By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | Sept 2
The chief minister N. Biren has been appraised that the state agricultural policy is not being implemented in totality and contradictory to central norms.
Moreover, the director of the department is keeping key charges to himself and the contractual staff of Agricultural Technology Mission Agency (ATMA) has been left high and dry.
The state has not paid out 10 months salary for the said staffs whereas the ATMA staffs are the ones which are tendering grassroot level work to aid the farmers and implementing various schemes commenced by the centre.
They have been sidelined from carrying out their duty as extension workers and contradictory to central norms, been taken over by the state Agriculture Department.
As per complaints of the ATMA staffs and a memorandum submitted to the chief minister, Manipur, in the regard, it mentions that filling up of vacant posts in ATMA and SAMETI is mandatory as per guidelines of 2010 for desired impact as activities performed by the additional charge by the officers of state department were not optimal below the block level but many higher posts are lying vacant and the current posts are being occupied by the staff of the agriculture department as in charge or additional charge.
The objective of the scheme “Support to State Extension Programmes for Extension Reforms” can be achieved only through strengthened institutional management, dedicated manpower and revamped strategies but there is at present weak institutional management and very less dedicated manpower of higher posts at district and state level.
The post of State Nodal Officer and SAMETI Director, is taken charge by the Agriculture Director and majority of the posts of Project Directors(PDs) are taken over by the District Agricultural Officers, whereas the Director and DAOs do not meet the essential criteria or qualified enough to take charge. Whereas, as per central guidelines Coordinator, Gender Coordinator shall be appointed as contractual, whereas, SAMETI Director, SAMETI Deputy Directors, Project Directors and Deputy Project Directors shall be appointed on deputation/appointment/secondment from the Agriculture & Allied Departments.
The Agriculture Department is directed by the centre to converge extension related works and various missions and schemes like MIDH, NFSM, RKVY, PMKSY, KVK under NMAET to act as an overarching umbrella at district level to oversee all extension related activities which should be performed by ATMA staffs but this has not happened in practice.
It was also envisaged in the ATMA scheme that manpower support under ATMA will also look after the work related to RKVY, NFSM, National Project on Soil Health and Fertility, etc. as mandated under respective scheme. However, while reviewing progress of implementation and feedback received from various states it was found that there is lacking of convergence between ATMA and Krishi Vigyan Kendras; and between ATMA and line department at district level.
Further, as per decision arrived to by the chief secretary, government of Manipur on August 18th last, it was decided among others that to review the implementation of major programmes of Agriculture Department – the District Agriculture Officer should be made Project Officer for ATMA in the districts to avoid redundancies in the form of separate Project Officer which is a gross violation of central norms.
By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | Sept 3
Centre for Research and Advocacy Manipur, secretary, Jiten Yumnam said people might lose Loktak lake in some decades if proper action is not taken against the commissioning of Ithai barrage.
A public meeting was held today at Ningthoukhong bazar public community hall to demand decommissioning of Ithai barrage and Loktak project and investigation against NHPC. It was organised by Human Rights Forum Manipur (HRFM) and Youth Forum for Protection of Human Right (YFPHR).
Speaking on the occasion, Jiten as resource person said construction of Ithai barrage has caused more loss than good to the state and therefore the government should reconsider commissioning of Ithai barrage and Loktak power project.
He said the construction of Ithai barrage not only affected the upstream habitats but also the downstream. It was constructed as part of the Loktak hydroelectric project which submerged more than 80,000 hectres of agriculture land. It has brought a reverse picture in economic status of Manipur from a self-sufficient to borrower’s position with a large number of agricultural lands submerged underwater, Jiten added.
He said several indigenous fish have disappeared from Loktak lake such as Ngaton, Khabak, Pengba, Tharaak, Ngaaraa, Ngaatin, etc due to Ithai barrage. It has been observed that these fish migrated from the Chindwin river of Burma to the course of Manipur river towards Imphal river for breeding in the adjoining lakes and streams of Manipur valley.
Jiten further said Loktak project is also responsible for worsening climate change in Manipur by submerging the vegetation growth in Loktak wetlands. There are plans of National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) to renovate the Loktak power station to reap carbon credits from CDM of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is a clear false solution to climate change.
He claimed compensation of affected people during the commission of Loktak project and construction of Ithai barrage. The main cause of flood in the state is due to the construction of Ithai barrage, at the time of flood the gates of the barrage were opened at the time of emergency. The barrage was constructed with the assurance of benefit for the people but it is happening in a reverse manner. The solution to save the natural habitat of the state is to remove the barrage, Jiten claimed.
United NGO Mission Manipur (UNMM) secretary, U. Nobokishore further said it has been confirmed that there is complete absence of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the NHPC and the government of Manipur on the operation and functioning of the 105 MW Loktak Multipurpose Hydroelectric Project, which was commissioned way back in 1984.
He said the non-existence of MOU on 105 MW Loktak Project has been confirmed by the NHPC on May 9, 2017 in response to an RTI filed by Joy Haobijam of Thanga. There is no regulation on the operation of Loktak Project which also indicates that the NHPC has been given a complete free hand without any monitoring, regulation and accountability mechanism.
Chairperson Ningthoukhong municipal council, Kangabam Mani Singh, Laishram Dwijamani Singh and president of Manipur Sahitya Parishad Bishnupur branch, Laishram Budhichandra Singh attended the meeting as chief guest, president and guest of honour.
The meeting resolved to appeal the central government to decommission the Loktak Hydro Electric Power Project immediately. NHPC should compensate all the destructions made since the commissioning of the project and it must be punished according to the rule of law.
After the public meeting a silent rally was taken ou in Ningthoukhong bazar area demanding decommissioning of Ithai barrage and Loktak project and to investigate against NHPC.
Jiri News Network
JIRIBAM |Sept 3
The All Jiribam Linguistic Minority People’s Organisation (AJLMPO) has condemned the statement of Coordinating Committee of Civil Societies Manipur regarding the identity of MLA of Jiribam.
A release signed by the Sushil Namasudra, vice president of AJLMPO maintained that it is a historical fact that Bengalis settled in Jiribam when Manipur was under the king’s administration and it was prior to independence and before 1949. “When Manipur got independence it was very clear that Bengalis among the other communities took major role in the human settlement of Jiribam”, the release added.
Further, the release said history of Jiribam have been published in different local dailies several times for public information. But Imphal-based different civil bodies and even some intellectuals have not paid heed to the facts; rather they are trying to create disunity and communal tensions among various communities in Jiribam who are living in harmony, it added.
AJLMPO continued it is very unfortunate that CCCSM without thinking much of the consequences have out rightly declared MLA Ashab Uddin as ‘Bangladeshi Macha’. CCCSM should know the fact that the Bengalis in Jiribam are neither Bangladeshis nor foreigners but they are Indian and Manipuris who have got fundamental rights of settlement, right to vote and right to contest election, it said.
The release pointed out that the Bengalis had contested general elections in the year 1948, 1969, 1979, 1990, 2002 but no such allegations were made against them from any angle.
The people of Jiribam constitutionally mandated and elected Ashab Uddin as a MLA of Jiribam and the baseless allegation made against him by CCCSM tantamount to attacking the democratic rights of the Bengali people of Jiribam.
AJLMPO in the statement demanded CCCSM to provide documentary evidence in support of their statement otherwise the latter should make apology to the people of Jiribam for hurting their sentiment.
In regards to the issue AJLMPO has convened a joint meeting with various civil organisations, public leaders and representatives of various communities residing in Jiribam on September 6 at PWD guest house, and it has appealed all concerned to attend the meeting, the release added.
By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | Sept 3
Newly formed JAC Against the Brutal Killing of Oinam Tanu Devi has decided not to allow last rites of Tanu until the post mortem report is issued by the forensic department.
Speaking to media persons today at Manipur Press Club, the JAC convenor Kh. Langlen that the JAC disagreed with the claim made by the deceased’s husband and his family that Tanu committed suicide by hanging herself at her house.
The visible signs bruise all over the deceased’s body are caused by brutal torture and it is suspected that Tanu was hanged after she was killed by her husband as her husband frequently torture Tanu in the past, she added.
The convenor said the JAC will organise a public meeting tomorrow at Khamnam Leirak Sadokpam community hall to discouse the next course of action and invited the civil bodies to take part in the meeting to bring justice for late Tanu.
By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | Sept 3
The Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) to take out a rally tomorrow covering Imphal East and Imphal West districts as a part of demanding to pass the ILP bill.
The post of JCILPS student wing president is handed over to All Manipur Students Union, president, Manjit Sarangthem by former JCILPS student wing president, M. Lakshman.
Speaking to media persons today at JCILPS office at Keishampat, the committee’s convenor, Arjun Telheiba said that JCILPS will organise a meeting with representatives of different community regarding the ILP so that there will be no misunderstanding between different communities in the process of demanding ILP bills.
Implementation of ILP is a must in the state to safeguard the indigenous people of the state from being overrun by non-locals, he added.
During its movement JCILPS will not give any inconvenience in the movement of traffic, running of market and educational institutes, continued the convenor.
He hoped that ILP system will be implemented in the state by this year and asked the support of the public demanding the ILP system.
The newly appointed JCILPS student wing convenor, Manjit Sarangthem said that students have been taking a big role in fighting for different issues from the past for the rights of the people.
He promised that the students wing of JCILPS will work at their best level to let the government pass the ILP bill.
IMPHAL | Sept 3
State filmmaker Oinam Doren’s ‘My name is Eeooow’ has won its second International award at the recently concluded 23rd film festival della Lessinia held in Bosco Chiesanuova in Italy from August 19 to 27.
The film won the prize from the Curatorium Cimbricum Veronense in memory of Piero Piazzola and Mario Pigozzi for the best film by a young director. Piero Piazzola and Mario Pigozzi are founders of the 23 years old festival. The film is produced by CCRT.
It may be noted that the film already won the ‘Intangible culture prize’ in UK in April this year. The governor of Meghalaya, Banwarilal Purohit had also arranged for the screening of the film twice in Raj Bhavan, Shillong.
In the two screenings, the filmmaker was felicitated. Further in October, the film will be screened in Estonian national museum in Tartu, Estonia and Rajasthan International folk music festival, Jodhpur.
The film is set in Kongthong village, East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya. Kongthong is a quaint little village about 60 Km away from Shillong. The inhabitants there practice a unique tradition called the Jyngwrai Iawbei.
The Jyngwrai Iawbei is the practice of having musical tunes as names in honour of the clan ancestress. The song names come as an expression of the mother’s love for her new born. The film follows the families of two married sisters; Shidiap Khongsit and Shithoh Khongsit whose children have to stay in Shillong for higher studies as the village school has provision for only up to class seven.
The sisters’ families depend mostly on broom and betel nuts cultivation as a source of income. Two years back, a rocky road reached Kongthong village making trading and connectivity to Shillong easier. But as the kids leave the village one by one for higher studies, the filmmaker tries to question what happens to the Jyngwrai Iawbei, the eternal symbol of mother’s love.
Beautifully shot and augmented with melodious music by khasi folk singer Bah Kerios Wahlang, the filmmaker Doren pays rich tribute to Meghalaya’s beautiful landscape and the young khasi boys, the inheritance of its rich culture.
IMPHAL | Sept 3
MLA, Ashab Uddin strongly condemned the allegation made by social activist, Ningthoucha Lancha that he is a not an indigenous person of the state during a meeting on September 1 at Manipur Press Club.
Speaking to media persons today at his quarter at Babupara, Ashab claimed that his father and mother were state government employees and moreover, his grandfather was a pradhan.
He asked “how will people elect me as representative if I am a Bangladeshi?” Such meaningless statement made by Lancha is to tarnish my image, added Ashab.
“If anyone can rightly prove that I am a Bangladeshi, I will immediately resign from the MLA seat on moral ground,” said the MLA.
He warned that legal action will be taken against anyone who made such false allegation.
Ashab said that the new government under the leadership of chief minister, N. Biren is working very hard to bring all round development in Jiribam district.
He said that the government is giving priorities to education, health, and transport.
IMPHAL | Sept 3
A division bench of the High Court of Manipur has passed an order on August 30 banning cutting down of tress from the reserved forest areas as well as excavation process for any purpose without the permission of the high court.
The order was passed in accordance with the PIL filed by Save Environment Campaign Committee, Heingang, chairman, Mutum Inaobi on August 28.
The petitioner in his PIL raised the issue about the unhindered and indiscriminate excavation especially in reserved forest area in the valley.
It also pointed out that illegal activities of deforestation and excavation are going on in various reserved forest in valley area.
Speaking to media persons, Inaobi expressed gratitude and appreciation with the order passed by the high court.
He said that the judgment of the high court will enlighten courageous of many people who want to save the degraded conditions of forest and environment of the state.
Inaobi appealed to the people of the state to follow the court order to save the environment from degradation.
THOUBAL | Sept 3
A 22 years old girl from Wangjing Tekcham Leikai has been reportedly missing since the morning of August 25.
The missing girl, Tekcham Kabita is the daughter of Tekcham Rajendra and Tekcham (O) Dasumati Devi. Police are still searching Kabita after a complaint was filed at Thoubal Police Station by Kabita’s parents.
According to a press release by Friends Union Club (FUC) of Wangjing Tekcham Leikai, a girl named Mutum (O) Thabaton alias Monika from Khomjom Awang Leikai came to Kabita’s residence on August 24, spent one night and left along with Kabita on August 25. Since then Kabita did not return. FUC has also appealed the authority concerned and the people to provide assistance in finding the missing girl.
Police sources said that Monika and her husband Chingkheinganba alias Abung have been called at police station and interrogated regarding the case.
By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | Sept 3
Sadguru Sadafal Deo Vihangam Yog Sansthan, Imphal planted saplings today on the theme "Nurturing mother nature for a greener tomorrow" at Vihangam Yog Aashram, Mantripukhri, Imphal.
Speaking to media persons, the ashram’s president, Brajamohon Sharma said that the plantation was a part of celebrating the 36th years of inspirational leadership of Sant Naam Deoji under the ambit of Sadguru Sadafal Deo Vihangam Yog Sansthan.
The yog sansthan was established to bring unity and peace among the all the people and to save the mother earth from pollution.