By: Rajkumar Premjit Singh
This is a wakeup call for the people of north east,I would like to highlight some of the serious wrongdoings by the lawmakers and politicians and guardians of the common people who are supposed to be helping them but instead most of them are engaging in a game of decoiting the public exchequer.We trust our leaders in a simple and truthful way and expect them to work in a way to uplift the poor and help the common man but sadly that is not so in our state.Of course there are few honest politicians and public leaders. They deserve proper respect but there are also some leaders who are just interested in looting the poor and general public completely, the extent of the loot is so vast and the design so ingenious that it surprises us .There are many reasons why the wrongdoing go unpunished .First and foremost the presence of national media in our state is very minimal almost nil .We need strong national media to highlight the problems that we are facing. Another reason is people are afraid to come out in the open and acknowledge the truth .We had travelled far and wide in the nook and corners of north east especially Manipur to interact with the general public, many had spoken to us about the problems they faced and about the wrongdoing by the lawmakers and public leaders which we had captured in the form of video footage and voice recording .They know that they are not getting their fair share but they also admit they are scared to come out in the open and publicly announce (who knows what might happen in a state like Manipur) is what most of them said when asked about why they hadn’t spoken out till now, maybe they are right ,maybe they have just unfound and unjust fear in them that physical harm might come to them if they challenged the unchallengeable but the truth is that many wrongdoings in all the programmes of central sponsor scheme etc. had happened, still happening and if we do not come out in the open and do something to stop them will go on happening and the poor and the common man will suffer and the rich and powerful will become richer and more and more powerful .And another aspect which had surprised me is the blanket cover given by all leaders whether in power or out of power..
I, as a common citizen of north east and with due respect to the few honest and good public leaders and law makers and to the people of Manipur would like to highlight some of the issues and agendas which we had come across and documented in the form of video footage and sound recording which we obtained from interviewing the beneficiaries.
MGNREGS(Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme): –
We have taken interviews with many job card holders of Manipur and Assam at many places. We found that the card holders were working for an average of (20-30days maximum) in a year. Some card holders are working less than 10 days.there are few workers who had not worked for even a single day after getting the card. We found that most of the workers were not having their cards. Authorisation letters from the card holders have been obtained in blank papers by the pradhan and members-village authority. At Manipur few card holders have 2 of same cards provided by the members. Instead of manual work, machines have been used in MNREGS work. Electricity bills also have been deducted from the wages of MNREGS workers. Such practices are being practised at Manipur for the past 6-7years. We found few card holders who had never received any wages.
We have taken interviews with those card holders at Manipur and Assam from many places. Card holders are getting very less quantities of rice, kerosene, sugar and wheat. At Manipur during our survey and at the places where we have gone we could not find a single wheat beneficiary and fair price shop. Also the card holders were buying things at a price which is higher than what the government prescribed.
For wheat and flour(atta)available at Manipur, apart from the Govt sources of wheat by PDS,from the private sectors only one company had transported only about 20 truckloads of wheat from 2004 end till May 2015.It may be noted that flour (atta)is available freely in the open market of Manipur with the trademark of local flour mill companies.If there is no transportation of neither wheat nor attta from private sector ,question may be asked what is the source of atta which is available in the open market.Almost similiar practice is being followed in sugar supply also.
The Govt had not given proper reply to the RTI application asking about wheat beneficiaries, Does it mean that there is nil or very few wheat beneficiaries.
AGRICULTURE: – We have taken interviews with farmers of Manipur and Assam at many places and we have documentary evidence in the form of audio and video footage where Farmers had claimed that they are buying Urea and MOP commonly known in local language as potash fertiliser from the private retailers at a price which is higher than what the government prescribed
MOBC scholarship scheme:- We personally went and checked few institutes at Guwahati, Chandigarh and Allahabad. But it was found out that few of students whose name were mentioned in the scholarship list, were never admitted at the respective institutes. Point also may be noted that an MBBS student had been allegedly admitted by the government of Manipur at PGI Chandigarh which is an institute for post graduate course .Department of MOBC comes under Honourable chief Minister of Manipur
Mid-day meal: -We have taken interviews with some School principals of Assam and Manipur. We found out that school students of these schools are not receiving proper meal.Some of the Principals claimed that they had not received full quantity of rice. Few schools had not provided uniforms and school bags. Text book is not distributed on time. Many school buildings are in bad shape with no proper place for preparing midday meal. At Manipur we found some school without any building nor student and teacher. We also found many schools where the number of student is very less in comparison to number of teachers. Some schools have many teachers but very few student, some of the teachers posted at hill n village area are not attending schools so Principals had appointed local youth on contract basis which is illegal .Question may be asked from where the salary is being paid and how. There are teachers who had not only never attended school but also living outside Manipur. Such practise is going on for many years and in such scenario how we are going to improve education system.The RTI application has not been answered .
Indira Awaas Yojana: -We have taken interviews with many beneficiaries of Assam and Manipur and we found out that most of the beneficiaries are getting below Rupees 20thousand per person. This scheme is for providing Rs 70thousand in plain area and Rupees75thousand in difficult areas for constructing one house.
ANGANWADI: – We have taken interview with some of the Anganwadi workers of Manipur. They are not getting full items from the department. Anganwadi workers use some other premises for running their center whereas the department are not giving rent money for the centre.Few of the Anganwadi workers claimed that they are not even getting their salary. The RTI application has not been answered .
Tribal affairs and hills department:-
SCHOLARSHIP SCHEME: -we came to know that tribal affairs and hills department had given scholarships to many students from higher income group, whereas these schemes are exclusively for lower income group. There is a nexus between the adoption agency and higher income group parents where while obtaining scholarship the student is adopted by a poor and deprived parent and sent for studies under the scholarship scheme but after passing out from respective courses the real rich and not so deprived parents naturally adopted back their children.
HOUSING SCHEME: -My RTI application seeking information about beneficiaries of tribal housing scheme to the department has neverbeen replied(investigation is going on).
POWER DEPARTMENT: -We came to know through my RTI application that trading (selling of electricity) has been going on from 2006-2013 by the electricity department.Government of Manipur. Department has been selling electricity for an amount of rupees 20 crore approx. every year. Question may be askedto where the department sold the electricity?And what is the percentage of total electricity quota received for Manipur state were sold?
During this period entire Manipur was having load-shedding and people were getting only 5-6 hours of electricity approximately every alternate day. We took interviews from many customers and we found that the customers were paying rupees 250 per month with or without electric meter box. Some of the villagers claimed that they were paying electric bill without proper bill and proper receipt. We also came to know NHPC and government of Manipur had signed agreements for Loktak hydro project way back on 1971, term was that Manipur will be getting only 10 MHZ free and 20 MHZ with payment, if it is true then why the government did not change the agreement as electricity requirement of present day has increased quite a lot. Recently prepaid system of electricity supply has been started but still people are having load-shedding for few hours.
This particular problem can be rectified only when the general public as well as those in power take proper initiative actions.This department also comes under the Honourable CM of Manipur. The RTI application has not been answered .
LDA: -Phumdi cleaning scheme.
Question may be asked why a 2 days old company( KPRO) was given the work for phumdi cleaning and why the department accepted only one bidder which is against the CPWD norms. We have taken interviews with some of the villagers near Loktak Lake; the villagers claimed that only 40% of the work has been done. Even one ex worker of KPRO Company claimed that many wrong things have been done but the worker stated that he was afraid of telling the truth. According to LDA survey 1100 phumdis were present out of this 770 had been cleaned and out of 770 phumdis which had been cleaned only 555 had received compensation so far.What had happened to the compensation for the remaining 215 huts.The villagers were found using solar lamps given by MANIRADA department..
RTI applications had been filed to MDS enquiring about the infrastructure of MDS and about the names of all the departments which had been dealing with MDS reply of which we have not gotten so far. We came to know well infrastructure and well equipped departments are depositing money to MDS which is not having proper infrastructure and expert person
Another point which needs highlight is that the most respected post in the state assembly is being held the Honourable Speaker,Shri Thokchom Lokeshor Singh s/o Shri Thokchom Nabakumar Singh.The surname of the honourable speaker has been confirmed by the answer given to an RTI application applied during 2013-14.as Thokchom
Now another RTI application to Manipur university during the same period 2013-14 has been replied giving the honourable speakers name as Oinam Lokeshor.
The people of Manipur would like some answer from the honourable speaker as to what his real surname is and who his real parents are and also why the honourable speaker has used forged documents to win election and hold such a prestigious post by such unfair means and by cheating the general public.
Another issue which will become national issue very soon is about Disproportionate income and Assets .If anybody has exact proof of any politicians or Government salaried officials or their families or anybody else having Disproportionate income and assets which was acquired without having enough proof of paying income tax, direct complaint can be forwarded to ED(enforcement directorate) individually.
I would like to conclude by saying that to accumulate such information and news with direct visual and audio proof our many reporters and social workers had worked under the aegis of Rajkumar Premjit Singh, CMD ,Savannah consultants Pvt Ltd, New Delhi,, tirelessly and under hostile and difficult situations and in the most innermost rural area and hills for the past six years .At the moment we are uncovering just the tip of the iceberg and the bulk will come out very soon as soon as we complete our work in other departments like –,BSUP(basic services for urban poor),Medical,Horticulture,tribal affairs housing scheme.VRS.Reimbursement, Many government officials extended more then 3 years (liquor and tobacco: These two are also very big issues, we have video footage).
The reason for collecting such extensive news with documentary evidence from almost all northeast states is to make it a national issue and for the purpose of filing PIL at supreme court.
The writer Rajkumar Premjit Singh – CMD Savannah Consultants pvt. ltd, New Delhi is the son of , Late Rajkumar Ranbir Singh (Ex. CM of Manipur)
He can be contacted at Email: [email protected]
Phone No. : 08588000465