TODAY -

Habitually laying siege on highways to air grievances
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: July 23, 2022 -



INVITING the aggrieved parties to hold talks across the table, averting possible imposition of blockade along the two all-important national highways and preventing major agitations have been the hallmark of governance of the N Biren government ever since the BJP wrested power along with its allies in the state in 2017 and returned with a healthy mandate in the 2022 polls.

The government did face some challenging situations with certain issues threatening to go out of hands and creating chaos in the society as had been the norm in the past. However, the incumbent government managed to prevent escalation of potentially restive situation either through prompt negotiations with the peeved organisations and civil societies or by seeking more time to address their grievances.

Though the detractors may not agree, the ground reality is that the state has been relatively free from any serious major agitations and disruptions to normal life, the credit for which obviously goes to the present government.

However, with exception of insurgency-related incidents which have seen sharp decline, the state continues to periodically face distressful situations on diverse issues which often threaten to dilute relentless efforts of the government to project Manipur in a palatable way and focus on the developmental front.

Nevertheless, efficiency of the establishment to sustain the hard-earned social-political stability would be put to the litmus test yet again considering the fact that some civil societies, transporters’ organisations and others have either threatened to resort to agitations or have already announced imposition of indefinite blockade along the national highways.

There might be lukewarm public response to the series of agitations lined up by different organisations but it could be safely stated that in case the government, like in the past, does not address the grievances, then the agitators could create embarrassing situation for the government and disrupt normal activities.

For instance, Manipur Drivers’ Association, Senapati District Truck Owners’ Association and Senapati District Truck Drivers’ Union have declared indefinite blockade along the Imphal-Dimapur section of NH-2 to protest alleged arbitrary action and seizure of sand-loaded trucks by the Forest Department, unmindful of the fact that the latter has justified the action citing non-compliance with the existing rules and regulations by the transport operators.

Similarly, MGNREGS Implementing Agency Committee has warned of launching national highway blockade agitation from July 24 if its demand for releasing the scheme fund sanctioned by the Union government does not evoke positive response.

Civil society organisations of Kangpokpi district too have set four days’ deadline to the government for posting sanctioned strength of healthcare workers and support staff in the district hospital and cautioned of resorting to intense agitations in case of failure.

The issues may be varied, but one can’t ignore that all these organisations have set their sight to lay siege on the two lifelines in order make the authorities sit up and listen to their grievances.

Cursorily, as all the aforementioned demands and issues seem addressable, the incumbent government shouldn’t waste any time but find the solutions not only to keep its track record intact but also ensure that the public do not face avoidable inconveniences.



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