TODAY -

Highway expansion issue: New committee formed, bandh called
Source: Chronicle News Service

Kangpokpi, June 30 2021: Disappointed over the alleged scandalous dealing of various land issues in the district by the government, especially in connection with the highway expansion along the NH-2 in Kangpokpi, village chiefs and chairmen of the district on Wednesday formed a committee called Kangpokpi District Chiefs' Joint Coordination Committee on Land Matters to examine and protect their lands.

After meeting the district deputy commissioner, spokesperson of the committee Lunthang Haokip said that considering certain issues and problems in connection with land matters in Kangpokpi district, the committee has been formed unanimously by the village chiefs and chairmen.

The current issue of Asian Highway expansion under Kangpokpi district was examined and deliberated minutely by the committee and found that all possible efforts to amicably resolve the issue put forth by various organisations under the aegis of Asian Highway Land Affected Villages Chairmen/Chiefs Association went in vain, he said.

The committee's spokesperson further said that after thorough deliberation the committee resolved that the government's notifications with regard to the Asian highway expansion cannot be accepted unless the notifications and orders are based on DC Kangpokpi's notification dated 3rd June, 2020 wherein the DC informed all concerned about a joint survey to find out the affected areas of land and landowners for the widening and improvement of Imphal-Kohima road on NH-2 into 2/4-laning by NHIDCL.

Lunthang continued that the joint survey was conducted to find out the affected areas of land and landowners for the highway expansion but the 3A and 3D notifi-cation/orders were not issued based on the said joint survey, adding that any notifications or orders that are not based on the said DC Kangpokpi's notification will never be accepted by the village chiefs and chairmen.

While giving another option for amicably resolving the issue, Lunthang Haokip said that DC Kang-pokpi and his subordinate SDOs along with the committee and other stakeholders can conduct a fresh and fair survey and accordingly publish the same for fair compensation.

However, if the government fails to accommodate the sentiment of the committee and other stakeholders, "we will halt all works related to highway expansion and we shall not allow any company to undertake any projects further", cautioned Haokip.

He added that if the government attempts to bulldoze its plan through, it shall be held responsible for any untoward incident arising out of it.

Meanwhile, unhappy with the alleged unresponsiveness of the government, Asian Highway Land Affected Villages Chairmen/Chiefs Association along with TSA Sadar Hills and All Manipur Gorkha Students' Union announced a 24-hour total shutdown from 5 am of July 2 to 5 am of July 3 .

TSA Sadar Hills general secretary Lalboi Lhouvum said that they had been trying all possible means to resolve the highway expansion issue amicably but the state government has failed to respond positively, "compelling us to take extreme decision".

He said that only emergency services including medical, media and airport will be exempted from the purview of the bandh while appealing to the people of Manipur to bear with them for the cause of justice.

He also appealed to all like-minded civil society organisations and individuals to extend support and cooperation to the AHLAVCCA's movement for fair survey and compensation.


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