TODAY -

Before the trains arrive, a must read for every Manipuri

Dr Govind Singh *

Jiribam-Silchar first daily passenger train flagged off on May 27 2016  by Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Jiribam-Silchar passenger train flagged off on May 27 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi :: Pix - Momo Thoudam



The Jiribam-Imphal Railway Line Project is now nearing completion and willsoon put Imphal on the Railway Map of India. It is as if the Vision 2020 of former President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalamis being realized under the leadership of the current Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. This is certainly a sign of a healthy democracy. It is also an achievement signifying that the Government has finally understood that its Look (now Act) East Policy must first focus on developing its own North-east.

The arrival of the Railways all the way till Imphal, the capital and heart of Manipur, will be a much needed boost for the ongoing development initiatives in the region. Railway connectivity will ensure transportation of goods produced in Manipur at cheaper cost and will thus help increase profits for the people of Manipur.

It will also allow for easier transportation of raw materials as well as finished products into Manipur thereby enhancing sales and making business more profitable. There is also the added benefit of ready availability of all kinds of products and household items in Imphal and inrest of Manipur due to the Railways.

Another significant benefit that will be immediately felt with the arrival of the Railways is the boost to the tourism industry. The Internet is full of illustrated articles announcing the top 10 places that everyone must visit in Manipur to top7 things to do in Imphal, etc. This has inspired and attractedlarge number of people who have now put visiting Manipur on their Bucket list.

While the option to take a flight has existed for some time, it is not something that everyone can afford. The Railways will surely remove the affordability barrier and once on the Railway Map, Manipur will soon become the most preferred travel destination due to its beautiful landscapes and rich cultural diversity.

While there are myriad of benefits that Railway connectivity will bring to Manipur, it must not be forgotten that all development projects have some or the other adverse impacts as well. The people of Manipur must make themselves aware of these adverse impacts and ensure that these are prevented by making adequate preparations before the trains start arriving at the Imphal Railway Station.

One of the first impact of the trains arriving at Imphal will be on the local handloom, food processing and manufacturing industry in Manipur. These sectors will immediately start facing stiff competition from products and brands located outside Manipur. There is thus a need for the Manipur State Government to start framing policies favouring the local industry.

It is equally important for all Manipur based industries to prepare themselves for fighting this competition through continuous improvement of quality and business skills. The people of Manipur must also remember to support local production by choosing Made in Manipur products and items over those manufactured outside the State.

Another major impact of the trains arriving at Imphalis going to be the influx of large number of people, some of whom may not be tourists. This must already bea concern for every Manipuri, living in the valley or in the hills. As is true for the rest of North-east India, Manipur is suffering from the sinister problem of illegal migration.

The Railways should not in any way add to this problem and the Manipur Police and the State Government must create plans to check this from happening. This will require greater coordination with the Railway Ministry and certain other divisions of the Government of India. However, the initiation has to be made by Manipur Government and the sooner the better.

What naturally comes to mind while talking about containing illegal and unwanted migration in Manipur are the Inner Line Permit (ILP) and Protected Area Permit (PAP) protocols. There can be no argument over the matter that the rights of the indigenous people of Manipur are paramount and must be protected at any cost.

This is relevant not only for the people of Manipur but also for a country as vast as India, which often boasts of its rich cultural heritage. If ILP is not implemented in Manipur soon, especially before the first train arrives in Imphal, India will stand to lose the rich cultural, linguistic, religious and tribal diversity of Manipur at the hand ofillegal and unwanted migration. The latter will affect the demography and dilute the cultural practices of Manipur.

It is clear from the above that the lack of timely implementation of ILP willaffect the daily lives of local people of Manipur.It is therefore the responsibility of the Manipur Government to urgently look into this matter in order to protect the basic human rights of the very people they serve.

However,and at the same time, it is not the Government alone but also the civil society and all leaders and headmen of different sections of Manipuri society that need to play their part. This is because there is a need to develop a consensus on the nitty-gritties of the ILP before the State and the Central governments can be urged to implement the same.

All stakeholders must therefore come together through community-level workshops and discussions, overcome any past grievances and help in the preparation of a draft ILP proposal for the Government. This must be done urgently lest if the first train arrives without an ILP in place, it could prove catastrophic for the Manipur way of life.

The Railways will bring certain other opportunities for the people of Manipur, which require foresight and pre-planning so that they can be availed. Significant among these are the job opportunities that will be created within the Indian Railways around its Imphal station. The Indian Railways is the world’s eighth largest employer and the jobs will include everything from Station Master, engineers, technicians, security personnel to Group D employees.

Each of these jobs require specific educational qualifications and the youth of Manipur should not only keep a close eye on this development but also start preparing him/herself by pursuing the required diplomas and degrees.

The Civil Society and Manipur Government can also play their part by urging the Indian Railways to already let know of the proposed recruitment related details with regards to eligibility for such posts. Since these would be Central Government posts and would otherwise be filled with people from all over India, the appointment of local youth and workforce in these posts will also help prevent undue demographic changes in Manipur.

The one sector which stands to benefit the most from the arrival of the Railways in Manipur is tourism. However, unregulated tourism can cause considerable harm to the local environment and disturb the fragile ecosystem of Manipur. There is thus a need for ensuring that all tourism in the State follows the principles of ecotourism or responsible tourism.

The tourists entering Manipur should be made aware of the balance of nature which is still maintained in the State. Since Imphal will be the most impacted due to the flow of tourists, the Imphal Municipal Corporation should begin taking pro-active steps in this direction. The expanding tourism sector will lead to construction of more and more hotels and resorts and other supporting infrastructure.

This will be a challenge for Imphal Valley since the land availability is limited. Care should be taken to protect common resources like ponds and wetlands and keep them free from any construction.

Simultaneously, development of homestays should be encouraged to the maximum possible extent. The Manipur Tourism Department and all tourism promoting forums in Imphal should thus initiate this shift towards promoting and adopting ecotourism in the State.

The North-east region has remained deprived of the fruits of India’s development since a long time. With the expected arrival of the Indian Railways in Manipur sometime in the year 2020, Manipur will witness a consistent flow of resources and all kinds of opportunities. The efforts and hard work of the people of Manipur have been appreciated by the educated class of all parts of India where Meiteis and individuals from tribal communities of Manipur have gone and settled.

It is time that Manipuris receive the same resources in their home State so they can use their hard work and dedication for sustainable development of Manipur. The arrival of the Railways will certainly enable this to happenand Manipur has two years from now to prepare itself to reap the benefits of this new opportunity. May the forces combine for a resurgent Manipur!


* Dr Govind Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is Director, Delhi Greens organisation and has been an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies in the University of Delhi since the last five years. He may be reached at contact(AT)govindsingh(DOT)com
This article was posted on June 24, 2018.


* 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
  • Last Day : Sangai Fest 2019 #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Celebration Of Constitution Day
  • Enrollment for Science Olympiads 2021
  • Equally in pandemic
  • Indian Constitution: A document that protects
  • Webinar: Sports Coaching Education
  • Haunting Imphal based media
  • NE Indigenous Women Peace Congregation
  • Ramification Of Manipur's Merger With India
  • The Dying Green Gold of Manipur: Bamboo
  • Ima Keithel - A Lament :: Poem
  • Working whether from office/home is important
  • Beauty care for the winter bride
  • Date with Shah : Not just another visit
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Thanga #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 25 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipur State Journalist Award #2: Gallery
  • Ngaranchan, Asiisii: eMing
  • Manipur War Heroes deported to Kalapani
  • One match & two Man of the Match
  • Capacity building program for Juvenile Justice
  • Filmmaker Haobam Paban Kumar #2
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Significance of Ningol Chakkouba festival
  • Stigma, Pandemic & Mental Health Issues
  • Executive Meeting, National Sports University
  • Licypriya wins TN Khoshoo Memorial Award
  • ADB Univ pays tribute to Tarun Gogoi
  • Amit Shah's impending visit to Manipur
  • Muhammad Abdur Rahman: His life & works
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • 9th Loktak Arson Commemoration Day
  • Brown manuring for effective weed mgmt
  • Possible education trajectory after COVID-19
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Memo to Union Education Minister on MU
  • Mantra of test, trace, treat
  • Something is still fishy
  • Mera Houchongba @ Konung #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • National Unity Day 2020 : Gallery
  • Marriage is no child's play
  • Lady of the House :: Poem
  • A musing on BJP's social upliftment cell
  • Solution must not be undone by dissolution
  • Meitei Inclusivity & Arrival of Thadou Kukis #2
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • SRISTI-GYTI : Young Tech Innovation Awards
  • SITARE-GYTI : Projects in biotechnology
  • Irang : A bridge not too far
  • Become an NTSE scholar
  • Toll Free Helpline for Children Counselling
  • Condemns move to impose Sanskrit
  • Unwanted season again for no good reason
  • By-election @ Wangoi AC #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 20 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Retired IPS officer recounts violent period
  • Rural Dreams :: Poem
  • Understanding issues of foreign prisoners
  • AFSPA - Armed forces special power Act
  • Reiterate demand to rollback PDA decision
  • Date with Amit Shah on Nov 29
  • The making of a New India
  • Filmmaker Haobam Paban Kumar #1
  • COVID-19 Status 19 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2020 #5: Gallery
  • Land Commission essential before 6th Sched..
  • A little nobody trying to save everybody
  • Why some people get more acne in winter
  • 95 more positive cases found at Wangoi AC
  • Center losing track on Naga Peace Process
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipur State Journalist Award #1: Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba: Thailand Ningol letter
  • NE Indigenous Women Peace Congregation
  • CSI State Student Convention, Assam
  • What I saw from my window ?
  • Growing number of infected & deaths
  • Are we ignoring our courageous mothers
  • Ningols on way to mapam lamdam : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 17 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Kuki Nationalism & Political Aspiration : Report
  • COVID 19 patient delivers a healthy baby
  • Amur Falcon - A thanksgiving! :: Poem
  • Gender sensitization with law may prove good..
  • House of Poumai in Senapati : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Licypriya to address at Mock COP26 UK
  • Social Media and Negativism !
  • Career option in jewellery designing
  • Condemn arrest of student leader in Manipur
  • Morning walk wisdom
  • 'Roll back tax levied on petroleum'
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #7
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Ningol Chakkouba : A beautiful tradition
  • Ramification Of Manipur's Merger With India
  • Traditional medicinal herb 'Nong-mang-kha'
  • Education and employment
  • The Ani Thokpi culture of the people
  • Potsangbam Tomal Singh (1903 - 1999)
  • COVID-19 Status 14 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • 'Stop the practice of locking of offices'
  • Delights of Diwali :: Poem
  • World Diabetes Day 2020
  • Bond is dead, long live James
  • Make this festive season more memorable
  • By-election @ Wangoi AC #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Let difficulties know that you are too difficult..
  • Buy local this Diwali
  • Assam-Mizoram inter State border dispute
  • Beauty tips for the perfect Diwali look
  • Rolling out the red carpet for COVID-19
  • Fulfill the promises Mr. CM
  • CM to be taken into confidence ?
  • Chiuluan village, Tamenglong #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 12 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Swearing-in of MLAs [Nov 12] : Gallery
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Cut off and castigated
  • Apathy makes MPSC immune to accountability
  • 'Roll back increase taxation on petrol'
  • Saving democracy
  • Radio Play: social awareness media #2
  • COVID-19 Status 11 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Veg-in-a-Basket for Ningol Chakouba
  • Academic Council Meeting, NSU, Imphal
  • Lung Cancer: Most common cancer worldwide
  • Disaster risk reduction as career
  • National Education Day at RGU, Doimukh
  • Shopping for Covid ?
  • Left or Right: complex politics of India
  • COVID patient cast vote @Wangoi : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 10 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Swearing-in of M Rameshwar : Gallery
  • Consequence- massive flouting of protocols
  • Ramification Of Manipur's Merger With India
  • English Bye :: Poem
  • Conflict situation & investment atmosphere
  • Four out of five in by elections
  • Significance of the By-election result
  • By-election @ Wangoi AC #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 09 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Being vegetarian- hope for a brighter future
  • Observance of National Legal Services Day
  • General Manager NF Railway meet CM N Biren
  • One Rank One Pension (OROP)
  • Demand withdrawal of unjustified fees
  • Politically crucial by polls for some
  • Something needs to be added at RP act
  • Meitei Inclusivity & Arrival of Thadou Kukis #1
  • COVID-19 Status 08 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Children celebrates b'day by distributing PPE
  • Can E-government curb corruption ?
  • Extempore Speech Competition at Bengoon
  • Sinking boat :: Poem
  • Multiple Positions wanted at SAS Manipur
  • By poll over, now focus on the virus
  • Covid Block at Raj Medicity : Gallery
  • Ningthoujam Raghumani in 2% Indian Scientist
  • COVID-19 Status 07 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #6
  • Autumn rain :: Poem
  • Devil inside my head
  • Dedicated Covid Block at Raj Medicity
  • Radio Play: social awareness media #1
  • COVID-19 Status 06 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • IBSD Director, listed among top 2% scientist
  • Gyanendro Ningombam : Hockey India Prez
  • Fix it or be as it is
  • Manipur comes first any day
  • Out Surchandra, in Rameshwar
  • Shifting of Rani Gaidinliu Museum
  • Mera Houchongba @ Konung #2 : Gallery
  • Poster Distribution on COVID-19 : Gallery
  • Champu-Khangpok pledge to protect Loktak
  • What a life ? :: Poem
  • Can India achieve a $ 5 trillion economy
  • Preparing for post Covid era
  • Free and fair by-election: a blatant lie
  • Longa Koireng in Autumn : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Training on mushroom @ Moirang : Gallery
  • Meitei Pangal's 4% Reservation in Hr Edu
  • ADBU Prof listed among Top Scientists
  • Beauty benefits of amla
  • NH7 Weekender announces lineup
  • DESAM, AIMS, ANSAM on target
  • Ramification: Manipur's Merger With India
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Untimely demise of Ksh Borish : Gallery
  • Admission- MSc Food Tech at CFTRI Mysuru
  • Is the inevitable on its way ?
  • Blood Donation Camp at Loktak Project
  • Mind, Body, Soul- Let there be imbalance!
  • Condemn Police delay to arrest in rape case
  • Climbing cases and deaths
  • Covid conspiracies- pandemic or opportunity?
  • Play the Pena !
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Economic backwardness of hills of Manipur
  • RIST Talk -46 : Nobel Prize in Physics, 2020
  • Demise of Ksh Borish, student at IISER, Pune
  • Importance of early detection in breast cancer
  • My fake aficionado :: Poem
  • Highway of bailey bridges !
  • Disconnected dreams
  • Origin of Manipuri Vowel Diacritic '-aatap'
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • November Calendar for Year 2020 : Tools
  • Winter Vegetable Seeds Distribution : Gallery
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #5
  • Alibaba and 35 patriots
  • NDPP extends appreciation to electorate
  • Raising the call for a Greater Lim
  • Mera Houchongba @ Konung #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 31 Oct : Govt of Manipur
  • MoU between IBSD Manipur & ICT Mumbai
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Program at Pune
  • Depression blues :: Poem
  • Understanding the undercurrents together
  • By-Election campaign & COVID-19 pandemic
  • General strike at Minuthong #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 awareness bike rally :: Gallery
  • Rs 1.42 lakh : assistance to 5 journalists
  • Solar power plants using rivers in Manipur
  • Sagolshem Indrakumar : Manipuri writer died
  • General strike at Minuthong #1: Gallery
  • Foot bridges in Imphal City #1 : Gallery
  • Bhagyachandra Anniv @Nabadwip : Gallery
  • NH 2 cut off at Khongnem (Mao) : Gallery
  • Tarao Laimanai in Chandel #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Oct : Govt of Manipur
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn the Manipuri script
  • Emergency Meeting on COVID-19 : Gallery
  • Yubi Lakpi Manipur indigenous game: Gallery
  • Langban Lam-Haiba at Andro #1: Gallery
  • Imphal valley from Tuikhang Aimol : Gallery
  • Downloadable Manipuri Calendar :: 2021
  • COVID Care Centre @UNACCO #2: Gallery
  • Brahmacharimayum Roji: Actress #2 : eRang
  • 'Zehara' - Manipuri Movie :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS