IMPHAL, Mar 6: The sit-in protest being staged by elected representatives of gram panchayats of the Imphal east district demanding underground elements withdraw the demand for percentage from the funds for development activities entered the second day today.
The gram panchayat members also threatened to submit mass resignation if the underground groups do not withdraw their pressure on them by tomorrow (March 7).
The sit-in protest carried out in front of the DC office complex in Imphal east was also to denounce the attacks on the houses of three pradhans by suspected militants and beating up of five pradhans and an advisor of the gram panchayat by militants after they were summoned.
As many as six underground groups have been demanding “percentage” from the funds released to the panchayats for development of rural areas. Four of them have already withdrawn their demands after negotiations but two of them are still pressing for a percentage despite strong pleas from the panchayat members, protesting members of the gram panchayats said.
Hundreds of pradhans, up-pradhans and members of panchayats attended the sit-in protest against harassment meted out by the militants to them and interference in their activities in front of the office of the deputy commissioner, Imphal east.
The protestors while urging the concerned militant groups to shun violence against them on the demand for siphoning funds sanctioned to them for development activities warned of tendering mass resignations.
They also demanded assurance from the militant groups that they would not harass the gram panchayat members and ask for diversion of funds.
The members of the Imphal east gram panchayats decided to carry out the protest after a decision was taken in a meeting participated by the pradhans, up-pradhans and members of the gram panchayat.
The meeting unanimously resolved to urge the two underground groups who were still pressing them to pay percentage amount from the development funds to withdraw their pressure to the members by March 7.
Otherwise, all the members will tender resignation to the Governor of Manipur on the next day.
In the meantime, due to the continuing threats by the militants to businessmen, all the shops at Singjamei bazar closed down from today due to the reported extortion demands served by militants on them.
The shops closed down from this morning unable to meet the huge monetary demands served by the militants as “tax” payable to them, reports said.
Mention may be made that recently all the shops in Lamlong bazar had also closed down for four days on the same matter.
Currently, some shops on the northern side of the BT road flyover in Imphal city are also closed owing to the huge monetary demands from underground elements.
Night landing equipment for Imphal airport has arrived: CM
By : A Staff Reporter 3/7/2008 1:59:17 AM
Imphal, Mar 6: Night landing facilities in the existing Imphal Airport may become a reality soon as the required equipment for night landing have already arrived in the state and the state government is considering installing the infrastructure and induct the security manpower for timely initiation of this facility in the state.
Mentioning this while giving his reply during the demand discussion, chief minister O Ibobi Singh said that the present initiative for night landing facilities at the Imphal Airport was one of the opening chapters for the state to attain development and economic viability as per the proposed look east policy of the Indian government.
He appealed to the general public to cooperate with the government towards this end and said that there was no need for apprehension on the part of the public of Malom area whose land will be affected in due course by the airport expansion plan. The state government would give adequate compensation for both land and other standing properties in the area, he assured.
The chief minister further mentioned that the state government was considering establishing multi-story parking buildings in the heart of the city to ease the existing congestion in Imphal city, during the demand discussion in the House on MAHUD.
The state chief minsiter said the state government had already discussed formulation of a proper action plan for the modernisation of Imphal city, and the plan would be implemented with the completion of the ongoing capitol project during the next financial year.
Explaining the new plans of the government, he mentioned that the existing Assembly secretariat, Speaker’s and deputy speaker’s quarters and even the bungalow of the Chief Justice of the Guwahati High Court Imphal bench would be shifted to the proposed capitol project. The government was planning to establish a multi-storyed shopping mall at the site to be vacated along with multi-storeyed parking area for Imphal city.
The chief minister further mentioned that following the handing over of the garbage collection and disposal work to a private agency for Imphal city the problem faced by the state government had been gradually eased. Besides, for the effective implementation of the Imphal city cleanliness plan, the state government was planning to purchase michineries under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission for which Rs. 25 crores had already been sanctioned.
Apart from this under the JNURM, the state government had sanctioned funds for the development of existing district headquarters of hill districts and sub-divisional head quarters by constructing bus waiting sheds, proper drainage systems and other garbage disposal plans.
Later, he clarified that the state government had no intetion to neglect the employees under the Imphal Municipal Council though they have failed to achieve their targeted performance although the state government released Rs. 19 lakhs to the IMC every month for maintenance and clearance of salaries for employees, following the imposition of VAT in the state, and if there be any backlog in the workings of the MAHUD in implementing the programmes, he assured in the house to check all existing loopholes so that there will be no lapses in future.
In the menatime, several opposition MLAs led by O Joy, Dr. Ng Bijoy, Dr. I Ibohalbi, Opposition leader Radhabinod Koijam, Morung Makunga and Dr. Khasim Ruivah raised their cut motion during the discussion on account of lack of effective management in MAHUD and made their observations that the department had failed to implement proper plans while implemenating various Centrally sponsored schemes. They drew the attention of the government to the need for extension of town planning programmes to other towns and district headquarters of the hill districts of the state.