IMPHAL | July 12
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for upgradation and widening of 65kms of Imphal-Moreh section of the National Highway-39 in Manipur at a cost of Rs. 1630 crores.
Manipur being a landlocked state with almost 90 percent of the area under difficult terrain presently has only road transport as a means of mass transport system within the state. Hence development of the road infrastructure is of paramount importance to improve connectivity and progress of the state and to ensure that the administrative set up reaches the isolated and remote habitats. The project will improve connectivity between Imphal with the eastern part of the state. Based on the existing and projected traffic requirements the NH-39 will be widened to four lanes between Lilong and Wangjing village, while the stretch between Wangjing village to Khongkhang will be upgraded to two lanes with paved shoulder.
The project is being developed with ADB’s loan assistance under the South Asian Sub-Regional Economic Co-operation (SASEC) road connectivity investment programme which aims at upgradation of road infrastructure in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and India (BBIN) in order to improve the regional connectivity among the BBIN nations.
The project corridor is also a part of Asian Highway No.1 (AH-1) and acts as India’s gateway to the East. Thus trade, commerce and tourism in the region will get a boost.
For fulfilling India’s “Look East” Policy and to promote and enhance trade link with South East Asia, the government of India has notified an Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Moreh. The development of this project is essential in order to support the increased traffic volume due to coming up of ICP. The workers of Manipur who specialize in creating bamboo and wood based handicraft items and uniquely designed hand woven textile items will get a new market among the Myanmar’s customers. Small scale industries such as those making farm implements and tools, stationary, plastic extrusion items, carpentry units, could also develop markets beyond the border.
Besides socio-economic development the project will also lead to reduction in average travel time along the project road by nearly 40 percent. In addition, the new features of road safety namely vehicular underpasses, crash barriers, road signs and marking, service roads for segregation of slow and high moving traffic, truck lay-by, bus-bays etc. will help in greatly reducing accidents. Improved highway and lesser travel time will lead to savings in terms of fuel cost.
By a Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | July 12
In light of the recent report in this paper regarding fake eggs entering the market, the state public health food testing laboratory conducted tests on egg samples procured from whole-sellers.
The report given by the state food analyst, Ch. Sanajaoba Meitei deemed that all necessary tests have been conducted on the samples and it has been deemed safe for human consumption. The lab tested 20 eggs only.
According to the report, the samples were received on July 6 and the physical, chemical and structural tests were conducted. As per the National Egg Co-ordination Committee (NECC) recommendation, the shelf life of a normal egg is 17 days in winter and 7 days in summer.
During transportation, the ideal temperature of transporting eggs is at 20 degree celsius but the temperature during transportation is at 32 to 34 degrees. It said that higher temperature is observed during transportation and may cause a structural change in the albumin from liquid to slightly rubbery but doesn’t mean that it is a ‘fake’ egg.
The analyst recommended that a manufacturing date/packaging/collection of the egg should be given for public awareness and a storage temperature should be maintained. It may be mentioned that the Kolkota Municipal Council in May last had seized 97,000 eggs for testing of artificial eggs.
Regarding the tests of plastic eggs and plastic rice and other adulteration reports , the state food testing lab is currently conducting tests and there is no sign of any plastic rice or eggs found as of yet, Dr S Bimalkumari, food safety consultant of the Food Safety Administration told Imphal Free Press.
She, however, did not rule out the possibility of plastic eggs and rice entering the market. She said that the easiest way to test an egg is to feel the surface of the egg, it is slightly rough and this cannot be replicated in an artificial egg.
For testing rice, a small amount can be put in a transparent glass with water and plastic rice will float up.
“If there is doubt, don’t eat it,” Bimalkumari stated, adding that there is serious adulteration going on in various edible food products. She said that if the public eat adulterated foodstuff for a long time, it becomes a form of slow poisoning.
She warned that most of the processed food coming from Myanmar is unsafe as it has no Food Safety and Standard Authority of India licensing.
She mentioned further that there may be adulteration and preservatives may be added in meat and fish items. The use of pesticides in vegetables, using carbide to ripen bananas is a major health hazard. Spoiled bananas are sometimes used in making banana cake, rotten eggs used to make cake etc.
Formaldehyde in fish
On May 5 last, samples of sareng, pengba, rohu, ngahei, ahila and mackerel from seventeen different retailers were collected for testing to check if any preservative has been added. The samples have been handed over to the state public health laboratory located at Lamphelpat, MACS complex.
The fish are being brought mainly from Andhra Pradesh. The report from the lab is still pending whereas under section 46 of the Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006, the results should be given within 14 days.
The problem of the state food lab not being able to conduct the test is due to lack of a particular scientific apparatus (a condenser) which costs approximately Rs. 5000. The matter of the unavailability of the lab equipment was put up to the chief minister during a press meet held recently.
Designated officer of Imphal West, Y. Satyajeet said that there is high suspicion that preservatives like formaldehyde may be present but the test results are yet to arrive. He added that all samples of rice, noodles, salt and sugar are being tested for adulteration presently.
Newmai News Network
DIMAPUR | July 12
The Nagaland political crisis continues with legislators supporting TR Zeliang still camping at Kaziranga Resort in Assam. However, NPF spokesperson and Education minister, Yitachu claimed that Chief Minister, Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu still “enjoys” the support of 58 legislators.
The NPF spokeperson said that the Government in a State means Chief Minister and his Council of Ministers, and the maximum Council of Ministers for the state of Nagaland is 12 which comprises of Chief Minister and 11 Cabinet Minister.
According to him, in the face of the present dissidence among the NPF legislators, the NPF party as well as the State Government are intact, and both the NPF party and the State Government are functioning normally.
“Out of the 12 Cabinet berths, 8 are being occupied, thereby forming the full quorum. Constitutionally and legally, Dr. Shurhozelie Liezietsu, Chief Minister of Nagaland still enjoys the confidence of 58 Members i.e. 47 NPF MLAs, 4 BJP MLAs and 7 Independent MLAs, because the 4 BJP MLAs are in the Government, and even the 7 Independent MLAs have not withdrawn their letter of support extended to Dr. Shurhozelie Liezietsu,” Yitachu claimed.
According to the NPF spokesperson, the present crisis is purely NPF internal party affair.
The issue of leadership in the NPF Party is different from the leadership in the Government i.e. the Chief Minister, he stated.
“When it comes to leadership in the party, it has to be decided in the party forum, and the issue cannot be taken to the Governor’s office, or in the Assembly, he added.
For example, if there is a legislature party leadership issue among the 4 BJP MLAs in the state, will the Governor summon the House to resolve the BJP Legislature Party leadership issue? If the answer is ‘No’, then in that case, no matter what the number of dissident NPF Legislators may be, the legislature Party leadership issue in the NPF cannot be decided by the Hon’ble Governor’s office, or on the floor of the Assembly,” Yitachu also said, adding, “If Shri T.R Zeliang claims to have the support of the majority NPF Legislature Party, he should take up the issue with the NPF party first, but asking the Hon’ble Governor to resolve the internal affairs of the NPF party is illegal and unconstitutional”.
Trying to resolve internal Party problems in the Assembly is not in accordance with democratic and Parliamentary practices, Yitachu also said.
“That is why, it is an established law that a No-Confidence Motion cannot be tabled in the Assembly by the Legislators of the ruling party,” he added.
According to the NPF spokesperson, in any given political party, there is always a room for an inner party democracy, including freedom to express differences of views and opinions.
However, in the case of the present camping of dissident MLAs at Kaziranga, the movement of MLAs is being restricted, and they are kept under forced confinement, Yitachu said. “This is undemocratic, as it undermines freedom of movement and freedom of speech guaranteed by the Constitution”.
“It may be stated here that the Independent MLAs, or for that matter, the MLAs of BJP or other political parties have no role to play in the issue of deciding leadership of the NPF Legislature Party”, Yitachu said while adding, “It is expected that such established democratic practices and parliamentary procedures should be within the knowledge of Hon’ble MLAs”.
By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL |July 12
Proving that there is rampant adulteration in food being brought into the state from outside, three persons have been prosecuted and fined for selling adulterated mustard oil. It may be recalled that Imphal Free Press in November 2016 had carried a report that more than 20 persons at Thanga island, of Bishnupur district had fallen ill after attending a feast. The report also mentioned the cause as of food poisoning was likely to be from the mustard oil.
There were some verbal threats from concerned officers over the phone that Imphal Free Press had carried a false report and that the mustard oil might not be the cause for the food poisoning. However, the report has been substantiated and three persons namely Murarilal Goyal of G.O mills, Jaipur, one Hemant Gupta of Old Assembly Road and Phairembam Ramananda of Moirang bazaar have been fined Rs. 1, 50, 000, Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 5,000 respectively for selling adulterated mustard oil.
The mustard oil called Kachchi-Ghani Tagore mustard oil did not have a FSSAI license number also. Food safety officer of Bishnupur had filed an application to the district magistrate in this regard and was registered as a civil case and prayed for prosecution under the Food Safety and Standards (packaging and labeling) Regulations, 2011.
By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | July 12
Thoubal river has increase its water level crossing highest flood level by 0.185 metres that reach 781.600 metres and Ithai barrage by 0.58 metres which is 769.900 metres
The water level of Thoubal river in the morning at 6 am was recorded as 781.100 metres but with the high rainfall at Litan area of Ukhrul district at the rate of 36 mm caused over flood in almost all Thoubal area. But the rate of rainfall yesterday at Litan was 25 mm.
Left bank bund (LBB) i.e. left side of Thoubal river has overflowed at Khekman and Leishangthem Telimakhong. Flooded water runs Mayang Imphal road over a height of nearly 5 feet above the road.
Imphal river at Lilong crossed highest flood level by 0.3 metres i.e. the water level is recorded as 783.150 metres as its highest flood level is 782.850 metres. People of the area are still reeling under the flood. The river still holds its water level above highest flood level at Minuthong by 786.425 metres.
Iril river has crossed flood level by 0.25 metres but 1.5 metres lag to reach highest flood level.
Nambol river is still flowing above flood level as its water level is 773.20 metres and highest flood level is of the river is 773.700 metres.
Water level of Nambul river is consistent at 782.575 metres above flood level i.e. 782.175 metres.
According to superintending engineer of Irrigation and flood control department, Liaquat Ali said the department have enough flood fighting materials. Flood related information can be had from the control room through phone number 0385-2451550. But due to landslide in the national highways collection of empty cement bags might be a problem. The empty bags are collected from Guwahati and Silchar.
He said, for Lamphel area, flood measures have been taken by department of irrigation and flood control by draining water with seven water pump sets at Shamushang. To improve the situation of flood four water pump set will be added.
Each water pump set is of 20 to 25 horse power engine and capacity to drain water at 65 litres per second Liaquat said.
Most of the river water levels are not decreasing as the level of upstream and downstream of Ithai barrage are becoming similar and as a result water flows from the barrage is affected by high current of Chakpi river, he added.
By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | July 12
Four non-local traders were arrested yesterday for allegedly selling fake electronic products and mobile phone accessories from BT Road, Imphal by the City police.
From their possessions police seized large quantities of fake trademark products including Beat headphones and mobile chargers, I-phone power-banks and chargers, mobile batteries, car chargers, adapters, bluetooth device and other mobile accessories.
The arrested individuals are identified as Santosh Sahu (37) son of late Sankar Sahu of Tilipati, Mukesh Kumar (29) son of Baban Sahu of Bihar and presently staying at Tilipati, Suraj Kumar (23) son of Sylein Kumar of Serou presently staying at governor staff quarter and Shanjit Paul (22) son of Adher Chandra of Saiton Nganu Kon presently staying at Nagamapal.
They were arrested from their respective shops located at BT Road, Imphal and a case has been registered at the City police station.
According to an official source, the four individuals were arrested after the City police got a complaint lodged by United Oversees Trade Mark company, enforcement officer, Mahesh V. Kamble who is an authorised legal representative of Apple company and Beat company.
The arrested persons were produced before the chief judicial magistrate, Imphal West today by the City police during which accused counsels filed bail application but the court rejected the bail application.
Later the court remanded the four accused persons to police custody for three days for further investigation as prayed by the IO of the case.
IMPHAL | July 12
Agriculture, veterinary and animal husbandry minister V. Hangkhanlian asked the flood affected farmers not to panic thinking that they would lose everything due to their agricultural lands coming to be submerged in the recent monsoon rain.
The Minister was on a visit to the site of the Raising of Community Nursery, conducted by department of agriculture at Haotal, Pangei today. The minister dispersed variety of seeds of rice such as RCM-10 and RCM-12 at the nursery.
While replying questions about compensation raised by media persons, the minister said that compensation for the flood affected farmers under natural calamity relief fund was already claimed from the central government and it would be given if and when the assistance fund is available.
The government has taken up every possible way to provide the needs of the farmers. Steps have also been taken to purchase alternative crops, in case, the farmers could not sow after the flood situation improves, the minister added.
He was accompanied by agriculture director Ph. Rajendro Singh on his visit to the site. He said that efforts are being taken up to grow hybrid rice in selected areas of Imphal East, Imphal West, Thoubal district etc. as the government will not be able to cover the whole of Manipur because of the prevailing situation.
The productivity of the cultivation of the hybrid seed, although a notified variety, is not predictable as the cultivation will be for the first time. The department is trying to cultivate these crops in the elevated areas in flooded fields also. If the flood remains the same till the month of August, we have no option but to purchase other alternative crops, he added.
IMPHAL | July 12
A seven member team of Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU) led by its president met the chief minister of Manipur at CM Bungalow yesterday.
A release said, MUSU urged the chief minister N. Biren Singh to demilitarise the MU campus and take the initiative of shifting the 6 Assam Rifles post from the campus. The team also talked on certain other matters for the development of the university as well as the state and asked the CM to make arrangements for the educated unemployed youths of the state.
The CM gave a positive response, however, he did not mention how soon the government will make the arrangements for the shifting of the AR post. Later, a memorandum was submitted after the meeting, it added.
In the memorandum, MUSU highlighted many inconveniences faced by the student community of the university due to the presence of AR post within the campus for the past 40 years. The military post gives psychological impact to the students, like feeling of insecurity, fear and even creates a sense of alienation and the frequent movement of the military personal and their armoured vehicles have made the students feel like they are entering a war zone, it added.
Moreover, the army camp has made the ladies lady hostellers feel uncomfortable and their privacy is ceased. Apart from that the state forces like Manipur police commandos along with their arms enter the MU campus in their Rakshak vehicle without any reason on the pretext that an AR post is opened inside the campus, stated MUSU in the memorandum.
It also stated that both central and state government have been neglecting the students’ union demand for a long time but the government had never taken serious note of education.
Further, the hillock where the army camp is located is a heritage site of historical importance and belong to the state government, it added.
It may be mentioned that MUSU earlier submitted a memorandum to the governor on the same purpose and also met the titular king of Manipur Leishemba Sanajaoba to shift the AR posts.
IMPHAL |July 12
As assured earlier by the chief minister N. Biren Singh that the government would extend support to the people of Kwatha village, the chief minister handed over the sanctioned loans to the women Self Help Groups of Kwatha Village, Tengnoupal district in the presence of minister for health and family welfare L. Jayantakumar Singh at CM secretariat today.
Mentioning that the Manipur State Co-operative Bank was entrusted to lend the loans to the SHGs of Kwatha Village on first “Meeyamgi Numit” held on May 15 this year, the chief minister said such financial support would facilitate the people of Kwatha to enable the production of various food products such as soibum (fermented bamboo shoot) etc. and would help to maintain a sustainable livelihood of the villagers.
Highlighting that he had directed the ministers to inspect the village and take necessary actions for development, Biren assured that the approach road from the National Highway-102 to the Kwatha village would be blacktopped at the earliest. An IRB or MR battalion would be established soon near the village, he added.
The chief minister handed over the cheque of Rs. 50,000 each to six Self Help Groups representing the village. It may be mentioned that the Kwatha village has 75 houses with a population of 375 people.
IMPHAL |July 12
Representatives of the Editors Guild Manipur and Manipur Hills Journalists’ Union met information and public relations minister Thongam Biswajit Singh today and highlighted several welfare issues of the journalists’ community.
The EGM and MHJU representatives led by president A. Mobi, MHJU president Sothing Shimray and EGM general secretary Yumnam Rupachandra called on the minister at his office in New Secretariat.
During the meeting, representatives of MHJU feted the minister with a traditional shawl and memento. EGM and MHJU team also submitted a memorandum to the minister.
In the memorandum among others the team seeks identification and acquisition of land for a Press Park, respective offices for EGM and MHJU and accommodation for journalists coming to the capital from the hill districts, one time exemption and enrolment for journalists who had been left out from the pension scheme for journalists.
The EGM and MHJU also expressed the need for the government to adopt a Manipur government advertisement policy where every programme/policy/achievement of the government is advertised to the media as part of a helping hand of the government as the Supreme Court has made it compulsory for implementation of the Majithia Wage Board recommendations.
The demand also includes consideration of the longstanding demand for subsidy for power and transport subsidy for newsprints and other printing material and amendment of accreditation card rules of DIPR.
EGM and MHJU also requested prompt clearance of government bills through DIPR within two months of submission of the bills so as to enable media houses to function smoothly.
IPR director Kongbam Meghachandra also attended the meeting.