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Imphal Free Press
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Sense of ownership key to sustenance, says CM
By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | June 25
The state transport department today launched the inter district and city bus services with the objective to revived the Manipur State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) decommissioned in 2003 for the second time.
Marking the launch of the erstwhile MSRTC which is now renamed Manipur State Transport (MST), chief minister N Biren Singh, today flagged off the inter-district and city bus services.
The chief minister initially flagged off the city bus service from the then MSRTC office located at Moirangkhom followed by the inter-district service from the premises of Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT), Khuman Lampak.
The chief minister and his entourage arrived at the main venue of the launch ceremony at the ISBT Khuman Lampak, by taking a ride on the newly launched city bus.
Speaking during the ceremony the chief minister who also holds the transport portfolio, asserted that the launch of the bus services was only the beginning and the department has bigger challenges ahead in term of sustaining the service.
He urged the transport department to carefully dwell into the history of the MSRTC why it failed and learn from the past mistake to enable the present MST to sustain efficiently.
According to chief minister N Biren, the failure of the MSRTC was due to the lack of ownership amongst the public and the officials of the transport.
He said the present initiative of the present government will meet the same fate with that of the erstwhile MSRTC unless the public and transport officials realize MST is their own property.
Biren expressed his confident that the initiatives taken up by the present government will be a success as transparency, which according to him is the key factor of success, is maintained.
Informing that bus services for the remaining districts will also be launched at the earliest, Biren revealed that the priority was given to remote areas like Pherzawl which was once isolated from the rest of the state.
Works minister Th. Biswajit, CAF and PD minister Karam Shyam, MAHUD minister Th. Shyamkumar, Tribal and Hill Areas Development minister N. Kayisii, IFCD minister Letpao Haokip, Education minister Th. Radheshyam and parliamentary secretaries also attended the function.
Works minister, Th. Biswajit delivering his speech informed that Centre is ready to sanction additional funds amounting to 600 crores under PMGSY to develop the roads of every nook and corner of the State.
Taking into consideration the initiative taken up by the Transport Department, Bishwajit said his department also put in all possible efforts to keep the roads in tip-top condition for the convenience of the public.
The MST will operate city bus service in two routes, both originating from ISBT, Deulahland. The transport agency would also initially have Imphal-Noney, Imphal-Moreh, Imphal-Kakching, Imphal-Yairipok, Imphal-Moirang and Imphal-Pherzawl inter-district bus services.
The proposed fleet size of the agency is around 150 buses to be achieved in three phases. Initially, purchase of five buses has been approved by the government.
Initially the fleet size will be of 15 buses including ten semi-low floor (SLF) buses of which 4 SLF will be operational in city area as trial basis at a flat rate of Rs 10.

IMPHAL | June 25
To ensure complete transparency and accountability of the new government, chief minister N. Biren Singh said that the government is fully committed to curb corruption in the State. This was stated by him during the booklet release function of “100 days Activities of Anti-Corruption Cell” held at the Cabinet hall today.
 Speaking on the occasion, N Biren asserted that within a short span of 100 days, with the support of the people, the government have tried its best to make Manipur a blockade and bandh-free state.
The founding principle of the new government is to deliver transparent governance and is committed to implement pro-people policies, he added. He further said that time bound investigation is needed for these corruption related cases because people want results and subsequent actions taken up by the Cell.
 He highlighted that a total number of 512 cases related to corruption have been received through Watsapp by the Anti-Corruption Cell. 50 complaints have been received through its website. 203 cases have been endorsed to the Authority concerned for investigation, he added.
 Out of 203 complaints, action taken report of 105 cases has been submitted by the authorities concerned to the Cell. He further said that a total of 71 cases have been disposed after discussing the action taken report by the Screening Committee chaired by the Chief Secretary in three separate meetings.
Some of the recent action taken up by the Anti-Corruption Cell includes suspension of a Labour Inspector for taking bribes from labour card holders for releasing of yearly scholarship for their children, suspension of a doctor for taking Rs 3000 as a bribe from patients parties on different occasions, suspension of a Mechanical Supervisor and a Section Officer of IFCD for taking money from the officials for the withdrawal of GPF, ACP and other pension benefits etc.
 Mentioned may be made that, the Anti-Corruption Cell was established in the office of the Chief Minister’s Secretariat on 24th March, 2017 after a decision taken by the State Cabinet. People could lodge their complaint related to corruption through the Watsapp number 9402150000 or website accmanipur.in.
 During the function, N. Biren Singh also released booklets of the activities and achievements made during the 100 days by the Directorate of Economics and Statistics and Department of Co-Operation.
 Cabinet ministers, parliamentary secretaries, MLAs, chief secretary and administrative secretaries of different departments attended the function.

By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | June 25
“Central government has sanction Rs. 88 lakhs to install cold storage facilities in the required places of the state within the first month of next year,” said MAHUD minister Th. Shyamkumar.
He delivering his presidential speech during the inauguration function of the 10th State Level Pineapple Festival cum Youth and Buyers Meet and Youth Festival, held today at Thambalnu market complex, Poiroupat Lamkhai, Andro A/C, Imphal East.
The festival was jointly organised by Development Organisation Andro Kendra and Manipur Horticulture Department and is funded by North Eastern Council.
Shyamkumar said that Manipur State Cooperative Bank branch will be open in Andro in next month and the bank is ready to give loans to the farmers for their developmental works.
The new BJP led government of the state will not make the effort of the farmers useless, it is working very hard to give economic development to the farmers of the state, he added.
The minister continued that the festival is organised with an aim to bring farmer’s economic development and better growth rate of their products.
Shyamkumar announced that a bag of rice will be distributed to every stall owners which took part in the festival.
As there are only few higher secondary schools in Andro, the minister announced that he will take up the matter to the cabinet to upgrade government schools of Andro into higher secondary school, he added.
The new government is working on priority basis in developmental works and looks equally to both hills and valley districts, said the minister.  
Shyamkumar expressed hope that the pineapple festival will bring peace and harmony in the state.
The chief guest of the function deputy chief minister, Y. Joykumar advised the farmer to practice integrated farming as it will help them to make more income.  
He said that primary sector is one of the most important sectors in bringing economic development in the state. But the state has lack of cooperative society movement in this sector, he lamented.
Joykumar appealed to the people of the state to emcourage cooperative movement in primary sector. Moreover it will be easier for the state government to take help from the Centre, added the deputy chief minister.
“If we continue to depend on agricultural products which are also available in the state, it is possible that our indigenous products might get extinct. We should buy our own products as much as possible”, he said.    
The function was attended by parliamentary secretary, Home, L. Susindro Singh, IFC, parliamentary secretary, L. Rameshor Singh, Hoticulture, parliamentary secretary, K. Leishiyo, Horticulture, director, K. Kipgen and DOAK, patron, Th. Babita Devi as guests of honour.

From Our Correspondent
KANGPOKPI |June 25
An oil tanker was attacked again with arms this morning at the same areas of the previous two similar incidents along National Highway-2 in between Kangpokpi and S. Changoubung village.
The attack happened this morning at around 8:40 am near Alex Farm, around 1 ½ Km. away from Kangpokpi police station and less than 1 Km, away from the proposed SP Kangpokpi office.
The ill-fated oil tanker bearing registration number MN01-8817 bore three bullets entry marked on the left door while there is no report of any injury of the tanker occupants.
According to the tanker driver, Y. Sarat Singh, the incident happened when he slowed down his vehicle to stop for a moment to let his handyman go and relieve himself. However, he denied hearing any gunshot, stating that he heard a loud noise and assumed that one of his vehicle tyres had burst.
 The district police immediately rushed to the spot on receiving information about the incident and launched a massive hunt for the perpetrators. The police recovered one empty case and one lathode bullet from the suspected spot.  
Following the incident, two individuals reportedly extorting money from scrap transporting vehicles along the Highway near the suspected spot were apprehended by the police.
Police identified the duo as Thangneo Singsit  (42), son of Lunkholet Singsit of Kangpokpi Ward No.5 and Lalsanglen alias Robert Doungel  (20), so of Tonglen Doungel of Kangpokpi Ward No.17. They were handed over to a police station in Imphal for further interrogation.
Later, IG-Zone III, T. Guite and DIG-Zone IV, E. Priyokumar along with district police and 38 Assam Rifles assessed and monitored the situation till the time of filing this report.
Police cordoned off the areas between Kangpokpi and Changoubung for some time as a suspected bomb like object was found along the roadside of NH-2. However, with the help of 38 AR sniffer dog, it was found to be a hoax.
Meanwhile, Kuki Inpi Kangpokpi and various other CVOs including local bodies censured the repeated attacked on the convoy oil tankers and demanded the state government to book the culprits involve in the incident within 24 hours.
LH. Stephen, Information and Publicity secretary, KNF also expressed the organisation’s strong condemnation of the repeated incident of attacking oil tanker within its operational areas and warned the perpetrators to surrender before the outfit at the earliest so as to avoid misunderstanding.

By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | June 25             
People of all walks of life thronged the Govindaji temple at Palace Compound today on the occasion of Kang, which is one of the important days according to the Manipuri Vaishnavite calendar.
The state chief minister N. Biren Singh with his two cabinet ministers, Th. Biswajit and Th. Shyamkumar took part in offering prayer to Lord Jagannath.
Briefing the media, the CM said that he is glad to be part of the celebration. Offering his prayer, Biren sought the blessing of ‘Jagat Bondhu’ to make the state free from accidents, floods, crimes and to usher in peace. Interestingly, the day also coincides with his BJP party completion of 100 days of governance in the state.
Kang festival is celebrated normally for nine days during the month of June or July, and for this year Kang kicks off today and will be celebrated till July 3. The Kang Chingba is held on the first and the last day and is celebrated with much fanfare and ritual ceremonies.
It is believed that Lord Jagannath leaves his abode at the temple and travels in “Kang”. Wooden sculptures of Lord Jaganath, his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra placed in it, is pulled by devotees from the gate of Shree Govindajee temple.
There is also a belief that it is a blessing and an honour to be able to pull the Kang as it helps relieve ailments from patients suffering from various diseases.
In the evening, community feasts of Khechidi with cuisines like eromba, hawai, mixed vegetable curry are served in the mandaps of the temples. Meanwhile devotees perform sankirtana and khubakisei (devotional dance and music) every night in the mandap.
Many other important personalities also came to take part in this festival. Manipur titular king Leishemba Sanajaoba attended the function too.

By Jei Jei Newme
IMPHAL | June 25
Many may know and many may not know but the Manipur’s Longpi chaphu (pot) has for itself travelled around the world and earned a prestigious name in the country.
The black pottery of Longpi (or Nungpi) is made only in Manipur which is made from serpentine rock (rock composed of one or more serpentine group minerals). Utensils made from black stone pottery have the advantages of health benefits, taste retaining quality, hygiene, natural and no side effects.  
Another advantage is that the handmade pot can be used for cooking over gas stoves or firewood and microwave as well.
One of the most renowned personality and the one who made Longpi pottery popular is Machihan Sasa, who has also received Shilp Guru national award, a recognition given to excellent craftsmen.
In an interview, Sasa said his journey of pottery making started when he was 20 years old. He had travelled around the world for various exhibitions and won many art and craft awards. He said the demand for black pottery has increased these days as people have realised the benefits of our pottery.
Because of its many benefits, people prefer to buy our pots and pans and utensils for its durability, health benefits and eco-friendly quality. Though it is costly, it is better than glass, melamine, steel and aluminium products.
It is said that the royal families of Tangkhul tribe use this pots to show off their status in the society in ancient times. Being hand-made, lot of time is consumed to bring out the final product, he said.
Aka Hoping one of the local potters of Longpi and also a student of Machihan Sasa, said that by doing this pottery, he is able to support his family. He earns from Rs 20 to 30 thousand a month.
We don’t need government jobs, we support ourselves by our own and at the same time we are also promoting our culture and tradition of our forefathers, he said.
“There are orders from outside the country and our pots have to be transported with utmost care. But our roads are not that good. That’s the main problem we are facing in doing our business”, he added.
Pangsak Chonmi, a lone retailer who runs a retail shop, Pangshak in Khuman Lampak selling this traditional kitchen ware said that the business has been good and there are lots of customers coming every day.
We have other agents who do business and supplies orders to Dimapur, Delhi and Kolkatta. And I myself have agents who work for me, she added.
Son of Machihan Sasa, Mathew Sasa also has his own business selling the black stone pottery in Delhi.

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About IFP

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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