Gorakhpur within five days.

All these developments have strong implications about the social condition of India, the prevailing governance character, the issues needing collective attention and the uncertainties facing the polity of India today. The responses of the ruling party in all these developments have not been very reassuring. When Ex-President Pranab Mukherjee mentioned Aryans, Dravidians and Mongoloids in his farewell address to the people, he definitely must have wanted to emphasise the robustly rich demographic heterogeneity of India and advise the government of the day to be alive to this diversity while adopting any policy. He definitely must have been keenly observing the recent trends for imposition of homogeneity and political dominance. As a highly educated person himself, he must be fully conscientious and conscious of the necessity of sustaining an encompassing and inclusive character and orientation in the polity for ensuring sustenance of a robust social for a long term transformation of the economy of India. For reasons best known to the Government, the portion of his speech mentioning the varied demographic groups is no longer there in the text as available in the web-site of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Similarly when the Vice President Hamid Ansari spoke of certain feelings of uncertainty among a group of the population, the response of the ruling political party could have been in a rather healthy way of committing to removal of the milieu of that kind of feeling if any. Even if not agreeing to his statement, socio-political propriety demands that there should be no direct response. Unfortunately the direct response has not been of any palatable quality.

It cannot be without some strong reasons that Professor Arvind Panagariya resigned mid-term from his position as leader of an entirely new institutional structure of the country. Though a non-aggressive economist in his public display of opinions, he is not one who would run away from his responsibility. A reading of his articles would reveal his political-economic commitment to a liberal frame of mind. The unfolding atmosphere of an aggressive socio-religious force imposing their perspective in the political arena and functioning of institutions of all hues must have really threatened his commitment to the reforms of India. In the trade-off between one official position with a scope for leaving a national legacy and another of routine academic position, Arvind Panagariya opted for the latter. As someone fully conversant with analyses of costs and benefits of any action, he must have learnt of the impossibility of reforms under the prevailing milieu.

Another unfolding scenario is the death of more than five dozens of children in a medical college hospital in Gorakhpur. This is an absolutely horrible tragedy and unpardonable crime. It has happened in the biggest province of India when the head of the people there is considered to be very politically powerful and projected as someone to inherit the present Prime Minister in his position. The ruling party came to power on Effective Governance as one important plank of mobilisation. But the Gorakhpur tragedy speaks volumes of the effectiveness or otherwise of governance. Further, since it is a medical college hospital, the question naturally arises if it is a tragic manifestation of the recent trend of undermining any institution whatsoever.

Here the American experience and robustness of it is now seen in the debate surrounding Donald Trump’s quality is relevant. John Joseph Wallis of University of Maryland writes: “One of the distinctive features of American society from the revolution onwards was the sustained development of the polity and the economy. ……… Economic development was matched by political development through a broader suffrage, the emergence of political parties at the state and national level, hotly contested but generally fair elections, a reliable legal system, and increasing ability to guide government decisions through democratic institutions. Economic, political, and general historians have always suspected that the two development processes were intimately connected. Economists have come to understand quite clearly that modern economic development is not possible without modern political development, and vice versa, if not quite understanding how they are connected. Economics and politics went together, it was an integral part of the American genius for building institutions.”

It is true that the political party that dominated the Indian political scenario for the largely greater part till recently since Independence have erred in many fronts, including the mixing of private interests and public interests as is evidenced today in terms of a family stunting the emergence of democratic strength within the party. Having said this, it must also be accepted that this party did go for institutional innovations and institution-building. They hardly tried to dominate, intervene and destroy the autonomy of institutions. In this respect the ruling party in the country today reveals an altogether different character.

The evolving public feelings in the country today in respect of the current dominant political party ruling the country have elements which need to be careful about; this is because the democratic roots are robust in this country and uncaring for these would be costly for the party. First, the ruling political party which replaced the Congress at the Centre is increasingly perceived as ingrates, intolerant and very imposing. Second, it is also being seen as compromising on the quality, commitment and autonomy of institutions of all hues for political dominance. In other words, impatience in power is salient.

Well ultimately a polity can be sustained, particularly in a society as diverse as India’s, only if the political competition is one of producing the best ideas and best solutions to the various problems. The diversity of the country demands that there has to be respect for the relative arena of functioning, performance and commitment of the multi-levels of governance. Attempting to reduce India to a single homothetic entity would be disastrous. Are signs of this already appearing?

Published in Articles
Monday, 14 August 2017 00:00

Ithai Barrage question

In the wake of the unseasonal cloudburst the state witnessed during May and the unprecedented flooding in the valley that followed, there has been a rising decibel of public voices of protest demanding the decommissioning of the Ithai Barrage. It is not certain how accurate the information is, but the public have now come to believe the Ithai Barrage is the reason for the flood woes the valley has come to be so prone. Quite obviously influenced by this public demand, even the chief minister, N. Biren Singh, has briefed the prime minister, Narendra Modi, on the matter and pleaded with him to have the dam decommissioned. All this is very well but as the sceptics that all in the profession of journalism are expected to be, we think some serious interrogation of the proposal is still essential. That the chief minister was being responsive to public voices is laudable, but the caution is, he does seem to have acted too impulsively and therefore hastily. The more rational approach would have been first to constitute a scientific inquiry and on the recommendation of such a team, to work out a blueprint of action to be taken. On such matters, NGO voices and public demands are important as alarm bells, but it would be imprudent to treat them also as fool proof scientific advices, ready to be implemented as public policy without further scrutiny.

Here are some of the reasons why we think caution is advisable. The Ithai Barrage, it may be recalled, was commissioned in 1983. The objective was to raise the water of the Loktak to an optimal level and keep it at that level constantly to the extent possible, so that its water can be diverted perennially to the Leimatak river of the Barak river system via three tunnels dug through the Lamdan-Laimaton hill ranges. This diverted water is designed to turn three turbines in these three tunnels, each with the capacity of producing 35 megawatts of power, therefore together peaking electricity production capacity at 105MW. Of these, Manipur’s share at the time of its commissioning was, if we remember correctly, 12 or 15 per cent. The rest was to be kept by the National Hydro Electric Power Corporation, NHEPC, the builder and owner of the Loktak Project.  So much has happened ever since not just in matters of the health of the Loktak Project, but also the Loktak environment. Raising the lake water level and keeping it constant at that height has among others meant the lake area expanding, causing the loss of an estimated 8,300 hectares or 83,000 acres of farmland belonging to villages in the vicinity of the lake.

Loktak’s ecology too obviously would have changed drastically and amongst evidences of this often cited is the disappearance of migratory Ngaton and Khabbak fish. If we remember correctly again, like the famous Salmon’s life cycle, Khabbak swims upstream from the Irrawaddi and the sea beyond to the cooler waters of Loktak annually to lay its eggs, and the hatchlings mature into Ngaton to swim back to the Irrawaddi and the sea to grow to be Khabbak again, keeping the cycle going. Ithai Barrage obstructed this cycle. Like the Salmon, both were relished while available. But 35 years is a long time, and nature being resilient, Loktak would have adapted to the new normal, and developed and naturalised a new eco-system, supporting new cycles of life forms all of which too would have adjusted to the new Loktak environment. What should be also of concern is breaking this new eco-system suddenly too can mean disasters. Physically too, in the 35 since the dam was built, Loktak would have changed much. Constant depositing of silt carried from the denuded hills by the many rivers that flow into it would have raised its bed considerably, so much so that if the Ithai Barrage were to be removed today, the lake may not retain much of its waters and a great section of it may dry up.  Foreboding of this was witnessed once about two decades ago when the barrage sluice doors were left open for longer than recommended at the insistence of a minister.

These are however only common sense extrapolations of what may and can happen if the Ithai Barrage were to be removed suddenly. It is likely, a scientific survey which has established the exact extent of the rise in the lake bed and the gradient difference between this new level and those of the Ithai’s release floor level etc., can have different and not so alarming projections, and removal of the barrage may be recommended. Our contention is, let such a scientific survey must precede any action on this question so that any possibility of another Ithai Barrage disaster as first which resulted in building it, and now in decommissioning it, is avoided.

Published in Editorial
Monday, 14 August 2017 00:00

AR nabs insurgent

IMPHAL | Aug 13

Veng Battalion of Churachandpur Sector Assam Rifles and Churachandpur police nabbed an alleged active KNLF cadre involved in killing of general secretary of KNLF, Lalmoi along with arms and ammunition in an operation carried out on August 8.

A release said that the alleged active KNLF cadre identified as Ngamminlen Haokip alias Diamond (23) son of (L) Jangpu Haokip of Moreh Ward Number 1, Tegnoupal district was arrested along with one 9mm pistol with magazine, three live rounds of 9mm and one chinese hand grenade.

It further said that the cadre also revealed the location of a motorcycle (KENBO 125 Made in Myanmar) used by him for carrying out anti-social activities.  The apprehended cadre along with recovered arms and ammunition has been handed over to Churachandpur police for further investigation, it added.    

Published in News
Monday, 14 August 2017 00:00

Traffic campaign

MOREH | Aug 13

In continuation of the "Obey Indian Traffic Rules" awareness campaign, Tengnoupal SP, S. Ibomcha and Moreh ADC, N. Gojendro Singh, SDPO Lawrence, Moreh police OC, Chaoba visited Indo-Myanmar Friendship Bridge at Gate Number 1, Moreh today.

Now, the people of Myanmar strictly obey Indian Traffic Rules in the Indian Territory. The Myanmar people requested to erect billboard written in their language showing to obey traffic rules. Tengnoupal SP and the team members assured to do the same after Independence Day celebration.

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