TODAY -

Tourism undertaking in Manipur: A toxic din

JN Lai *


Aerial View of Moirang, Sendra & Thanga and Karang :: 2008
Aerial view of Karang Island Loktak Lake, Manipur in August 2008 :: Pix - Nongamba Ningthemcha



There have been loud noises for about 30 years that tourism and its associate activities in Manipur will bring benefits to the peoples and will cause economic development in the state. However, negative contents of the propaganda are so harmfully harsh. The tragedy of so called tourist hot spot - Loktak Lake; bulldozing of the Naga River Colony and villages around Imphal airport; the land grabbing for golf-course and hotel management buildings around Nongmaizingching; the challenges in Shirui hill and Khuga dam are the some existing realities.

Many a wonderful English vocabulary are seen blooming in the garden of corporate media. Recent one, to me, is Theory of Trickled Down Economy. There have been frequent ostensive propaganda and policy, carefully hiding crafty facet of looting other resources. Many of them are not so open, very much cover up. But this one "trickled down economy" is well explicit in literal phrase and as well as its cunning motive and then in no time deflowering the other rights and do injustice.

This certain theory itself is glorified in the Manipur Tourism Policy 2014 attempting to convince and fool the people of Manipur regarding tourism undertaking. How we are told is the system that benefit comes first pouring to the pockets of the few who are sitting on top of the setting and after filled the pockets of those few then eventually there will be small overflow that will trickle down to larger number of people in lower part of the system.

The privatization of Sendra tourist spot, operation of motorboat service in the Loktak, proposed erection cable car in Thanga Karang, etc will share economic benefit with community is mere eloborate charad. The intention of such plan is good for nothing but design to remain confining the wealth churning activities to the domain of those wealthy few.

The work generally robs the community of their common resources and tend to devastate our already deteriorated natural environment. Even in the sector of home stay which appears good participation of communities in receiving benefits is not so, since the middle man, tourist agents hijack the lion share of the business which state need to regulate rigorously.

One emerging concern about the right to opportunity that much relevant to the tourism undertaking is the government's commitment in extending equal economic opportunity and participation. Government is accountable for the acts of perpetration by the privates since usually the former is virtual authority laying down the policy and regulation under which the privates are operated.

Land Grab: Towards developing tourism infrastructure, state is bulldozing the vulnerable population, ceasing livelihood, robbing the small plot of land of people who never able to escape from the grinding poverty; and handling over to the rich who are capable of building five star hotels. On 20 May 2013 about 500 residents who had inhabited for decades on the 1.5 acre land of Kabo Leikai/ Naga River Colony, Imphal were evicted to clear land for construction of a five-star hotel.

The demolition work uprooted about 35 houses; 144 school going children affected, 2 residents died and 1 woman gone insane. The government action that has violated right to life claimed the promotion of tourism in the state committing the public-private partnership venture. Remedies for the people rendered homeless were not taken, no compensation, no support for resettlement and rehabilitation.

Usually airports are paved and enclosed in good distances away from residential area. Imphal Tulihal Airport, in the world is the closest one to the crowded capital town. Government could have shifted this dislocated airport from Imphal city to an appropriate space, instead it is being expanded causing dislocation to the thousands of people.

Expansion project - in the latest case - on 28 September 2014, an eviction order was served against 60 families who cannot afford relocation. The order threatened the families to quit their homesteads within a week time. The traumatized 120 households of Ningombam Awang Leikai and Ningombam Atom Leikai, Imphal West district were waiting for implementation of assurances promised by the government of Manipur in multiple occasions.

About 60 households who were tired of waiting for the government response have already shifted to other places in their own initiatives. After having acquired 700 acres of land since early 2011 for the expansion, the government again notified to acquire another 116 acres from the surrounding area.

Now, the challenge is being aggravated with the coming of Modi's government - developmental enthusiast. The dilutions of legislations regarding the Environmental Protection, Forest Rights and Land Acquisition are on. The amendment of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013 gives the Government enormous powers to acquire land without the landholders' and Gram Sabha consent for projects involving defence and defence production, village infrastructure development, village housing and electrification, industrial corridors and infrastructure projects including those taken up under Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode.

Loktak Hot-spot Burn: Implementing the Loktak Protection Act 2006, a Manipur Government agent, Loktak Development Authority (LDA) using state police forces has burnt and demolished over 500 huts rendering more than 3000 members of fisher communities homeless. The demolition project and Phum (floating biomass) clearing mission reported used up 374 cores of Rupees funded by Planning Commission through a controversial pipeline called mystical K-Pro.

Such action of state exhibits a glare unintelligible dedication and self contradiction simply because they destroy the Phum and the huts, at the same time they imply the Phums, the huts are the natural beauty and values of the lake which benefits to attract tourists. Authority earmark amount of 40,000 Rupees each towards compensating some victims which is only meagre to their lost that will stretch to long term suffering.

Though it sounds distance away, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples its Articles 10, 21, 23, 26, 27, 28 and 30 aspire - right not to be evicted forcibly, not to be discriminated; right to participation, prioritize, strategise the development; right to free, prior, informed, consent; right to the land and resources; right to preserve and protect the environment, right to proper remedies, and free from militarization.

Also Global Code of Ethics for Tourism (GCET) is a set of principles designed to guide key-players in tourism development towards a responsible and sustainable direction. Addressed to governments, the travel industry, communities and tourists alike, it aims to help maximise the sector's benefits while minimising its potentially negative impact on the environment, cultural heritage and societies across the globe.

Again, tourism and its associated undertaking will take the advantage of prolong militarization in Manipur, imposition of draconian military legislation - AFSPA and the strong impunity that has allowed perpetrators get scot-free always. The fear is, in the name of protection of tourists and keeps the business in an environment of good law and order, the deployment of security forces in about 350 military stations will remain.


* JN Lai wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on January 28, 2015.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.


LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Heart OPD & Echo Screening Mission
  • Call for protest against MU crackdown
  • The farce continues at MU
  • Heikru Hidongba #1 : Gallery
  • Heigru Hidongba (Boat Race)
  • Get down to business
  • The Eternal Moment :: Poem
  • Why is oiling good for the hair
  • Jobs at SKY Hospital
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Creating Future Media Leaders in NE
  • Understanding Communist ideology
  • Suspended but drama not over yet
  • Arrested for molesting student in Mumbai
  • Manipuri Diaspora in Myanmar #1
  • Chingyainu, Chingnguremba :: eMing
  • Krishna Janma @Mahabali #2 : Gallery
  • Naga-Kuki Conflict: ..Kuki aggression
  • Tibeto-Burman Languages : Book
  • Indian Judiciary no more a caged bird
  • IGAR (S) calls on Governor of Manipur
  • Spirit of Irabot still runs in Journalists
  • Concern should be about mob mentality
  • Tribes, Art & Soul of India #1: Gallery
  • Rally against Mob Lynching #1: Gallery
  • 'Sahnit' an honour or a disgrace
  • Irabot : Socio-Political Challenges
  • Training employees for better governance
  • Blue Ocean :: Poem
  • Sextortion: Making money from shame
  • Condemn murder of Neiphretuo Metsie
  • Social lacunae
  • BJP on poll drive at Imphal, Kohima
  • Mary Kom lost 2 kg in 4 hours
  • Historical Evaluation of Puya Meithaba #2
  • Felicitation of Sportsperson: Gallery
  • ICJ: Investigation of Extrajudicial Killing
  • Legal profession as career option #2
  • Loktak Down Stream HE Project (2x33MW)
  • Protest against mob lynching at DU
  • Ripples of Music :: Poem
  • Memo submitted to CM over lynching
  • Poems of Peace, Resistance ...
  • Helicopter Schedule for Imphal-Jiri
  • Mirabai recommended for Khel Ratna
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang #3: Gallery
  • Manipur State is still winning..
  • Gazetteer of North-East India :: Book
  • Sunfeast Cup Football Tournament
  • Trip down memory lane
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Folk Song :: Poem
  • The Endureres at Dwarka Half Marathon
  • Main accused in cop slaying nabbed
  • Naga talks not confined to Nagaland..
  • Trekking to Dzukou Valley #1 : Gallery
  • Rest in Peace Humanity
  • Ph Banti's artwork 'Trafficking of children'
  • Cry of a Dying River - 45 :: Poem
  • Buddhism is not a religion
  • Jobs at R-Square Design
  • Candle Light at DU over lynching
  • Society as a reflection of govt
  • Mobocracy : Shame on Manipur
  • Kuki Black Day @CCpur : Gallery
  • miAoIbgi pNTuH :: Seireng
  • An opinion on Tharoijam killing
  • How Manipur lost internal autonomy, Kabaw
  • Admission for PhD at Tripura Univ
  • Meefam ST at Nambol, Khangabok
  • Importance of Forest & Environment
  • Deep social divide: Two different folks?
  • Kuki Black Day: Kukis Will never forget
  • R & V Art House's First Art Fest 2018
  • Celebrating International Literacy Day, 2018
  • Born a Kuki, die a Kuki :: Poem
  • History of North East India :: Book
  • Will SimpliciTB make TB treatment simpler
  • Meefam chathaduna ST gi issue..
  • Dipankar Talukdar- Mr Model of World Star
  • System error- who will fix Broken Window
  • Reshuffle Talks : Say No to Yes Me
  • India negotiating vehicle pact with Myanmar
  • Chalwa Village, Kangpokpi #2 : Gallery
  • Thien & its downfall in Zeliangrong #2
  • Is FA a self exposed daylight robbery?
  • Nation Needs Small Farmers
  • Who is programming you ?
  • Bandhs as dissent & survival of laziest
  • Looking for Raju :: Poem
  • The cry of the 2nd class citizen
  • Bharat Bandh in Imphal
  • Historical Evaluation of Puya Meithaba #1
  • Sit-In: Naga Peace Talk #2 : Gallery
  • Naga-Kuki conflict: Search for definitions
  • Mega Marathon Manipur : Download Form
  • Legal profession as career option
  • Guv felicitates 5 JAK RIF for flood relief
  • Stored Anger :: Book Review
  • On stepping into the 20th year of TSE
  • Sept - month which reinstated our courage
  • Krishna Janma @ISKCON #2 : Gallery
  • Empty :: Poem
  • Lets beat littering - plastics pollution
  • NEHU Seminar : Urbanization in India
  • Jobs at JCRE Skill Solutions
  • Declaration of Naga Collective Spirit [Sep 8]
  • Akanba Khongjangidamak Yathokpa Loire
  • Support for STDC from UMA, Assam
  • 'Deplorable power supply in Nagaland'
  • Tryst with destiny - Should we accept ?
  • Stand off at MU : Impact on LS Poll
  • Exploring the enthralling Tuilha Kol
  • Kamesh Salam : Outstanding Green Activist
  • The Valley Of Brahmaputra :: Book
  • Development of road database
  • The inner page story :: Poem
  • Kakching WW-II Memorial Run 2018
  • STDC public meeting at Langathel Keithel
  • Maibi Jagoi at Sangai Fest : Gallery
  • My poll without prejudice to anyone
  • MEETAC - Mission for streamlining TK
  • Conditions leading to Marxism
  • Heart Camp at Khelakhong, Thoubal
  • Cyber bully: Crime that follows you home
  • Bhupen Hazarika : Tribute at London
  • AEP & Importance of Myanmar & NE
  • Political pandemonium
  • Students central to MU issue
  • Landscape from Koubru #2 : Gallery
  • Leishangthem Robert for Mr. World 2018
  • Oinam Shilla Chanu at Mrs India Earth
  • North-east Frontier Of India :: Book
  • Thien & its downfall in Zeliangrong #1
  • Cry of a Dying River - 44 :: Poem
  • JRF Post at Mizoram University
  • Honours to Bamboo; a ubiquitous gift
  • Case of hunter now being huntedr
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #3 : Gallery
  • Women Empowerment & judicial Activism
  • Narin Chenggum - wild edible mushroom
  • Flying Star at your lips :: Poem
  • Out of the box thinking
  • Call centre fraud: Vicious vishing attack
  • Changing India & its impact on Manipur
  • MU stand off gets uglier
  • Tikendrajit : The Lion of Manipur #4
  • Krishna Janma @Mahabali #1 : Gallery
  • Eastern Frontier of India :: Book Review
  • Remembering Radhakrishnan ..
  • Moments to cherish :: Poem
  • Glimpse of the Buddha's teaching
  • NH7 Weekender Express Editions
  • Rejoinder to NDPP from NPF [05 Sep]
  • Mental equation
  • Are teachers teaching ? Apt, timely poser
  • Sirarakhong Hathei Phanit @Ukhrul : Gallery
  • Sit-In: Naga Peace Talk #1 : Gallery
  • Globalization, Act East Policy & Manipur
  • Review on anthology of Parthajit Borah
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Child Friendly Police Stations proposed
  • ADBU Goes Green with Solar Energy
  • Convocation of Assam Don Bosco
  • Fetal Echocardiography - Seminar held
  • Rejoinder to NPF from NDPP [04 Sep]
  • Divide, divert and rule will not work
  • FA, MU crisis : Issues before LS polls
  • Krishna Janma @ISKCON #1 : Gallery
  • Komrem Student Day @Bangalore : Gallery
  • September Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • The Coils of Pakhangba :: Book
  • Physics Program in Don Bosco, Tura
  • Condemns MU VC's vindictive stance
  • 'Policy of India to suppress people'
  • NDPP congratulates Abu Metha
  • Pandey back at MU! Violating spirit of MoA
  • Exhibition @ Art College #2: Gallery
  • AMWJU Sit-In-Protest : Gallery
  • Shri Krishna Janmasthami :: Book
  • Life's heck :: Poem
  • Environment & lung health are vital
  • Innovation for the common man
  • Humanitarian crisis with NRC in Assam
  • Rejoinder to NDPP from NPF [02 Sep]
  • Jangou Rah : eRang Classic
  • The Story of 40 Pineapple Suckers
  • Rebirth of Manipur Human Rights Comm
  • Yumkhaibam Nanao Eramdam Yaourakhre
  • Lecture: Governance & Public Services
  • X-rated poem :: Poem
  • Ningol Chakkouba Celebration in Delhi
  • Baton changes hands at IGAR (South)
  • Rejoinder to NPF from NDPP [01 Sept]
  • A Wake-up call
  • Lok Sabha polls : More crucial for BJP
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang #2: Gallery
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #2 : Gallery
  • The World of Kuki People :: Book
  • Effects of the Burning of Meitei Puyas
  • Soil Technician required at MaolKeki
  • Jr. Mr. India 2018, Gyanendra Thokchom
  • Rejoinder to HTC & allies' statement
  • Consensual sex..Does it amount to rape ?
  • Need for all to keep their sanity
  • Sanagi Tenawa :: Funga Wari
  • MU: Den of Insurgents or Den of Ideas?
  • Can NRC Update save Assam and NE ?
  • Victim of Enforced Disappearances
  • Admission for Ph.D. at Tripura University
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang #1: Gallery
  • Physics Program in Don Bosco College
  • Resolution: Right of Human Right Defender
  • Advancing rights of Human Right Defender
  • Dolaithabi Dam , Senapati : Gallery
  • Eid-Ul-Adhaa Festival #2 : Gallery
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #1 : Gallery
  • 47th Nagas Annual Meet at Mumbai
  • Transcending Patriots' Day(s) #4
  • Sangai Fest: Fashion Show #2 : Gallery
  • Tikendrajit : The Lion of Manipur #3
  • Dr. Jodhachandra Sanasam : Sahitya
  • Architects announces 1st MADE 2018
  • Expedite FA Rally #2 : Gallery
  • Billie's Book by Ranjeeta Mayanglambam
  • Shougrakpam Bijaya :: A Profile
  • Disputed Myanmar Border Pillar : Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #3: Gallery
  • Dzuko valley #4 :: 360 Panorama View
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Temples of Manipur : Gallery
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS