TODAY -

Don't kill plants for your own security, Mr VIP

Debanish Achom *

The crater left by the bomb explosion in the middle of NH-2 on Oct 1 2012
The crater left by the bomb explosion in the middle of NH-2 on Oct 1 2012 :: Pix - TSE



Nobody needs to be told that the environment is always the first casualty of any developmental work. But the strange thing in Manipur is that, besides bearing the birth pangs of unsustainable urbanisation, the environment will suffer the most for the sake of some make-believe sense of security.

The local media recently reported that the chief secretary, after a meeting with state home department officials, has come up with a 'brilliant' idea to stop frequent IED attacks on Tiddim Road and elsewhere. However, the kind of brilliance the administration seems to be radiating is this: remove all plants from road medians since they help conceal improvised explosive devices. The authorities plan to fill the medians with cement and stones.

Fantastic.

As if choking the town with umpteen number of fuel-guzzling autorickshaws is not enough, the administration has stooped to another level of short-sightedness with the suggestion that it is better to raze a perfectly good road of any greenery than to provide better security. Of course better security doesn't come for free; it needs hard work, coordination and labour and most people tend to avoid work. Uprooting some harmless plants doesn't even break a respectable amount of sweat.

The state home department says VIPs often use Tiddim Road to go to the airport, and the frequent IED attacks pose a risk to them. But is it worth uprooting saplings for the convenience of some handful of VIPs in the long run? These so-called 'important people' will fade away soon without any tangible contribution to people's lives, while the utility of the saplings will benefit our children when they grow up imagine a clean, tree-lined road where one can breathe fresh air on a cool summer evening. We envy the lush green sights of cities in other countries when we stare at our TVs, and we don't waste a moment to mouth what can be done to straighten things here after whooping down some three pegs of hard liquor.

Yet, when it comes to preventing bombings on a stretch no longer than a dog's five-minute walk, all our 'learned' authorities can come up with is to turn the road into a mini desert, despite having the resources to think of other means. Security personnel who are languishing in less risky areas without any real 'job' should be made to man the entire airport stretch. That will give them something to get busy with in the first place and prevent IED attacks and save the plants as well.

The state administration is well-known for going to the extremes in civic matters. It doesn't seem to know the value of settling for a middle ground that benefits everybody. For example, it paid no attention to how cycle-rickshaws can be run more efficiently in such a small town, and instead screwed the place with hundreds of polluting automobiles in the holy name of development. A better way would have been to keep the number of cycle-rickshaws in harmony with that of autorickshaws. Elderly persons, who would have otherwise conveniently found a cycle-rickshaw on a narrow leikai street, is now forced to walk quite a distance to catch an autorickshaw. Add to this the insane amount of automobile exhaust that people, especially children, inhale these days.

If there was ever a way out, it has been effectively sealed with the home department's move to uproot plants on the road to the airport. The 'educated' officials, including the chief secretary himself, in drawing the conclusion have overlooked certain fallacies that are both scientific and commonsensical in nature.

Firstly, a majority of town planners across the globe are moving away from the practice of cementing roadsides and medians because such a method depletes groundwater level. Municipal corporations of Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore have learnt the lesson the hard way after trees started dying since concrete blocked water seepage to roots.

Secondly, a lot of effort and money had gone towards planting the saplings on Tiddim Road. Uprooting them when they have just started to bloom is like sending children to college, only to shoot them dead on their graduation day. Just because there is a terror threat in central Delhi, will the city government cut all trees surrounding India Gate to prevent terrorists from concealing bombs?

And thirdly, cutting trees for a short-term goal is simply a bad example. The current trend is such that almost every civic administrator everywhere pays attention to the debate raging over climate change. Even the mere act of drilling a sewage pipe or laying a road involves keeping the environment intact as much as possible. Small acts make a big difference.

But those small acts are not happening here.

Ultimately, tomorrow's children will suffer the most as today's VIPs would have long gone by then, having enjoyed the spoils of their time selfishly without giving any thought to the consequences. They won't even have to live through the deadly pollution that will eat into the lungs of the next generation. The least they can do, if they are willing, when they grow old and lie on their deathbed, is to apologise to children for leaving a mess of a town once fondly known as Imphal.


* Debanish Achom wrote this article to e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at debanish9a(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was posted on November 20, 2012



* 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!
  • Online Admissions at Pondicherry Univ
  • Water distribution at Moirang
  • Water scarcity in Imphal : Gallery
  • Loktak Landscape #52: Wallpaper Download
  • GENERAX 2014, Fashion Show #3 : Gallery
  • Discourse On Gangte's Origin #2
  • Can Nagaland Edn Minister remain silent?
  • Outcome of LS Election reliable ? #2
  • Lep-phou-e-do Maya Marichikada : Poem
  • Congratulates Candidates at MCSCC-2013
  • Election in Manipur: High voter turn out
  • German/French Language Specialist reqd
  • NAT Screening at Shija Hospitals
  • UNC on Jiribam situation
  • 70th Anniv: BOI- WWII @Leimaton : Gallery
  • Manipuris want better education, job
  • Demand creation of 'North Eastern Province'
  • Committee setup to study Rongmei issue
  • A home for militant kids
  • Attacks on NE people: Studying media
  • Battle of Khongjom #1
  • Battle of Khongjom #2
  • Battle of Khongjom #3
  • SSS Film Award @Kakching : Gallery
  • Free Medical Treatment To Rape Victims
  • Soram Lokeshore : Veteran Sportsperson
  • The Moon-I : Poem
  • North East reality in national capital
  • Election in Manipur: Is It Worth
  • MANHUNT 2014: Audition : Gallery
  • Election @Thanga-Karang , Loktak : Gallery
  • Reqts at AISM Solutions, Imphal
  • Legal recognition too late, feel transgenders
  • Tamenglong gets NRWP scheme
  • Hot weather condition in NE to persist
  • Mercury rising
  • The need : Knowledge based education
  • Formation of Muslim Community #1
  • Maibi Jagoi at 'Poknapham Eema' : Gallery
  • Malemyai, Hatneichong, Soitinkhup : eMing
  • The Shadows of the Khaki : Poem
  • The Naga Warrior
  • Website Designer at SiroiYatra
  • River Bank Music Fest : Gallery
  • NTC thrashes Rongmei Council claim
  • Ambassador for eco ties with Myanmar
  • Inner Manipur poll official suspended
  • GoI-GPRN/NSCN to sign CF extension
  • World Heritage Day @Kangla #1 : Gallery
  • Rising star, fallen angel
  • 'By hook or crook' best describes
  • M.Sc. / Ph.D. at NIT, Silchar
  • Conference: State in NE India & SE Asia
  • UNAOC-EF Summer School at Tarry Town
  • Ojha Thanil: Great masters of Polo
  • Down's Syndrome- Every Child is Special
  • Elam Indira : reception function : Gallery
  • The way he looks at me.... :: Poem
  • Kanglupki Erang Famlanba Yaningde
  • Empowering essence of a woman
  • Remembering Paul Gangmei
  • Commemoration of the Battle of Tengnoupal
  • Drought like situation prevails
  • Highway blockade @Kanglatongbi : Gallery
  • Thoibi Loi-okpa by Laihui #4 :: Ooba Video
  • Sanjenbam Mani : Veteran Sportsperson
  • Voting: Inner LS @Imphal #3 : Gallery
  • Walking with Racism in India: Where to GO?
  • Listing of Manipuri movies :: Android App
  • The Khongjom Day - 23rd Or 25th April
  • Easter Sunday - a New Hope
  • Developers @NetworkMaster, Imphal
  • Naoba's Chakhumang: Must for food
  • MHA plan for NE youths from militancy
  • National Fire Service Day : Gallery
  • Taming the wild forest fire
  • Revisiting the Lungnila story
  • Discourse On Gangte's Origin #1
  • 13th Shumang Lila Day : Gallery
  • Live with the Pain : Poem
  • Voting: Inner LS @Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Good Friday Exalted The "cross"
  • The Hands Full Of Glory
  • Dingo Nameirakpam: Runners-Up at Mr NE
  • MTech at IIT Hyderabad without GATE score
  • Students: Yangon Univ & RIMS Imphal
  • Move to nail NSCN leader
  • Mikap Thokpa Numit : Gallery
  • The perfect solution
  • Polls over: Will it make any difference?
  • Voting: Inner LS @Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • Interview with Viagra Haze
  • Hurford Youth Fellows @Washington, DC
  • RIST, Imphal - Popular Talk @MU
  • Ching Kaba @Langjing : Gallery
  • Comparison of Election Manifestos
  • Sophia bags Gangte Attire Contest
  • Wake Up Call To All Voters #3
  • Polling prep @Hatta Kangjeibung : Gallery
  • Teaching vacancies at Banasthali University
  • Mouna Khatladi Si Ngaaktani : eRang
  • Morok Metpada Jat Taba
  • Athoubashinggi Numit #2 : Gallery
  • Maram Nungsetpa Khousa #2 : Gallery
  • Free Technology in Food business
  • Requirements at Feerol
  • Imphal-Jiri-Tupul rail #4 : Gallery
  • Athoubashinggi Numit Kodompokpi : Gallery
  • A. Helim Choudhury: Veteran Sportsperson
  • Matric Pass @Drama Fest : Gallery
  • Manipur Tennis League @THAU : Gallery
  • Elam Indira - Padmashree : Profile
  • Elam Indira : Gallery
  • Singzu Joint's "Making love in Imphal"
  • RIMS Post Graduate Assn (RPGA) Meet
  • Diamond Jubilee JN Dance #2 : Gallery
  • Outer P/C Polling @Thoubal : Gallery
  • Thoibi Loi-okpa by Laihui #3 :: Ooba Video
  • 'Unplugged' at OUGRI Fest: Gallery
  • hLlQKidraba ceQla maca :: Seireng
  • Outer P/C Polling @Chandel : Gallery
  • State Central Library : Gallery
  • Oinam Chanchan - Singer #3 :: eRang Photos
  • Eyek Tamba : Learn Manipuri script
  • Lamphel DC Gate :: Panorama 360ø view
  • Moirangthem Surma Chanu :: eRang Singer
  • Nandaraj Nongmaithem: Lalit Kala Awardee
  • SPONSORED ADS