TODAY -

Is the people of Manipur happy?

Mr.SS2010 *



The answer of this question have to be searched and listen from the people of Manipur. It will be a difficult one to answer simply as 'happy' or 'all right'. Both these words have different meaning - that the first one is satisfaction and second one is so so. Then another question immediately arises 'why not happy?'. Or If happy 'how it is?'.

It has been experienced by the people of Manipur that the prices of all daily need items, essential commodities are so high in comparison with other cities of NE states During the economic blockade period on NH 39 and NH 53 it was beyond imagination. It is well known that Manipur is completely dependent upon Nagaland and Assam .

All essential items and food grains used to come/have to come through these two states. Manipur has no sufficient production of food grains and negligible product of other essential / vegetable items. Even the salt have to come from other states. It is said that Salt (Meitei Thum) was sufficiently available in Manipur in the early period from the salt well in 4/5 locations like Ningel, Sikhong, Nongpok Sekmai etc. During that period population of Manipur must be in thousands only as evident from the History and Census report of 1962 around 2.5 Lacs.

Present population will be around 28/30 Lacs within a period of 50 years. In the early period there were no proper road communication and bullock Carts were the only transportation system in Manipur. And so there were no demands and very simple life style. People used to stay in Kege thao lights and afterward on red colour kerosene which gives very deem light. People used to eat supper before sunset and slept the whole night in the dark.

If we look back and imagine the standard of life of that period, it will be like a fiction drama and become a folk tale for the new generations. So how can we compared with the present lifestyle of democracy with the princely state style and king's constitution where there was no voice of the people.

In the report of the inception of Loktak Project (DPR), the requirement of electricity in Manipur was around 2 to 6 MW before 1965 that also was met from the Diesel Generating Sets . Then the demand increases first in Imphal Area and then the district head quarters and then the whole Manipur. The present requirement as per Manipur Electricity Department is around 200 MW. and availability is around 60/80 MW that is also from Central Pool - PGCIL through Yurembam Sub-Station.

Manipur has no power plant of its own to generate power and no power projects on pipe line to meet the immediate demands. There were some micro Hydel projects running in different parts of Manipur. But presently no Micro or Mini or Small hydro power plants is in operation in Manipur. The construction of Loktak Down Stream and Tipaimuk Multipurpose Projects are not yet started and seems to be in the planning stage for want of environmental clearance from the GOI and specially from the public of Manipur. In Manipur all projects are political projects and it takes many years to complete and commission. If commissioned, there is no power generation due to many reasons.

Construction of 60 MG Loktak Down Stream Project at Thangal and 1500 MG Tipaimuk Multipurposed Project have not yet started though the MOU with NHPC Ltd. has been made during 2009 and with NHPC Ltd/ SJVN Ltd in 2010 with the GOM respectively. It is also not known when the construction will start in these two projects. It is already delayed in getting clearance from different Ministry of GOI due to poor report.

Still there are stakes from some communities, intellectuals, environmentalist, educationlist etc. of Manipur besides the security problem on the plea of disturbing the ecology of the locality and Manipur as a whole. But the power is needed for them also who are against these two projects. If such is seen in the construction of projects, they should come out with suggestions, additions, alterations of the programme/planning before or after the constructions instead of negative attitudes / reactions.

It is already delayed and if further delayed, the construction cost will increased further and will be on the heads of the future generations. If you are not able to give something to the future generation, please remain silent/ do nothing and don't try to give further load to the future generations.

Environment changes has always happened in the past and will be there in the future due to increase in population. The disturbances occurred during construction are always compensated by a forestation programmes and many other works as suggested and approved by the MOEF, Govt. of India. It is a project (Tipaimuk Multipurpose Project) of estimated cost of Rs. 8138.79 crore, including Net Project Value (NPV) to the tune of Rs. 1970.94 crore.

Excluding the NPV amount, the total estimated cost with the inclusion of security (internal and external), NH-53 diversion and flood moderation costs, is Rs. 7112.70 crore. Security cost alone is Rs. 356.18 crore. The Joint Venture Company (JVC) will have to bear the expense on security with the profits of sale of power in the years to come, Projects are for the whole community of Manipur.

It is not for one community and benefits will be for all. Electric power will give same light to all and there will be no difference according to community. You can see the developments in the villages of nearby Loktak project and specially Ningthoukhong. Please compare the present with the pre-project period. Can anybody snatch the opportunities given to the nearby villages by the project?

The communication system, schooling, Marketing, Medical facility, Security, Banking and Post office are developed in the project area for the general public and construction workers, Engineers. There are two system of getting jobs in such projects, one is the direct involvement in the construction for which provision is kept in the report and another one is the indirect involvement like opening of consumer stores, hotels, Contractors, Suppliers, etc.

All the construction workers and Engineers will be transfered out of the projects once the construction is completed and only operational staff will be in the project. There is no permanent settlement system in the JVC. The land is ours and will be ours. The land where all constructions are to be made will be under 99 years lease the same as done at other places of India.

Until and unless we are not morally accepted, there is no chance of construction of projects in near future in Manipur. There are many Hydro power projects constructed in J& K, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Utrakhand, Bhutan, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram and many projects are coming up in these states.

May I ask why the environmental disturbances are not there (in those places) or peoples are not happy there. It seems that only in NE states mainly in Assam and Manipur environmental disturbances occurred and people suffered. Sorry to say it is too much. In the neighboring country, China, very near to the Indian Border, they are constructing one 24,000 MW Hydro Power Project in one location in phases.

There are many experience Engineers, Contractors, Intellectuals, Scholars, Educationist, Economicians and politicians in Manipur. If you see such a environmental dis-balance in the construction of these two projects please sit together and discuss all the problems to decide what is to be done and what is not to be done instead of blocking the proposed developments in the state.

Specially the politicians, please think for the future and please do some good things or suggest good ideas to be remembered by the future generations. One of the very unlucky notice of 'quit Manipur' is also seen in print media, an unfortunate one and what will happen to the Meitei staying in other states, students, working boys and girls in metro/other cities.

It will be more than 3/4 lacs. The students reading there, the people earning money there and sending for their families at Manipur if they also got notice of quit the place, what will happen. Manipur is having nothing for its own and completely depends upon other states for any item of daily need, from salt to rice inclusive of petrol, Diesel, LPG etc.

If this is also blocked on our rude behavior before entering Manipur, can the valley people survive? In such cases, Hill area people will not support as it is the creation of valley people. Then the splitting of Manipur will automatically occurred and sovereignty of valley area of 100 KM length and 30/35 KM width will be fulfilled. Then the Meiteis, so said of ..will be extinct from this universe at our fault, cruelty and over-smartness.

As we all know that to go to a distance say from Imphal to Chandel/Pallel/ Kakching or Imphal to Kumbi /Sugnu or Sagang or Thanlon,or tamenglong/ Nungba, people think how to go and what will happen on way. Sometime if it is late, where will they stay and eat. Why all these are coming in mind? Is it not in the Manipur?

The answer is the present situations - UG / Security personals, kidnapping for ransom, killings for not payment of money demands etc. are happening in Manipur. Another one is the dreaded disease HIV/AIDS. Who created all these in Manipur. It is ourselves, people of Manipur making our life dangerous and risky during the last 35/40 years. It is so deteriorated that the future generations will suffered without fault of them .

And this will spit to the present generation for creating such a hell in Manipur and curse themselves for being a Manipuri born in Manipur. Let us remember the days of economic blockade in NH 39 and 53, then the 125 days strike, then the 42 days of teachers strike in Manipur in addition to the daily bandhs, Sit-ins (Dharna) for ASFPA and other killings, the bandhs call by two Social organizations from time to time against the present GOM.

From all these 'Is the people of Manipur happy?'


* Mr.SS2010 (email ID) and contributes regularly to e-pao.net. He can be contacted at mr(dot)ss2010(at)rediffmail(dot)com
This article was posted on March 15, 2011.



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