IMPHAL, Mar 12 : The Assembly was today rocked with 15 MLAs from the Hill districts staging a walk out from the Assembly when Speaker Dr Budhichandra announced that the Autonomous District Council Bill, which was tabled before the Assembly yesterday by TD Minister DD Thaisii has been referred to a Select Committee as it contained a number of technical flaws and errors.
The Bill was to be discussed today on the floor of the House, but the Speaker announced that it has been referred to a Select Committee raising the heckles of quite a number of MLAs from the hill districts.
Explaining his stand, the Speaker informed the House that the Bill has been referred to a Select Committee as there some technical errors and flaws.
Reacting strongly to the decision of the Speaker, Thanlon AC MLA V Hangkhanlian claimed that the decision of the Speaker violates the rules of the House.
The matter needs to be discussed on the floor of the House, he demanded and added if the matter is referred to the Select Committee, then he would be constrained to stage a walk out.
With the Speaker not giving in to the demand of the MLA, Hangkhanlian ultimately walked out from the Assembly.
Throwing their weight behind Hangkhanlian the other 14 MLAs from the hill districts also followed suit and staged a walk out from the Assembly.
Despite 15 MLAs from the hill districts staging a walk out from the Assembly TD Minister DD Thaisii, PHED Minister TN Haokip and Power Minister Phungzathang Tonsing stayed put inside the Assembly.
MPCC (I) president and former Minister Gaikhan-gam and Independent MLA Thangkholun were absent today.
After the 15 MLAs from the hill districts had staged the walk out, Speaker Dr Budhichandra announced that the Select Committee will be given seven days time to study and rectify the technical errors in the Bill.
After the House resumes on March 19, the report of the Select Committee will then be discussed on the floor of the House, said the Speaker.
TD Minister DD Thaisii has been appointed as the Chairman of the Select Committee while the members include Th Debendra, HAC Chairman Thangmin-lien Kipgen, Opposition leader Radhabinod Koijam and MPP MLA O Joy Singh.
Controversy has been dogging the Autonomous District Council for the last many years and after a gap of more than a decade it was only recently that the Government had decided to revive the Autonomous District Council.
The date for the election to the Council has already been announced and the election process is to be finalised within the first week of May.
The election is scheduled to be held in April this year.
————————Speaker’s ruling has undermined HAC : MLAs
By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Mar 12 : Launching a frontal attack on the decision of the Speaker, MLA Morung Makunga, while speaking to newsmen this evening, said that the decision of the Speaker was autocratic and added that referring the Manipur Hill Areas Autonomous District Council Bill to a Select Committee instead of discussing it on the floor of the Assembly is against the rule of the House.
Speaking to reporters at the room of HAC Chairman, Thangminlien Kipgen after the Assembly session this evening, Makunga said that the Bill is a Government Bill and if there are any technical flaws or errors then it should be discussed on the floor of the Assembly first.
The Advocate General and the Law Secretary of the Government of Manipur were involved in the preparation of the said Bill, said the MLA and added that it was brought to the House after the Hill Areas Committee had done the necessary correction, he informed.
If the Bill was to be referred to a Select Committee, then it should have been done so before it was referred to the Hill Areas Committee.
In such a situation, there is no reason for the HAC to exist, said Makunga.
Joining in the tirade, Thangminlien Kipgen, the Chairman of HAC said that the HAC is a Committee which is just under the House and its importance should not be undermined. The decision to refer the matter to a Select Committee is a clear indication that the role and function of the HAC is being undermined, he asserted.
Though the Chief Minister had earlier announced that the Bill would be passed, the latest incident shows that the interest of the tribal people are going to be given the short shrift, he charged. There is no use in shouting about protecting the integrity of Manipur, if the interest of the tribal people are compromised.
MLA V Hangkhanlian said that the HAC is formed under Clause C of Article 371 of the Constitution. This proves that the HAC is a Constitutional body and by passing the HAC and referring the matter to a Select Committee is a clear violation of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business.
By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Mar 12: With the Manipur Appropriation No II Bill 2008 unanimously passed in the State Assembly Bill today, Chief Minister O Ibobi who is also in charge of the Finance Department has pledged to monitor utilisation of amount sanctioned in the State Budget from time to time to ensure that 96/97 percent of the funds allotted are utilised within the current fiscal.
During the discussion for the Appropriation Bill, Chief Minister O Ibobi responding to queries and suggestions put up by Opposition members said that with the plan size of the forthcoming fiscal year starting from April this year finalised by the Planning Commission in advance, development works can be taken up in full swing with proper emphasis on quality in case the House pass the full budget unanimously.
Under regular monitoring to check that allotted funds are utilised in time, if the relevant Departments can submit utilisation certificates of 96/97 percent of the allotted funds, the State can certainly make commendable strides towards develop – ment and progress, asserted O Ibobi.
The improving economic condition of the State and timely release of the funds sanctioned for central sponsored schemes as well as State shares for these schemes helped in raising the plan size of the State, claimed the Chief Minister.
To questions raised by opposition MLAs about non-participation of State contingents in this year’s Republic Day celebration at New Delhi, Ibobi clarified that applications for 17 different tableaus were submitted to the State level selection committee headed by the Chief Secretary as chairman. Out of these, the committee recommended the tableaus named INA Hqs 1944, Maharaj and Sports India Pride. But there was no response from the central expert committee. This led to non-participation of State tableaus in the Republic Day celebration. There was no negligence on the part of the State Government, clarified Ibobi.
On the agitation of Pettigrew College students, Education Minister L Jayantakumar informed the House that responsible officers were sent to Ukhrul to make an agreement with the students but the students insisted on direct negotiation with the Education Minister. Subsequently, he has assured the students to talk with them directly there, Jayantakumar stated.
Claiming that efforts are on to improvise the existing education system, he also assured to look into the inconveniences caused to commuters along Tidim road during school opening and closing hours of Little Flower School which is further compounded by the near simultaneous opening and closing hours of other schools and colleges located in the surrounding area.
About the refusal of the land owners affected by expansion of the Manipur University campus to take monetary compensation, Revenue Minister Th Debendra informed that the Government is actively considering as to what should be done for the land owners. Regarding the proposed construction of NIT at Langol, the Government is checking whether there is any land owner holding fake patta.
Clarifying that there was no case of misusing Rs 22 crores in the Power Department, Power Minister Phungzathang claimed that the individual who misinformed the media has been identified.
Taking part in the discussion, O Joy while noting deficiency of food grains in Manipur, called upon the Government to introduce high yielding breeds of paddy in the State. He also suggested to manufacture manure from the phumdis of Loktak lake in a larger scale and to reduce import of fertilizers from other States.
Opposition leader Radhabinod Koijam urged upon the Government to prepare detail project reports of city development schemes and also to initiate solid waste management scheme at the earliest.
He further sought attention of the House to accelerate construction of NIT at Lamphelpat.
As the Lamphelpat area has already been declared scheme area, the Revenue Department has no authority to allot lands. Majority of the people settling at Lamphel-pat area are encroachers, Radhabinod observed. He also appealed to the Government to speed up Imphal airport expansion plan and to compensate the affected land owners promptly.
——————-RIMS appeals to UGs
By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Mar 12: Director of the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) L Fimate and its Superintendent Dr L Mohen have appealed to all UG groups not to interfere in the appointment of its staff in various posts and purchase of equipment and machinery.
Speaking to reporters today, L Fimate stated that the RIMS authority has been striving to make RIMS a good hospital in a transparent manner.
He further disclosed that some UG groups submitted lists of candidates favoured by them for appointment during recruitment of doctors, nurses and other staff. The UG groups have been exerting strong pressure on RIMS authority to appoint their favoured candidates.
Such undue interference has been causing serious impedance to the development and growth of RIMS, stated Fimate.
He also appealed to all candidates seeking employment in RIMS not to take help of UG groups.
Dr Mohen decried the act of intimidating RIMS authority by submitting lists of their favoured candidates rather than asking the RIMS authority to do administration in proper manner.
At present, interview is going on for recruitment of 45 staff nurse.
KSO Chandel urges
IMPHAL, March 12: KSO Chandel district urged the Government to compensate the victims of Maipi Nangsom Village fire, broke out on February 28. The students body in a press release said that properties amounting to nearly Rs 7,02,700 were destroyed in the fire. Meanwhile, a team of KSO Chandel district and General Headquarters in a an emergency joint meeting held with Maring Students Union, HSLC Pallel private centre committee and Supervising Officer resolved on March 11 that no more press statements would be sent out from both sides regarding the ongoing HSLC examination conducting at the centre.
KSO thanks: KSO Sadar Hills extended gratitude to District Health Mission Society, Senapati for conducting “Health Mela”, a free medical camp at T Vaichong, Sadar Hills between March 8 and 10. Specialist doctors in Medicine, Surgery, Malaria, TB, HIV/AIDS, ENT, Gynaecology, Ayush and pharmacists examined more than 2000 outdoor patients during the camp. ICDS also opened stores to facilitate dietary foods to children.
-The Sangai Express
=================================Attractive events lined up for tourism festival
By : A Staff Reporter 3/13/2008 2:38:06 AM
IMPHAL, Mar 12: The five-day long Manipur Tourism Festival kicked off here Wednesday with a grand inaugural function in which the state chief minister lighted the inaugural lamp this afternoon at Hapta Kangjeibung, Palace Compound.
The main objective of the festival is to project and showcase the state as one of the favourite tourist destinations apart from generating a feeling of communal harmony and foster a sense of brotherhood.
Speaking on the occasion, chief minister O Ibobi said that to promote tourism in the state, “We need to compete with other tourist destinations of India like Goa, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan who had attracted tourists by way of promoting their traditional arts and culture.”
He expressed hope that the festival would generate more and more enthusiasm among the visitors who came all the way from other places to visit and explore the state.
He said that creating favourable atmosphere for the tourists would also help solving the unemployment problem in the state.
For attracting the tourists the state needs to construct, set up and develop various multi projects like shopping complexes to sell state’s indigenous handloom and handicraft products, high standard hotels and taxi services in the city and also develop historical monuments apart from creating tourist destinations for the convenience of the tourists, he said.
Ibobi also said that due to the law and order problem, the state is lagging behind in tourism as infrastructure could not be developed.
The inaugural function was graced by state agriculture and social welfare minister N Loken Singh, and tourism minister TN Haokip as guest of honour and president respectively.
This is the second time the Manipur Tourism Festival is being held in the state with the first being held in 2006. It is being organized by the state department of tourism in collaboration with Incredible India, News Live, the Telegraph and Aircel.
Before the formal inauguration function today morning a team left on a cave expedition to Tharon cave in Tamenglong district.
Tomorrow another team to tackle general obstacle adventure will leave for Lamdan adventure and leadership park in Churachandpur.
This event consists of spidernet, parasailing, artificial rock climbing, natural rock climbing and obstacle. The team will be flagged off by tourism minister TN Haokip from MMTA office at 6.30 am as per the official schedule.
On the same day an expedition to Shiroi hills and Kangkhui caves in Ukhrul district will also be flagged off by the tourism minister.
On March 14 a one-day eco-tourism and village tourism camp at Sadu Chiru and sight seeing at Loktak will be flagged off by the tourism minister from Imphal Hotel.
On March 15 a two-day relic hunt will be held. On March 16 the closing function will be held at the main venue. A three-day exhibition cum cultural show will showcase adventure sports and ecotourism related documentary films of Manipur at the main venue.
During the festival apart from a demonstration of traditional hockey, visitors to the festival will be able to enjoy mukna (traditional wrestling) and hiyang tanaba (boat race).
A mosaic of performing arts will be laid out too, including Ras Lila and Shumang Lila. As many as 27 cultural troupes representing various ethnic communities will entertain people during all five days of the festival.
The programmes will be spread across multiple venues. The cultural shows will be held at Hafta Kangjeibung, indigenous sports at Kangla Fort and adventure sports at the Manipur Mountaineering Institute in Lamdan.
The tourism department has also drawn up a package of tours for tourists, including visits to historical places like the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Imphal, the Indian National Army complex at Moirang in Bishnupur district and places of worship.
Imphal Free Press