TODAY -

Meeting the suggestions of the CM : Working out the losses
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: December 22 2015 -



Not exactly a challenge, but noteworthy that it has been taken up.

Just to jolt the memory of the readers, rewind to November 18 this year.

It was the day when the new Sanjenthong was inaugurated after being more than a year in the making.

During the inaugural function, Chief Minister O Ibobi had taken note of the report which appeared in some section of the Imphal based newspapers on the huge losses incurred by the people who had to take a longer detour since the main connecting bridge between Imphal East and West was dismantled some time in May 2014.

Taking note of the report, the Chief Minister had stated that it would have been so much better if those who had worked out the losses can concentrate on the losses due to bandhs and blockades.

Extremely significant to note that the young man who painstakingly studied the losses due to the long time it took for the new Sanjenthong to see the light of day has now worked out the losses suffered due to bandhs and blockades in 2014 and 2015 (Till October).

Not an easy task it must have been but it is encouraging to note that the suggestion of the Chief Minister has been taken up in the right spirit and while the losses suffered may be seen as just some statistics it says something much, much more.

Just take a look at the statistics.

In 2014 a total of 165 days were lost due to bandhs and general strikes while on the other hand economic blockades accounted for 19 days in 2014 and 24 days till October, 2015.

Due to bandhs and general strikes the monetary losses have been put at Rs 59,72,43,07, 500 crore while in 2015 it is Rs 28,95,72,40,000 crore till October this year.

Likewise during the days of blockade in 2014 the loss has been pegged at Rs 58.71 crore and Rs 74.1 crore till October, 2015.

A huge loss by any standard, but will this be able to open the eyes of the people ?

If the past is any indication, it is unlikely, but it is nevertheless comforting to know that there are at least some conscientious citizens here who can and will take up constructive suggestions.

It was the Chief Ministerís public pronouncement which goaded the young man to undertake the survey and now that it is set to see the light of day it is only right that the State Government seriously think of ways to minimise the impact of bandh and blockade on the common people.

Any loss suffered due to bandhs and blockades too should take cognizance of how much the people have to fork out to procure essential commodities.

Remember when the blockade to demand district status for Sadar Hills in 2011 was at its peak, the price of one kilogram of onion was about Rs 100.

And remember the price of fuel in the black market.

It was the same thing during the indefinite blockade imposed by ANSAM in 2005.

There is however nothing much to suggest that any worthwhile lesson has been learnt from the past experiences.

This is what is worrying.

A survey on the losses wreaked by blockades and bandhs and general strikes has been conducted but how far it will go in sensitising the people remains to be seen.

This is the tragedy of Manipur.



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