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Imphal Free Press - Imphal Free Press
Monday, 03 July 2017 00:00

Conflict resolved

IMPHAL | July 2

With the initiative of Loktak Downstream Affected People’s Welfare Association (LDAPWA), the matter of Loktak project land acquisition and compensation which was pending for many years due to internal conflict has been resolved on June 30, said a release.

 The agreement was reached between Tamjanlung Gonmei, son of (L) Pantigonpou Gonmei of Taosang Village, Nungba sub- division, Noney district and Soihem Haomei, son of (L) Guangsomrei (Majatlung) Gonmei at Neikanlong village, Imphal at 3:00 PM.

Published in News
Monday, 03 July 2017 00:00

Flood maniac of Manipur river basin

Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh

The Manipur River Basin has been encountering triple folds of flooding beginning with the month of May 29 to 30, June 10 to 14 and June 30 to July 2, 2017. For every month we are fascinating with the festival of flooding all throughout the Valley of Manipur during this year of 2017. Lastyear-end part of July and beginning of August there was an occurrence of devastating flood all along the Thoubal River valley damaging huge paddy fields in the district.

The frequencies of flood are intensifying in the region. The frequent flood may co-relate with the analysis report of Scientist Hui Su of Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), NASA, in the US. Globally, rainfall is not related just to the clouds that are available to make rain but also to earth’s “energy budget” including energy from the sun compared to outgoing heat energy. The amount of rainfall in the earth’s tropical will significantly increase as our planet continues to be warm, a new national Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) study warns.

Climate Change and its impact are global phenomena. But in a hilly state like Manipur with its natural landscape and drainage systems and occurrences of frequent flood may directly link with the impact of degradation of its natural ecosystem of the state. It is also observed that the natural riverine ecosystem of the Manipur River has been completely altered and degraded with irreplaceable conditions.

All the watershed zones in the catchment areas of the Manipur River and its tributary systems were lost by human interferences. Simultaneously, all the wetland complexes lying in between different interfluves areas of the Manipur River drainage systems were continuously reclaimed and encroached upon. Ultimately the carrying capacity of the Manipur River riverine ecosystem is lost. This may be the major factor for occurrence of flood in the basin.

The present day model of development, practiced in the state neglecting the role played by the natural landscape and its corresponding role is also a culprit.  In the recent past whatever amount of rainfall received in the state was absorbed to the wetlands and lakes, providing ample scope for enhancing endemic bio-resources in the state. We may site a glaring example with the construction of Ithai Barrage across the Manipur River. The Ithai Barrage obstructing the monsoon river flow in the valley directly causes frequent flood in the Valley. When the river water rises up to the mark of danger level with maroon like situation the level of water in the river will not recede until the Barrage is open.

There are many wrong concepts of planning in the wetland water management. Without the indebt analysis of the wetland eco-system and the role played by them the Loktak Development Authority (LDA) constructed many structures, which debar the natural channels that were working as in-flow and out-low of the monsoon water of the rivers to the Pumlen, the Ekop and the Loktak Lake etc. Thus the excess monsoon water of the rivers was constantly impounding and causing flood in the River Basin. The planners and developers of the state of Manipur should make a new approach with the idea of River Basin as a unit of Development/Management Planning in the state. It will be wiser on the part of the government of Manipur to study the river system and its associated watershed/catchment areas and the wetland component scientifically first for any step of developmental planning and its implementation.

(The writer is an environmentalist)

Published in News

By Amar Yumnam

A very recent newspaper headline in Manipur reads:“Cloudburst catches state by surprise again: Many parts in Imphal knee-deep in flood waters.” Now such scenarios are becoming more frequent and happening more easily than ever. Then the questions to be asked are: Is cloudburst the ultimate cause? Is cloudburst a cause at all? Cloudburst as a natural phenomenon must have been happening right from the first day Planet Earth and the Universe came into existence. Manipur naturally must have been experiencing cloudburst every year and more than once right from the beginning. This being so we need to ponder if the inconveniences caused by the recent cloudburst have always been so. Are the consequential disruptions to life recent in nature or inherited? Should we limit the relationship between water-logging/flood to only water? Should we extend the search for the causality of floods beyond cloudbursts and water? Should we accept the recurrence of such disturbances as natural and unavoidable? Or should we start searching for solutions and avoidance of such recurrences?

These and similar questions need to be answered and answered in right earnest. While pondering on these questions, we may recall the global deliberations and debates with the terminal year of the Millennium Development Goals getting near and the imperative to take a call on what next after 2015. A High Level Panel of Eminent Persons, consisting of twenty-seven Members from across the world, worked through 2012 to 2013 producing a Report on A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty And Transform Economies Through Sustainable Development.  This Report was the foundation of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 (SDG 2030) and adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 25 September 2015. The Panel consisted of “Eminent Persons, including representatives of governments, the private sector, academia, civil society and youth, with the appropriate geographical and gender balance.” But the Panellists were Members “in their personal capacity” and worked “on the basis of a rigorous analysis of credible shared evidence” by engaging and consulting “widely with relevant constituencies at national, regional and global levels.” The Report of the Panel emphasised that “the lives of billionscan be improved, in a way that preserves the planet’s natural resource assets for future generations…Progress on this scale is possible, but only if governments (at all levels), multilateral institutions, businesses, and civil society organisations are willing to change course and reject business-as-usual. They have a chance to develop and put in place a new agenda: one that confronts the challenges of the modern world head-on. They have an opportunity to transform their thinking and their practice, to solve current problems with new ways of thinking. They can join forces, tackle poverty, the economy and the environment together, and bring about a paradigm shift.” What we have today is an integrated network of targets in SDG 2030 which the world could not do so despite the resolutions of the World Summit in 1992.

Now coming to Manipur, the issues are (a) addressing the challenges of the economy, (b) explore what has been the business-as-usual model of Manipur, and (c) the necessity or otherwise of a paradigm shift in development thinking and intervention. Pondering over and responding to these would throw light on the questions posed in the beginning of this piece in connection with the inconveniences of life being faced in Manipur right now consequent upon the latest cloud bursting event. I would definitely trace the causality of the ongoing flood much beyond the recent cloudburst. As argued in the beginning, cloudburst has been going on as a natural phenomenon but the inconveniences to life are recent both qualitatively and quantitatively. The causality lies in the nature of paradigm of development interventions in Manipur – in the very way Manipur has constructed roads, houses and conducted governance. The main characteristics of the paradigm have all along since 1951 been (i) never an integrated look at the issues but only stand-alone approaches, (ii) never contextualised to the social and geographical realities of Manipur, (iii) non-thinking and non-evaluative, and (iv) anti-environment all along.

To make the issues much more vivid, let me pose a live question today. We know the current inconveniences are becoming more frequent and more easily happening than ever. Can we think of this as disconnected from the business-as-usual paradigm Manipur has been following the last few decades? I hope not. Now what does the business-as-usual paradigm look like in Manipur? The exemplary evidence of this is the MURDERING OF MOUNTAINS HAPPENING IN THE YARALPAT AREA TODAY. I am sure such kind of state-sponsored murdering of mountains does not happen anywhere in a peace area in the world today and all in the name of development. It is even more so because of the shared and integrated commitment of the comity of nations to upholding the integrity of the assets of nature

In a way very contrary to the global understanding and commitment, in Manipur we have been continuously experiencing

  1. State-sponsored murdering of flora and fauna – look at the Ithai Barrage;
  2. State-sponsored murdering of mountains – the contemporary example is what is happening in the Yaralpat area; and
  3. State-sponsored murdering of water bodies – examples aplenty.

If these murders are not put to an end, Manipur can never expect enjoying a sustainable path of progress with poverty removed and Mother Nature nurturing us lovingly.

 

Published in Articles
Monday, 03 July 2017 00:00

Knowledge or Technology

The digital age has brought the world together under one roof more than any other phenomenon in history. Whether this is good or bad is another debate altogether, but the inescapable reality is, there is no other way to move forward than to accept its inevitability and learn its ways. It has in many ways redefined democracy in spirit as well as in practice. Never before has the world come to belong to one “imagined community” as they are now. When Benedict Anderson wrote his landmark book defining a nation as an "imagined community", bound together by shared interests, and shared aspirations, a bondage most visible in subscriptions to newspapers and news channels that represented these interests, the internet was still in its infancy. So he talked only about how newspapers represented this abstract "imagined community" which transcends immediate circles of friends, relatives and acquaintances of at the most a few hundred people. The telephone contact lists of people in the 1980s and 1990s for instance seldom went beyond 200-300. Today with the advent of social media like Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter etc, an individual’s “friends” or “followers” can run into thousands, and even several millions.The world under one roof has also meant the world as one market, and again nowhere has this been more true than in internet based businesses. Facebook, Google, Amazon, Alibaba, Flipkart etc, to name just a few examples.
We pick the Google story for this editorial today as it has been particularly fascinating for many things. David A. Vise, who chronicled the rise of the Google phenomenon in his book “The Google Story” gives us a glimpse of this internet search company’s short but spectacular history. Vise traces the success trajectory of the two extra bright Stanford University Ph.D scholars, Sergey Prin and Larry Page, whose thesis on the calibration of websites by tracking the number of links each site is associated with became the foundation of this multi-billion dollar company that gave an explosive start to the 21st Century. Their achievement in the field of information revolution is compared even to those of Johan Gutenberg 500 years ago when he invented the movable font printing machine. Google was founded toward the end of 1998, and its two founders were billionaires in less than 10 years before they were 30. The word “Google” has also become a verb in the English language and in 100s of other languages of the world. Incidentally the name “Google” is, Vise’s book reveals, is a misspelling of the term “googol”, which stands for a very big number –10 followed by 100 zeros. That the two thought of this number is understandable, for while calibrating websites they were dealing with billions after billions of data. But by the time they realised it was a misspelling, it was too late, for the misspelled name “Google” had caught the world’s imagination.
The Google story has one other prominent hero other than the two friends – Stanford University. And it is this aspect of the story that this commentary is interested in with a view to suggesting to our own academia of an approach that has resulted in ground breaking innovations that spawned phenomenally successful leaders of the new age industries. The Google story exemplifies this more than any other. Imagine a doctoral thesis, and an internet search engine programmed on its basis as part of the same doctoral course, resulting in what may yet be the most phenomenal enterprise of the new century. The moot point is, it was no accident that this happened in Stanford University, for the university actually has a programme that encourages this. Its Office of Technology Licensing even goes to the extent of not claiming propriety to ground breaking on-campus works by students and professors. Obviouisly, it sees no contradiction between academics and financial rewards and has served as the incubator for some of the most successful technological enterprises on earth, including Hewlett-Packard, SUN Microsystems (SUN actually stands for Stanford University Network), Amazon.com etc. It departs a little from the purist approach that the primary duty of the academia is to train the next generation professors and researchers alone. What it also does besides this is to give emphasis on linking its knowledge bank with the world outside to the benefit of both. The question is, shouldn’t it be worthwhile for our own institutions of higher learnings to give this approach a thought?

Published in Editorial
Monday, 03 July 2017 00:00

National seminar

IMPHAL | July 2

The department of library and information science, Manipur University has informed that it is going to organise a two-day national seminar on Transforming Libraries In Digital India Perspective (NSTL-2017) from July 5-6, in a release.

The seminar will be held at the court hall of the university, it said adding, a total of 30 research papers including six invited papers would be represented by various scholars including high profile stalwarts of library and information science from all over the country. Interested people can contact the department for details on or before July 4, it added.

Published in News
Monday, 03 July 2017 00:00

KCP cadres arrested

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | July 2

A combined team of Imphal east district police commandos along with 5 JAK Rifles, COB Patsoi and 45 Assam Rifles and COB Koirengei reportedly apprehended two cadres of the KCP KK Nganba group on in separate incidents.

A statement issued by PRO Police, W Basu Singh, MPS, said that on June 29 following reliable information about the presence of some active members of KCP in and around Heingang Makha Leikai the combined team conducted a search operation in front of Model Club, Heinang Makha Leikai.

It said during the process a KCP cadre of KK Nganba faction was reportedly arrested and has been identified as Mutum Naoba alias Kori Meitei, 38, son of M Mangi Singh of Heingang Makha Leikai.

Following his disclosure his associate namely Konsam Premkumar Meitei, 33, son of K Bihari Singh of Lairikyengbam Awang Leikai was also apprehended near Salantong bridge was also arrested from his residence and recovered incriminating document his possession, it said.

Both the arrested individual were reportedly involved in extortion of money from general public and that a case has been registered against them.

Published in News
Monday, 03 July 2017 00:00

TSU M.B college formed

IMPHAL | July 2

A general body meeting of the tribal students of Maharaj Budhachandra College convened on Sunday unanimously resolved the establishment of the Tribal Student’s Union TSU M.B College and elected executive members of the union for the year 2017-18.

Subsequently, the meeting appointed KS. Wungramshem as president of the TSU M.B College while Grace Zou as secretary and K Khimdai as finance secretary.

At the same time, Chingponliu Kamei, Rose Mary, Lungkhangduan, Yangam Shinglai and Gaisinlung Kahmei were also appointed as the executive members of the union.

Published in News
Monday, 03 July 2017 00:00

Online registration

IMPHAL | July 2

Controller of Technical Education, Manipur, M. Ibomcha Singh, in a press statement, has notified all the students who has applied for JEE Mains, 2017 that the online registration for seat allocation for selection of state government nominee for admission in first year B.E., B.Arch. and B. Pharm courses for the academic session, 2017-18 will begin from July 7.

It further said that detailed information regarding eligibility criteria, qualifying examination and minimum marks can be known from the office of the Controller of Technical Education, government of Manipur.

Published in News
Monday, 03 July 2017 00:00

AR flood relief work

IMPHAL | July 2

Due to incessant rains over the last three days, multiple breaches occurred in Imphal Turel in the area of Mayang Imphal on 02 July 2017 inundating approximately 30 houses of the village.

A release said a column of 5 JAK RIF of 9 Sector AR under the aegis of HQ IGAR(S) was immediately rushed to the site under the commanding officer of the battalion to provide assistance to the marooned locals.

 Flood relief operations including evacuation of civilians, medical assistance and provision of clean drinking water was rendered to the locals by the troops, it added.

Published in News
Monday, 03 July 2017 00:00

Drug seller nabbed

IMPHAL | July 2

As per instruction of SP, Imphal East, Kabib, a combined team of Imphal East commandos under the supervision of additional SP, Imphal East, Wungpam Kasar and led by DSP of Imphal East commandos, Robinsun Khamnam reportedly nabbed one drug seller identified as Sapam Sarat Singh alias Lhunkhosei Khongsai (42) son of S. Ibotombi Singh of Mongkot Chepu village under Litan police station from Shilleipung entrance road.

He was arrested along with five kgs of opium locally known as Kani in a polythene bag containing five pockets of everyday milk powder plastic bags, one mobile phone KECHAODA and a SIM card. The rough value of the seized drug is approximately Rs. four lakhs.

The person and drugs has been handed over to Lamlai police station for further necessary legal action.

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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