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Items filtered by date: Friday, 16 June 2017 - Imphal Times - A Daily Eveninger

Minister Biswajit and team visits Yiwu International Trade Centre, Baoshan City

Baoshan,16: The team led by Th. Biswajit Singh, Minister for Commerce,Trade and Industry visited Yiwu International Trade Centre, Baoshan City, Yunan Province, People’s Republic of China today at 3:30 pm (China time). The team is attending the South & South East Asia Commodity Expo and Investment Fair,2017at the Dianchi International Convention and International Sistership pavilion at Kunming, Yunan Province, People’s Republic of China.
During today’s visit, the Minister and his team were accompanied by Chen Jihanhua, General Manager, Yiwu International Trade City of Baoshan and his team. Mr. Jihanhua assured the State team to provide a helping hand to Manipur in the field of trade and commerce.
Further, the General Manager and his team also accepted an invitation from the Hon’ble Minister for Commerce and Industry to attend the Sangai Festival which will be held in November, 2017 at Imphal.

This is the first visit by an Indian Minister toBaoshan, China with the aim to discuss development of trade and commerce between the two countries.
On his part, ministerBiswajit Singh expressed gratitude and thanked the authority of Baoshan Municipal Corporation for their hospitality.
The Minister is accompanied by Shri L. Lakher, Principal Secretary Commerce and industry, Shri M Luikham, Director Commerce and Industry, Smt. L. Inunganbi Devi, CorporatorImphal Municipal Corporation Ward No. 18, Shri L.Bashanta Sharma, Media Coordinator to Hon’ble Chief Minister Manipur and Shri Chandrakishore Singh, President, North East Federation on International Trade, Manipur Chapter.
The state team left Baoshan for Kunming around 5:20 pm of China time.

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Ripe opportunity for awareness and action

With the increasing pace of life and the corresponding increase in social as well as work pressures, food habits of the people around the world have taken a hit for the worse. The most glaring evidence of this unfortunate changing trend is the gradual increase in the number of fast-food joints and ready-to-eat snack bars as well as local kiosks catering to the public with mostly fried stuffs to satiate the hunger instantaneously. Food that can be had on the go is being preferred over those which are healthy and wholesome but takes time to prepare. However, there is also an increasing awareness amongst the conscious and connected public cutting across age groups and professions regarding the need to inculcate a good dietary habit in order to combat the increasing stress and strains of our daily life. The general consensus amongst the conscious eaters is that fruits and vegetables play a vital role in maintaining the health and even reversing the harmful effects of work and environment.
A very disturbing news doing the rounds about some unscrupulous elements using unfair and potentially harmful methods of ripening fruits in the state have however put a question mark on the safety and reliability of the food products being sold in the state. However, the incident should not come as a surprise to many as the practice has been carried on for decades without any significant restrictions or objections from the authorities. The failure of those authorized and entrusted to ensure the safety and usability of foodstuffs for so long have only emboldened these elements who would not think twice about using any and all means at their disposal, fair or foul to speed up their earnings.

The menace of food adulteration and indiscriminate use of chemicals to either speed up the ripening process or to slow down the rate of decomposition is not confined to fruits alone. If anybody would care to recollect, there had been news of farmers using chemicals to increase their products both in size as well as quantity, or even halt the process of decomposition by using formaldehyde as reported in the case of fishes being brought into the state. On the other hand, there is also the disturbing report of plastic rice and even eggs being dumped into the country. While most of the chemicals used for such purposes such as Calcium Carbide have been banned by the government, their use is still rampant. There is still the danger of misusing those chemicals which are still not banned such as Ethylene (if used within certain limits) as there is every chance of the chemical being abused in the mad rush for quicker profit.
Today, the threat of harmful chemicals contaminating our foods on a daily basis is a very real and disconcerting one, and such practice cannot be allowed to propagate and continue any longer. However, the issue is a complex one especially in a state like Manipur where the mechanism to ensure safety of food is almost absent as of now, and any means or effort to check such unfair practices requires the combined involvement of the whole community, government agencies, policymakers, fruit-sellers, farmers, scientists and consumers to find an effective solution to this matter. Meanwhile, the best and most satisfying option is to start our own fruit and vegetable garden.

UGs apprehended

Imphal, June 16: Two active cadres of the proscribe group UTLA were arrested yesterday by a team of CDO Jiribam led by SI Raju under the supervision of Th Vikramjit Singh, MPS and SP Jiribam during a raid conducted at a hotel in Jiribam Bazar.
The two arrested cadres have been identified as Lunkhopao Haokip @ Papao (aged 37), s/o Ngulkhodou Haokip of Churachandpur; P Minthang Singson, s/o Hongkhohen Singson of Tamenglong, permanent address – Churachandpur.
Three mobile phones and two I cards were seized from them.
One Tingkhohoi Haokip @ Kangnu(aged 45), w/o Late John Haokip of Mission Compound, Jiribam was arrested on their revelation and seized one moblie phone and one packet of heroin powder weighing 15 gms. During the preliminary investigation the arrested cadres reveals that they are actively involved in smuggling of drugs and heroin powder from Myanmar to Manipur.
Further investigation reavels that Papao and Minthang are active cadres of the UG group UTLA working under the command of one Keikhohao @ [email protected] Haopu and along with Kaikhohao @ Amosh @ Haopu are actively involved in abduction for ransom of staffs of Coastal Project from Oinamlong ,  smuggling of arms and ammunitions from Myanmar to Manipur.
A case under FIR 30 (6)2017 JBM PS.U/S 21/29 NDPS act and 400IPC has been registered and investigation is under process.

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Farmers awareness programme held

Imphal, June 16: An awareness programme on kharif crop cultivation was conducted today at the auditorium of Representatives of Lois (RoL) at Kakching Chumnang Leikai by District Agricultural Officer Thoubal in association with RoL.
 District Agriculture Officer, Thoubal Sanasam Lemba Singh and secretary of RoL Moirangthem Shamu Singh were the functional presidents.
Resource persons who presented their papers at the programme organised under the aegis of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana(RKVY) were Sub Divisional Agriculture Officer of District Agriculture Office Thoubal Ningthoujam Hemajit Singh, who spoke on sustainable agriculture, Extension Officer Lairikyengbam Jatra Singh who spoke on Organic Farming, and officer in charge of Plant Health Clinic Thoubal Maibam Priyodutta Singh who spoke on preventive measures to protect against common diseases of local crops. Speaking about the programme, M Shamu said his organization has been organizing a series of awareness sessions for the famers in association with departments concerned for providing knowledge on sustainable crop production using suitable technologies and cutting down the amount of their investment and efforts.
About 50 farmers took part in today’s programme.

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Flash floods a product of corporate greed: MCPM

Imphal, June 16: The Maoist Communist Party, Manipur has put the blame for the frequent flash floods in the state on the destructive anti-people policies of the government over a period of time.
In a press release issued yesterday, the MCP said the situation is man-made and caused after the traditional drainage system in existence were disrupted due to unplanned development activities, illegal encroachment, continuous destruction of wetlands arising from corporate greed.
It said, one of the main reasons for this disaster is the closure of the flood gates of Ithai Dam in order
to maintain optimum water level for the Loktak Hydel Electric Project owned by National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC).
Ithai Dam has affected the lives, livelihood and economy of the people in the most adverse manner…Mapithel Dam has displaced thousands of people while creating irreparable ecological disaster, the MCP asserted claiming that the dam has no direct benefit to the local people but has benefitted private companies, contractors, bureaucrats and politicians who have worked in collusion to loot the construction and compensation money. In the similar way, the Loktak Project has submerged and destroyed over 80,000 hectares of the most fertile cultivable land of Manipur where double cropping was being practiced and in a scenario where the state had not lost the vast cultivable land it could have been self-sufficient in production of rice, the noted stated. Today, in order to cover up the root cause of more frequent flash floods due to inundation by Ithai Dam, several NGOs have been sponsored by the state to participate in unproductive afforestation programmes.
The natural drainage of rivers in Manipur at Loktak is blocked by Ithai Dam and in such time of crisis being faced by the people we need to introspect what Mapithel Dam, Khuga Dam, Dolaithabi Dam, etc have brought for the people of Manipur, the MCP proposed in the press note.  
The organization urged the people to consider the scenario that if Ithai Dam had released the impounded water on time, the recent flash floods could have been averted.
“The people need to question the nature and ramifications of so called ‘developmental’ projects and activities of the state and understand if these are mere cosmetic terminologies to advance the interests of the few against the collective interest of the people of Manipur,” it added while making a general appeal to the public to stand up collectively against the construction of dams and destructive projects.

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Interaction cum awareness prog.

Imphal, June 16: One day interaction cum awareness programme was conducted today at Churachand (CC) Higher Secondary School.
The programme was conducted under the guidance of SP/Imphal East and supervision of Additional SP (Ops)/Imphal West as a part of community outreach of Imphal East District police in collaboration with the Imphal West District Police. The programme was attended by teachers and around 150 students of the CC Higher Secondary School, representatives of Porompat Police Station, Women Police Station of Imphal East and Singjamei Police Station where POSCO act, juvenile justice act, cyber crime were discussed.

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No More WW2 Bridge at Heingang

By: Laishram Ranbir
Imphal, June 16: “This is what they did to the bridge built in one night during World War 2 in April 5/6, 1944, a 73 years old British built bridge, easily shattered down, now we won’t be able to see it again anymore” said locals of Heingang
We humans do love to hear about ancient history, but we also do know that we humans aren’t always that great at preserving it. Here is the most thoughtless and just plain dumbest ways that humans have wrecked their own heritage.
In a global economy, shared history is about capital, about control over who makes the money while many are struggling to preserve our vast heritage places from those who couldn’t care less, however, most of the historic town and various bridges, a masterpiece designed by the famous architect have been destroyed.
Likewise, the Hamilton’s Bridge, built during World War 2 (1944-1945) which use to stands unharmed or corroded is now almost destroyed by some reckless invaders who only think about today.
When we’re talking of preserving a site (doesn’t mean only nature and culture), unfortunately in our country, the legal framework is very archaic. Worldwide, a whole regime exists, of protocols and recommendations to preserve a site which terms as heritage, but, unfortunately, our legal and planning instruments do not take cognizance of such things.
Now when we’ve chosen to globalise and the private sector is generating a lot of fund and has a lot to invest in public assets, we should be looking at protection in terms of potential public-private partnerships (PPPs). But our instruments of planning, of equity, all the things we need to worry about, are not being adequately developed so far.
Is this how we treat what our ancestor has left to be witness and talk about for generations?
During the Second World War “The Hamilton Bridge” built between Heingang and Achanbengei (British record)/Achanbigei was one of bridges constructed in Manipur as a passes route by the Allied forces.
These particular bridge has a very unique story which could be heard from the locals of the Heingang and Achanbengei(british record)/Achanbigei area and even from many people of Manipur, till today.
But for the future generation, the story will remain as a story, they will not be able to see the fact of the story they heard from their parents, grandparents.
Recently, Imphal Times have brought out the issue to the public where some contractors or government workers already began to tear down the aged old bridge during the WW2.
Yet none come up to put hold on the ongoing destruction work of the bridge not even the Chief Minister himself where the bridge destruction work is going on is in his constituency (Heingang A/C).
Right now, the eastern side foot of the bridge has been totally shattered down, leaving the front portion of the bridge laid on the river bank and the worst part is the rise of the river water level due to the consistent rain which has submerged some part of the bridge. In India, we don’t have a policy for PPPs. Especially in the sector of public good, the government shouldn’t be encouraged to put assets out in the market without taking responsibility for the kind of plans they produce. A lot of heritage projects end up in court because so many scams today are related to land and property.
Conservation and protection isn’t just about the Hamilton Bridge, it’s about protecting the whole ethos. Though the workers work under the command of higher authority, do we need to bang the door of the concern government?
Does the state government not care about preserving a heritage site or just cared about using fund in the wrong way by destroying what our forefather has left for us?
“Pumudra ariba thong asi nungsi nungsina sidokhre do” locals remain still with teary eyes, watching the bridge being snatched down piece by piece, right in front of their naked eyes.
One who knows the value of a priceless items, for them it is very unfortunate seeing the bridge being snatched away piece by piece instead of preserving it as heritage site for our future generation.
Is it not our duty to preserve what is precious for our state, to understand it, learn from it rather than destroying?
Shouldn’t the state government and the concern department take up necessary strong steps to save such heritage site from being destroyed forever rather than seeing as a photos or hearing as a tale in the near future.
“One can hear the tale of the bridge being built in one night of April 5/6 of 1944 by 56 British Engineers from 58 Company Royal Engineers under the command of Lieutenant D G Jones. They were in Lion Box and were sent to a camp near where the bridge was erected. The Hamilton Bridge built between Heingang and Achanbengei (british record)/Achanbigei also connects the Airfield at Koirengei with the IV Corps HQ at Keep or Mongjam/Heingang area.”
It’s been more than 73 years since the Hamilton Bridge was built and for the tourist and for the world, it is the very example for Manipur state to be proud of. It also shows the world how technology was so advance during the WW2 compare to today’s generation.
Rather than dismantle the bridge, the concern and state government should take up immediate steps to keep it as a World War Heritage property for the generations to come.
The government needs to make a list of heritage site and grade them as grade 1, 2 and 3 as grading is a way of working out the kind of interventions that are permissible. Once we have graded sites, we can go forward and make plans for them.
“World Heritage sites are designated by the UN as places of outstanding universal value which should be protected for future generations but according to a study from the experts, urbanisation, farming, industry and deforestation are having an increasing impact on them.”
Before it’s too late, something need to be done to save the Hamilton bridge or the famous story will remain as a story for the rest of the history.

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