By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | Nov 10
The High Court of Manipur has today quashed the suspension order of Dr. Okram Ibomcha Singh, ex-director of Medical and Health Services, and state mission director, State Health Society government of Manipur, who was placed under suspension for allegedly misusing his powers.
The suspension order was quashed and set aside by an order of the single bench of Justice KH. Nobin Singh, after invalidating it (suspension order) for the failure of the government to conduct a review of its decision (order) within ninety days as required under the provision of CCS (CCA) Rules, 1965.
It is learnt that the respondents in its counter affidavit submitted that the department of personnel, government of Manipur, has issued an order on August 28 last directing that the petitioner shall continue to be under suspension.
However the bench was of the view that the suspension order has become invalid since it has not been expended within 90 days “under the provisions of sub-rule (6) in terms of the law settled by the honourable Supreme Court” such an order of suspension which has become invalid cannot be revived by the subsequent review cannot be allowed to be continued by the competent authority.
Moreover, bench mentioned that any other disciplinary proceeding has not been commenced against the petitioner while he was under suspension in connection with a memorandum dated 17-06-2017.
Dr. Okram Ibomcha Singh, was suspended by an order issued by the deputy secretary (DP), government of Manipur on April 13 last as a disciplinary action for allegedly misusing his official status, power and acted in a manner of unbecoming of a government servant under rule 10(1)(a) of the CCS(CCA) Rules, 1965.
The suspension order sparked controversy as the Health minister, L. Jayentakumar, tendered his resignation three days after the suspension order was issued, for alleged interference from many quarters.
Senior Advocate, B.P Sabu, represented the petitioner while N. Kumarjit, Advocate general appeared on behalf of the respondents which included the state of Manipur represented by the principal secretary (DP), commissioner, department of Health and Family Welfare and under secretary (DP), government of Manipur.
IMPHAL | Nov 10
Chief minister N. Biren Singh said that Government of Manipur is planning to construct guest houses for Buddhist pilgrims from Myanmar as well as tourists and patients in the State.
He was speaking at the inaugural session of International Conference ‘Looking Forward: India Myanmar Relations’ held at Yangon during his four-day visit to Myanmar today.
The conference was jointly organised by Institute of Social and Cultural Studies, India (ISCS) and Myanmar Institute of Strategic and International Studies (MISIS) with supports from Embassy of India, Yangon, RIS, India, MIBC and Mizzima Media Group.
Speaking as the chief guest, Chief minister said that a regional language study centre would be set up in Manipur for developing foreign languages, especially Myanmar and Thai languages. The Manipur Government would set up Buddhist religious teaching institution(s) in alliance with Nalanda University through the Ministry of Culture, Government of India in Manipur.
Mentioning the glorious past of Indo-Myanmar relations, Chief minister said that India and Myanmar are not simply good neighbours but inseparable nations that have together stood the test of time for centuries now.
Highlighting the border area development plan for Moreh and surrounding areas, Chief minister said that the Government is planning to develop a new cosmopolitan township with all the requisite facilities for international trade to be established near the border.
Stating the importance of Act East Policy in the region, Chief minister stated that Manipur Government has constituted a State Level Committee to aid and advice in effective operationalisation of Act East Policy in the State. With an aim to promote and implement the Act East Policy of the Government of India effectively, he said, the Committee shall advise and guide the departments and agencies of the Government in carrying out various activities in Manipur and the neighbouring region. He further mentioned the vast potential resources in terms of natural resources of the North East India. The region has the highest hydro power potential producing roughly above 40 thousand Mega Watts.
Chief minister stated that the State Government has identified several potential projects for investment under the sectors of Power, Tourism, Horticulture, Agro based industries, Food Processing, Handloom and Handicrafts etc. and Manipur is ready to provide incentives to potential investors who are willing to invest in the State. He said that marketing infrastructure need to be developed in terms of storage and processing facilities, adequate marketing system, road infrastructure and market centres in the region.
On the occasion, Chief minister invited the media fraternity from Myanmar to be the guests in Manipur during the ‘Manipur Sangai Festival 2017’. He said that there will be a media interaction where one can share the views and ideas on Act East Policy, to deepen the relationships between both the countries and above all the growth of economies. He further mentioned that there will be an exhibition football match between the Myanmar Women Football Team and Manipur Women Football Team in the upcoming Manipur Sangai Festival under the theme “Connecting through Sports”.
Among others, Retired Ambassador and MISIS Chairman Shri U Nyunt Maung Shein, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Shri U Kyaw Zeya, Ambassador of India to Myanmar Shri Vikram Misri and Institute of Social and Cultural Studies, India (ISCS), Secretary Shri Arindam Mukherjee also attended the conference.
Principal Secretary to Chief minister Shri Vineet Joshi, State Level Committee for Operationalisation of Act East Policy Convenor Shri RK Shivachandra and Personal Secretary to Chief minister Shri Salam Rajen are accompanying the Chief minister.
Newmai News Network
SENAPATI | Nov 10
In today’s round of tripartite talks, the UNC has urged the state government to come with a “concrete proposal” on the district creation issue by the next round of talks which has been scheduled for February 23, 2018.
Another notable development in today’s talks on the district creation issue is that the state government “will issue advisory to concerned authorities to ease out problems faced by the general public subsequent” after the new districts were created. However, the parties involved in the talks did not divulge the precise point of the latter line.
Sources said that today’s tripartite talks were marred by charges from the UNC leaders on the state government representatives as the Naga leaders even threatened to quit the talks altogether. The UNC leaders demanded from the State government to roll back the new districts before December 8, 2017.
It may be recalled that then Ibobi Singh government declared the creation of seven new districts on December 8, 2016.
The Sources continued that today’s talks which began at 12:30 pm at DRDA conference hall, Senapati headquarters. During the talk the UNC representatives questioned as to why the state government took too long to roll back the new district created a year ago.
The UNC team was determined that the state government must rolls back the new districts by December 8, 2017. Following this fiery attacks from the Naga leaders, the State government representatives requested the former to give them some time so that they could prepare a “concrete proposal” after holding consultation with stakeholders.
Hangkhanlian, minister, agriculture, veterinary and animal husbandry, government of Manipur, N. Kayisii, minister, tribal and hill areas development and fisheries, Manipur and Thokchom Radheshyam Singh, minister, education and labour and employment, Manipur, J Suresh Babu, additional chief secretary, government of Manipur, K. Radhakumar Singh, Commissioner (Works) government of Manipur represented the State government.
The sources also said that the UNC leaders asked the state government representatives whether they have mistaken the talks for a ‘departmental meeting’. “We told the state government representatives to understand that this is a political talk”, said the UNC leaders. The UNC leaders also told the state government representatives not to come to tell their difficulties in the tripartite talks. “We told them that we are not here to listen to their difficulties. If they have no political will then there is no point continuing the talks,” added the UNC leader.
Gaidon Kamei, President, United Naga Council (UNC), S. Milan, general secretary, UNC, James Inka, general secretary, All Naga Students’ Association Manipur (ANSAM), Asha Wungnam, president, Naga Women’s Union, L Adani, advisor, UNC, KS Paul Leo, former president of UNC, Samson Remei, former president, UNC, Weapon Zimik, president, Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL), Poupoklung Kamei, president, Zeliangrong Badi (M), Robert Lamkang, president, Chandel Naga Peoples Organisation (CNPO), Rockson Shimray (UNC), AC Thotso (ANSAM), SK Stephen (UNC), Gabriel Chinir (UNC), T Moses Kamba, president, Naga Peoples’ Organisation (NPO) represented the UNC team.
As usual, today’s event was chaired by Satyendra Garg, joint secretary, ministry of home affairs, government of India.
It is worth mentioning here that today’s event was the fifth one. The first one was held on March 19, and the second one on May 19, the third talks on August 11 and the fourth one on October 6.
By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | Nov 10
Birla, Bajaj, Reliance, Maruti Suzuki,Ashok Leyland are among the names of the 150 delegates whom have been invited by the state government to attend the first North East business summit. The two-day summit will be held at the City Convention hall at Palace compound on November 21 and 22.
Convenor of the summit and vice-president of Manipur Infrastructure Development Authority (MIDA), M Ashwini Kumar told Imphal Free Press that the objective of the summit is to highlight and explore the opportunities and investment potential of the northeast with preference to Manipur state. “The summit is a part of the act-east policy of the Prime Minister, the PM had mentioned that northeast will be known as a new economy, new energy, new empowerment and will become a new engine for the growth of the nation,” he added that the dream will be realized under the leadership of the Prime Minister and the initiative of the chief minister N Biren Singh.
The summit will focus on the main agendas of trade and investment, connectivity and infrastructure development, tourism, skill development, capacity building and entrepreneurship and including sports, bio-economy, health, IT. The MNCs and the investors will be shown the potential of the resources of the state and local entrepreneurs will also be given opportunity to interact and give their proposals to the companies.
There will be delegates from 15 embassies including Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar etc. and chief ministers of Assam, Arunachal and Nagaland will also attend the summit. Ashwini stated that there is possibility of many union ministers attending the summit which the President of India will inaugurate.
He stated that Manipur is lagging behind from other states of the mainland and has remained neglected for many decades. “There are 8 lac unemployed youths, many talented individuals have left the state and work in other states and abroad, this is a brain drain for our state, such business summits will help empower the economy in a sustainable manner and plug the brain drain and at the same time provide myriad employment opportunities’ for the youths. We need this outside investment,” he said.
Even ahead of the summit, there has been preliminary contracts signed with a Singapore firm for development of real estate at Matai village, the Indian Coffee Board has started work for coffee plantation at Ukhrul, Chandel and Imphal East encompassing 300 hectares, Spice Board of India has initiated a Rs100 crore project for the fiscal year, projects are underway also to produce ethanol as a bio-fuel. “These are new ventures, new concepts objected at providing sustainable development, it is but a new beginning, our mission is to transform Manipur” Ashwini said.
The officials of Manipur Chamber of Commerce and All Manipur Entrepreneurs Association will be taking part as delegates at the summit.
By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | Nov 10
The High court of Manipur has today directed the state government, Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) and gas agencies of the state to submit a report within six week for the hearing after a PIL case was filed against them by one Prasanta Oinam.
The petitioner’s counsel submitted before the division bench of the High Court comprising of acting chief justice, N. Kotiswar and justice Kh. Nobin that in the state the supply and distribution of the domestic LPG cylinder at present is controlled and managed by IOCL which is a government oil company under section 2 (g) of the LPG (regulation of supply and distribution) according to an order passed in the year 2000.
In 2014 in a relief to the consumer the government of India, Ministry of Petroleum and natural gas revised the limit of subsidized LPG to 11 numbers for the year ending March 31, 2014 and further with 12 number of subsidised LPG Gas cylinder per annum with effect from April 1, 2014, added the counsel.
The counsel further submitted that the subsidized LPG cylinders for the domestic cooking purpose is available in 14.2 kg capacity cylinders and is distributed only through authorised LPG distributors of IOCL.
But the decision of the government of India never came into reality in the state of Manipur as the respondents who are responsible for shorting out the scarcity of LPG gas by providing minimum numbers of LPG gas through authorised LPG distributors are playing a blame game and remain idle without taking any responsibilities on their parts, continued the counsel.
While on the other hand, the LPG gas are readily available in black markets at a relatively higher price throughout the year as the price of the subsidized LPG gas is Rs 483.50 and the non-subsidized LPG Gas is 862, and the same are sold at a price range of Rs. 1,500 to 3,000 in black market, maintained the counsel.
It is further submitted that non supply of minimum required LPG gas cylinders for the household has also directly affected the economy of the family and it is shocking that the subsidised domestic LPG cylinders of IOCL are abundantly available in the black markets.
It clearly shows that the domestic LPGs which are entitled to the consumers have been diverted to black markets by the respondents, said the counsel.
The counsel prayed before the court to institute a CBI inquiry regarding the matter for taking up action against those responsible for the scarcity as well as black marketing.
IMPHAL | Nov 10
Public Works Minister Shri Thongam Biswajit Singh today inspected road repairing and pot hole mending works along Imphal –Dimapur National Highway No. 39 and Tiddim Road ahead of the President of India’s visit to the Manipur Sangai Festival 2017.
Speaking to media persons on the sideline of the inspection tour at Ningthoukhong, the Minister said that road repairing works of the highways and the Keibul Lamjao approach road have been initiated ahead of the Sangai Festival. He asserted that this is not the end of road repairing works.
The government, he said, is still committed to improve surface connectivity by improving road conditions including national and state highways and lane. He said that officials have also been instructed to undertake proper road repairing work after the Sangai Festival.
He continued in accordance to its earlier commitment to improve road conditions ahead of the Sangai Festival once the weather allows, the government has already started repairing of roads around Palace Compound, the Kongba Road among others.
Regarding the approach road leading to Lamboikhongnangkhong, the minister stated that considering the importance of the road in connection with the Sangai Festival, repairing works have been initiated.
The Minister, accompanied by engineers of the Works department including Executive Engineers and others, inspected the black topping and pothole mending works along the National Highway 39 at Koirengei Area and at Ningthoukhong along the Tiddim Road.
Newmai News Network
DIMAPUR | Nov 10
NSCN-IM leaders including the outfit’s home minister said that the Framework Agreement signed between the Government of India and the outfit “is the highway for complete independence of the Nagas”. The NSCN-IM leaders also said that “the unique history and the legitimate rights of the Nagas have been firmly asserted and recognized to be the basis for political solution” in the Framework Agreement signed on August 3, 2015.
The NSCN-IM leaders disclosed this information to Naga leaders from Rengma Naga Hills and Karbi Anglong of Assam today during a consultative meeting held at Camp Hebron, off Dimapur.
According to a press note of the NSCN-IM, an intensive consultative meeting led by Hukavi Yepthomi, home minister of the outfit and Lieutenant General Ningkhan Shimray, ‘political commissar’, NSCN was held with various Naga public leaders including gaonburas from the Rengma Naga Hills and Karbi Anglong, Assam. The meeting was also attended by a host of senior NSCN-IM leaders including its highest decision making body, the Steering Committee, the outfit’s ministers and deputy ministers, cabinet secretary, the NSCN-IM home secretary staff from the “GPRN Secretariats”.
The meeting was conducted by M. Daniel Lotha, the the outfit’s home secretary and invocation was pronounced by James Rengma (pastor). The outfit’s home minister and the NSCN-IM’s ‘political commissar’ thoroughly briefed the members present on the ongoing political talk which is in advanced stage. The NSCN-IM leaders also stressed on the need for active participation of the public leaders; as it is the need of the hour.
“The public leaders acknowledged the dynamic political leadership of the NSCN in signing the Framework Agreement with the Government of India on the 3rd of August, 2015”, the NSCN-IM said. The public leaders further strongly reiterated the urgent need for the land of the Nagas in Assam which has been snatched away arbitrarily by the greedy land encroachers to be restored to the rightful Naga owners in the event of the final solution, the NSCN-IM press statement added. The NSCN-IM claimed that the public leaders also affirmed their support to the Framework Agreement and the leadership of the NSCN-IM. “The meeting successfully concluded with a vote of thanks by Tennyson Rengma, Tatar, and benediction pronounced by Kesenga Rengma, President of Western Rengma Baptist Association and followed by a love feast,” the NSCN-IM said.
From Our Correspondent
THOUBAL | Nov 10
The burning away of crop residue like rice straws and hay which can serve many useful purpose, is like throwing away gems into a river, said subject matter specialist, KVK Thoubal, Dr. M Thoithoi.
When asked about the practice of burning crop residue immediately after harvesting season by farmers, Dr. Thoithoi expressed his views in a special meeting.
He further expressed that crop residue if used properly, can turn into a profiting business and help develop the economy of the state in a big way.
North East India is known for being a hot spot for organic farming. However, in Manipur, people seem to think that the meaning of agriculture is only harvesting of rice paddy, farming of vegetable and fruits.
Farming of seasonal vegetables during winter after the harvesting of crops is a very profitable. Keeping the crop residue scattered at the paddy fields is very useful.
Modern day farming which relies on chemicals not only is a costly business but can cause in the birth of many diseases. A resourceful alternative is to keep the organic crop residue scattered on the paddy fields and make them decompose naturally.
As the rice straws and hay decomposes, they make the soil rich and highly fertile. Not only this, the excrement left by the animals coming to graze on the crop residue makes the soil even more fertile. The crop residue also makes the ground soft, thus making farmer easier to work. The dried and hard ground is blamed for discouraging the people to work on it.
Dr. Thoithoi said the belief that burning of crop residue prevents the infestation of “wahik” in the next harvest is entirely false. There is no any relation between burning of crops and the infestation of “wahik.” Some insects that might be present during the burning may be killed, however.
Science has proven that fire can burn only where oxygen is found and the heat affects only the surface area. If the fire is very strong, it will be able to kill some insects hiding below the surface of the ground. However, it can also destroy the richness of the soil and its fertility. The appearance of “wahik” is due to its migrating from other places afterwards or due to the usage of wrong insecticides.
The wrong use of insecticides like Synthetic Pyrethroid (cypermethril, alphamethril, deltamethril etc.) is to be blamed.
Some of the insects, who had managed to survive after continuous exposure to these insecticides, have the potential the reproduces themselves rapidly. This is the main reason behind the infestation of “wahik” and the cause behind all the problems associated with it. Therefore, the crop residue must never be burned down and make it go to waste.
Mentioning the benefits or rice straws and hay, he explained that during the farming of seasonal vegetables during winter (onions and others), if the rice straw is cut in the length of two inches and thrown above the saplings during their budding state, there will be no need water the saplings every day. Daily watering can also affect the saplings in a negative way.
The belief that cattle do not like to eat rice straws after being processed by machines is also false. Cattle actually love to eat them. The rice straws which are not processed by machines takes time to decompose and cannot be used immediately for mushroom farming.
Mushroom farming is huge business which is very profitable. Not only it is profitable, Mushroom is a very healthy food. One of the favourite mustard oil consumed in the state, Tagore Oil is produced in Rajasthan, a place where most it its land consists of desert areas.
On the other hand, Manipur state being properly irrigated and having plenty of water resources, is not able to produce mustard oil. The reason behind this is that the people do not have proper knowledge of agriculture.
He further said that those who are willing to acquire information in the field of agriculture can take consultations from KVK Thoubal at Khangabok.
IMPHAL | Nov 10
The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind will inaugurate the 8th Manipur Sangai Festival 2017. Addressing media persons at the Conference Hall of Old Secretariat, MLA Dr. Sapam Ranjan, Chairman, Tourism Corporation Manipur Limited said that the people of Manipur will witness a grand festival in the 8th edition of Manipur Sangai Festival to be held from November 21 to 30.
He said that the goal of the festival is to double the number of attendees compared to previous festivals held since inception.
This year the festival will be held at different venues with main venues at Hatta Kangjeibung, Khuman Lampak Sports Complex in Imphal East District and Lamboi Khongnangkhong in Imphal West District and at Sendra, Takmu water Sports Complex and Keibul in Bishnupur District.
The festival expects to welcome 50,000 attendees this year including national leaders, policy makers, industry experts, business delegates and exhibitors from over 20 countries.
To make the festival a success and to promote Manipur tourism, marketing and publicity campaign for the festival have been expanded in different cities all over India through multiple platforms which include print and digital, social media, radio, television, billboards and other on-site publicity activities engaging airports and metro trains etc. he added.
He further said that before the inauguration of the festival, a half marathon and other races will be conducted in the morning followed by a Curtain Raiser at Keibul Lamjao by the Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri N. Biren Singh in the afternoon on November 19.
The inaugural function will take place at Hatta Kangjeibung on November 21, 2017, where cultural activities of the different communities of the State and other States of India as well as International artists and cultural troupe will take place throughout the festival at the Bhagyachandra Open Air Theatre (BOAT). Besides photography exhibition, MTF World War II exhibition, flower show, theme parks, food stall and other entertainment programmes will also be a part of the showcase at the main venue.
Indigenous sports and fun activities for children will be conducted at the Khuman Lampak sports complex. The venue at Lamboi Khongnangkhong will host biggest number of commercial stalls from Manipur, different states of the country and abroad in addition to tethered Hot Air Balloons which will be the main attraction. Mapal Kangjeibung will host exciting polo matches between teams from Manipur representing India and other countries.
On November 26, a boat race (Hiyang Tannaba) will be held at the South-Western part of the Kangla Moat where boat racers dressed in indigenous attires will compete at the race, the Chairman added. To showcase the immense tourism potential of Loktak Lake and its adjoining areas, cultural event with a theme centred on the culture of Loktak Lake, modern polo and the endangered brow-antlered deer (Sangai) will be held on the evening of 22nd and 23rd November at Takmu Water Sports Complex at Loktak Lake along with several water activities in Bishnupur District.
He also said that for the first time, the state is going to host the North East Development Summit during the Manipur Sangai Festival to develop the North East Region with special focus on Manipur by inviting investors and other stakeholders from across India and other countries to explore business opportunities in Manipur. The summit will be inaugurated by the Hon’ble President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind on 21st November, 2017.
Keeping in view of the large traffic volume expected during the festival, the State Police Department has charted out routes to ease the traffic movement. To ensure safety, visitors can access the 24x7 helpline numbers (SP, Imphal East – 9436033471; SSP, Imphal West – 9436279997; SP Bishnupur – 9862067893; Lamboikhongnangkhong; Khuman Lampak, Control Room– 0385-2450214; Hatta Kangjeibung, Control Room – 0385-2452669 and Bishnupur Control Room – 03879-222339). CCTV cameras will be installed at all the main venues. In view of the multiple venues at this edition of the festival, the Tourism Department has organised a free shuttle service, comprising 40 Tata Wingers fitted with GPS devices to shuttle between the four main venues – Hatta Kangjeibung, Khuman Lampak Sports Complex in Imphal East district and Mapal Kangjeibung, Lamboi Khongnangkhong in Imphal West District. The Tourism Department will also be offering Free Wi-Fi services in and around the main venue at Hatta Kangjeibung through Reliance Jio to cater the needs of the participants.
The Tourism Department will issue identity cards for those media persons without DIPR identity card. However, media persons having DIPR Identity cards will be given free entry to the venues this year as a step towards giving increases media coverage to the festivals, he added.
Entry tickets for Hatta Kangjeibung will be priced at Rs. 30/- (Adult) and Rs. 20/- (Uniformed Students) and for Khuman Lampak and Lamboi Khongnangkhong at Rs. 20/-(Adult) and Rs. 10/- (Uniformed Students). Tickets will be available at all venues of the event and at various counters at Kongba, Singjamei, Lilong, Kwakeithel, Keishampat, Uripok, Lalambung, Khuyathong and Lamlong. Online tickets will also be available at www.sangaiticket.com.
- Sudhan, IAS, Director (Tourism), Government of Manipur, Clay Khongsai, IGP (Zone -1) and officials of Tourism Department and Police Department also attended the press briefing.
IMPHAL | Nov 10
One must unite to bring development in the state said former minister O. Joy Singh while speaking as the president on the occasion of people’s conference organised by the state road task force demand committee.
He said that the state road task force demand committee is there to bring awareness on road safety. It is also a part of a mission to employ the youths and he believes that the new government will bring job opportunities to the youths in the coming days he further mentioned.
He said that the Naga issue that is going on is a crucial issue that one must be aware of. If there is unity among the hills and the valley than there will be much development in the state whether in roads or infrastructure, he said.
He further claimed that the night plaza has brought a huge development in the state. He said that it is for amusement and to bring mental peace to the people of the state.
The people’s conference was also attended by Prof. N. Mohendro Singh Dr. T. Hemo Singh and H. Sanajaoba Singh and other delegates at the Manipur press club.