Loumee Shinmee Apun Lup (LOUSAL), Manipur has urged the state government to specify the maximum ceiling limit of paddy land that can be utilised for public purpose in construction of private hospital, multi storey residential complex and commercial shopping mall.
Speaking to the media at the press conference at Haricoun office located at Konung Mamang, LOUSAL president Mutum Churamani Meitei drew the attention of the state government for a critical gap in the operation of Manipur Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act, 2014.
Churamani said that on May 2, 2018 a notification from the government allowed bringing petrol pump and LPG Godowns within the ambit of public purpose of 0.32 acre is specified, however, subsequent notification of January 8, 2019 included multi storey residential complex and commercial shopping mall. Moreover, the notification of November 23, 2019 included a private hospital within the definition of public purpose. Extending and including various complexes in the name of public purpose within the ambit of paddy land does not provide any maximum ceiling in the notification, Churamani said.
LOUSAL strongly feels that the omission of maximum ceiling limit opens up the possibility of the private interest slowly overriding the public interest of conserving paddy land, Churamani said.
“The state government established the act and the government itself is violating the act”, said Churamani and added that LOUSAL wants to know if there is any upper limit to the amount of paddy land and wetland that private parties establishing private hospital, multi storey residential complex and commercial shopping mall can utilise.
There is fear of an increasing number of private schools, private hospitals, multi-storey residential complexes and shopping malls within the ambit of paddy land as large-scale businesses of establishing private schools and private hospitals in the state is increasing, he said.
He recalled the chief minister's statement that assured of conserving and preserving paddy land under the Manipur Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland act, 2014 and drew the attention of the CM that the assurance may go against the act because of further notification and amendment of allowing private business for the public purpose.