Upcoming election 2022 : A view on social auditing

Nelson Khundrakpam *

How does a prospective candidate delivers his needed service for his constituency? In what ways, aspiration of people are fulfilled in regards to social development, personal endeavor and well beings of people?

The primary responsibility of an MLA is closely tied to the smooth and efficient functioning of the State assembly, the three main functions of the Assembly being to make laws, to hold the State executive accountable and to sanction public expenditure.

As a representative of the citizens of a State, therefore, the responsibilities of MLAs include:
1. Introducing, debating and amending Bills, making laws and voting on the subjects mentioned in the State list and the Concurrent list. An MLA, who is not a Minister, should use the Private Members' Bill to move what they think is appropriate to be passed as an Act.
2. Raising matters of public importance during the Assembly session.
3. Ensuring that the projects/schemes announced by the State or City Government is executed in their constituencies. For instance, if an entire constituency does not get potable drinking water supply, the MLA can raise the issue in the Assembly as it impacts every citizen of his constituency.
4. Scrutinising how the State is spending taxpayer money and raise issues with the Finance Minister in case of discrepancies.
5. Ensuring that the State Government policies are implemented by the Executive.
6. Electing the Chief Minister of the State.

Besides, the above mentioned roles, we can also observe the performance appraisal of our representatives concisely in four parts of all he endeavored during a term of five years.
1. His commitments and accomplishments in development activities be it from Local Area Development Fund or from other departmental funds.
2. His service as a leader and representative of people towards humanity, towards social emergency and towards upliftment of poor and needy people and bringing them to the mainstream society .
3. His service and degree of involvement towards making schemes and programs, being taken up in various Government departments, access to people of his constituency who really deserve it and see if the executives are implementing those schemes in a proper way.
4. His initiatives, contributions towards public issues be it people oriented mega projects, policies and Bills and intervene and object to those which is not good for people as a legislative member in proper platform.

Let's observe what is going on in some constituencies and who has done what for his constituency. In a positive viewpoint, people are happy internally to see some milestone developmental changes and activities (for example improvement and broadening of roads, peace and tranquility among different communities, reducing fake encounter cases, reducing bandh and blockade, etc) taken up by MLAs and Ministers under the leadership of our Chief Minister.

Even though the euphoric manifestation of such instances may be short-lived, we should at least, as a good citizen remember and recognise those political personalities - who have made people' aspiration translated into activism and achievement. And think what might have happen if we have not chosen 'right representative' for us.

Among others, it is worthwhile to mention one dynamic political personality; who works closely among the people and electorate; who became an incumbent MLA from Indian National Congress (INC) party, currently unattached. He is shri RK Imo Singh, Member of Legislative Assembly, Sagolband constituency. He is a young leader who feels what people feel. He made it possible to reach the rightful share of PDS items to people of his constituency where there were claims from people across the State that their entitled amount of PDS items have been forfeited by agents and middle-men.

But what's his magic formula for this turnaround? Simply the MLA removed agents and middle-men and he did away with that system. Then committees comprising the local beneficiaries were formed and power is completely handed over to the local beneficiaries. Relating to the development of PDS system to quote "Now the power is in their hand and they ensure that the system functions without any glitch," says Imo.

His passionate & supportive activities during this COVID - 19 pandemic mediated by local volunteers through a proper service delivery system - towards providing basic edible items and others to Covid infected family, affected family and general people are widely appreciated by people.

Under the food security scheme covered by The National Food Security Act (NFSA), individuals above 5 yrs are given 5 Kg of rice free of cost for every month. This is continuing properly in the Sagolband constituency without any discrepancies under the able leadership of MLA RK Imo Singh. This is in addition to their regular entitlement of subsidised foodgrain.

Additional quantity of food grain were also distributed under the Pradhan Mantri Gabrib Kalyan Ann Yojana PMGKAY) launched in March 2020 to ensure food security during the pandemic. It was discontinued in December 2020.

Under his initiatives, a Covid Care Centre was opened at Johnstone Higher Secondary School running for six months successfully without any loophole; he has taken a pivotal role in bringing back Manipuris being stranded outside the State by sending rescue buses; vaccination camps have been organised continuously at local level providing safe and easy access to people for vaccination are praiseworthy examples of love and compassion for humanity.

Except for a brief halt due to this dreaded pandemic affecting the pace of work progress, the Sagolband constituency witnesses a number of developments. The initiatives of the current MLA towards development activities under different fund sources are:

1. Seven Community Hall were constructed in annual phase wise (Phase I and phase II) at different locations during 2017 -18 and 2018 - 19 under Local Area Development Fund. Many are also on the pipeline.
2. Construction of club building, construction of club fencing, construction of community kitchen shed, construction of Meira Shang, flooring of Mandop Hall, improvement of road across Sagolband A/C and installation of street lamps across Sagolband A/C were also taken up during the two years under LAD fund.
3. Construction of drain at various locations along with construction of seven culverts were completed under LAD fund during the two years.
4. Altogether five drains at five different locations including main drain were constructed during 2017 - 18 under MAHUD and another 18 drains were constructed at 18 different locations during 2018-19 under the same department. Construction of a Public Toilet at Wahengbam Leikai was also completed during the two years under the department.
5. Construction of RCC retaining wall with bored pile at Nambul river from Amudon Akham Leikai to Bijoygovinda mapa and at Moirang Leirak mapa were completed during 2018-19 under IFCD.
6. Under the Public Work Department, many work programmes at various locations for construction of main roads, inter-village roads, improvement of roads, mending of potholes and construction of drains were taken up during the two years.
7. Under Public health and Engineering Department, laying of 100 mm pipes, 200mm pipes, 250mm pipes and 300mm pipes at various locations have been completed almost across Sagolband A/C during the two years.

Besides the above mentioned activities, numerous similar development activities were also taken up during the two years under 'Extra Activities for Sagolband A/C'. Construction & Beautification of Shri Shri Bijoygovindajee Temple under Spiritual Circuit of Swadesh Darshan Scheme with Central Financial Assistance were also taken up during the two years.3

It is evident from the above mentioned year 2017 -18 and 2018 -19 analysis of development activities in the constituency, even though most of the development activities have been delayed currently due to the Covid - 19 Pandemic, there is no street without lighting facility, no locality without water pipe facility and no road without black topping.

This has made him to gain the title 'Rural Achievers' being reported in India Today dated September 6, 2012.

As a citizen, in addition to the above works, we are hoping for the following urgent developments in the constituency.
o Construction of Recreational Parks for the elderly people by selecting convenient locations
o Construction of Urban Health Centre for the constituency
o Most importantly promoting and nurturing small scale entrepreneurs and enthusiasts addressing the issues of unemployment.

Once five years back, I noticed the difference in development level between Singjamei constituency and my constituency (Sagolband constituency). Seeing every street and road being black topped upto drain construction side, I felt myself if my residence were there somewhere in Singjamei, I would have been blessed and there will be nowhere to see mud and dust. Today we have seen a sea changes around every corner of Sagolband.

3 Shri R.K. IMO SINGH Thanks The People of Sagolband' published by Sagolband Constituency Progressive Committee (S.C.P.C.) & Sagolband Block Congress Committee (SBCC)

* Nelson Khundrakpam wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is secetary, HHG Academy, Ghari and president Helping Hands Group, Imphal
This article was webcasted on November 11 2021.

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