July 15, 2024

THE SENTINEL, 17-07-2014

Ban on works of national projects
FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENTIMPHAL, July 16: The livid NGOs in Tamenglong district in Manipur have imposed a ban on all works in the national projects undertaken in the backward district dominated by the Zeliangrong tribe. Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam Gangmei is from this district.The people are angry that the authority has failed to supply power to this district for the last three months. They said that this time they could not watch the FIFA world football cup matches. Ahead of the matches they had urged the authorities to ensure that there is uninterrupted power supply as was done in other parts of the State. Though the officials gave them assurances, there was no power supply. They said that in the 21st century they are without power. Apart from the fact that they could not watch the FIFA matches, their electronic gadgets are lying idle since there is no power even to recharge them. Mobile phones are not working since there is no power for the battery.

From midnight last night, the NGOs in the district imposed the ban on the works of the national projects. The important projects are the Jirighat–Tupul railway tunnelling and the construction work of the national highway linking Jiribam adjacent to Silchar to Imphal by a distance of 222 km serpentine mountain road. This was preceded by an ultimatum served on Chief Secretary Lalkhumwa giving him seven days time to supply power. No power was supplied. The Chief Secretary did not even acknowledge the memorandum.

The workers of the national projects cannot throw the gauntlet to the NGOs for their own security. All these years, unidentified persons have been sniping or lobbing bombs at the works. There had been casualties in these attacks. The workers who are from outside the State are at mortal fear.

The Chief Minister has been assuring 12 hours of uninterrupted power to the people. This is true for the VIP localities where the elected members and high officials stay. But the tax payers have never experienced a night or day of uninterrupted power supply. He had also inaugurated a 132 KV power sub station some years back in the district. However, the machine must be rusted now since no power is supplied to the people.

The government cannot make any explanation for this discrimination. The Deputy Chief Minister who is a powerful minister is not speaking about it. Meanwhile, the Congress is trying to pass the buck to the NDA government at the Centre. The MP from Manipur Meiyna Thokchom demanded adequate security coverage for the national projects in Manipur. He said that these projects in the State are far from completion since there is no proper security.

What he is forgetting is that the UPA government was responsible for the lack of security for this and many other projects in the State. People will take it with a pinch of salt if he tries to pass the buck to the BJP government now.

It is a foregone conclusion that the national projects cannot progress now in Manipur.

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