Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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By : Thoudam Jagat Singh

Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering,

Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering & Technology (Autonomous),

Imphal valley is the birthplace of one of the earliest human civilizations in the north eastern region of India. The oval shaped Imphal valley covers an area of 1,843 sq. km approximately and situated 2567 feet high above the mean sea level. The area of Imphal Valley after the deduction of 600 sq. km of Loktak Lake is 1243 sq. km which is less than that of Delhi with an area of 1,484 sq. km. The valley is a natural gift of fertile agricultural land with the fertility being naturally renewed through flooding by the rivers. The valley with majority of urban centers is the focal point of population. The main issue of urbanization in Imphal valley is that it is taking place at the wrong area and is beset with many problems.

Imphal city is the major urban center where the populations as well as facilities are concentrated. With the increase in population due to natural growth as well as migration from rural areas, there is a great pressure on the infrastructure of Imphal city. Imphal city is now facing a myriad number of problems - traffic congestion, lack of parking space, flooding due to bad drainage, lack of water supply, lack of sewerage system, environmental degradation etc.. Possibility of the occurrence of flood every year is the biggest worry of a majority of people in Imphal city and other areas of the valley.

Another important aspect of the urbanization process is the loss of fertile agricultural land. The ongoing population growth and urbanization is fuelling the conversion of much of the best agricultural lands to non-farming uses. Once agricultural land is designated or developed for non-farming uses it is unlikely that it can be restored to produce agriculture. It can take thousands of years to produce just one centimeter of new topsoil needed to sustain food and farm production. Agricultural land is very scarce in Manipur. The valley constitutes just one-tenth of the total area. Development of agriculture and farming is essential for the growth of other sectors of the economy. Protection of agricultural land resources is necessary for the growth of a sustainable economic development, job creation, investment and growth.

All these issues are to be dealt in urban planning. Urban planning is a technical and political process concerned with the development and use of land, planning permission, protection and use of the environment, public welfare, and the design of the urban environment, including air, water, and the infrastructure passing into and out of urban areas, such as transportation, communications, and distribution networks. Regional planning deals with the efficient placement of land use activities, infrastructure, and settlement growth across a larger area of land than an individual city or town. Regional planning is a subfield of urban planning as it relates land use practices on a broader scale. Urban and regional planners develop land use plans and programs that help create communities, accommodate population growth, and revitalize physical facilities in towns, cities, villages, and metropolitan areas.

There is an urgent need to take up the urban planning from a new perspective. The new perspective is to take a holistic view of the Imphal valley as a whole with its surrounding foothills for urban and regional planning. From this perspective, the urban centers can be located on the foothills, where the fertility of the soil is low. The central valley can mostly be reserved for agricultural and allied activities. The location of growth centers on the foothills has the advantage of unlocking a vast untapped potential- irrigation, power, water supply, tourism, industrial growth centers etc.

It is really exciting to imagine the materialization of such an urban planning and development. For location of urban growth centers on the foothills, a roadway cum Tramway, aka 9Light Rail Transit) LRT link should run along the foothills connecting the whole valley and the existing urban centers. The Tramway, aka LRT is an efficient, aesthetic, durable and modern mass transport resource for medium-sized Indian cities. Multi community planned townships can be developed on the foothills along this link. Mini storage dams can be constructed at various locations on the foothills all along link. There are many natural water storage points on the foothills which can be used for irrigation, water supply, mini hydro power plants and tourism. Various industrial growth centers can also be located along this link.

The various advantages of such a planning can be –

1) Providing the much needed irrigation to the agricultural land and hence increasing the agricultural and farmland productivity

2) Increase in power production

3) Increase in drinking water supply

4) Growth in tourism,

5) Saving/reclaiming of the agricultural lands and wetlands in the valley which is a necessary condition for progress and development of Manipur,

6) Developing an organic relationship amongst hill and valley people through the development of multi community townships,

7) Developing a drainage plan for the Imphal city to solve the endemic flood problem.

8) Solving the traffic congestion in Imphal city.

There can be disadvantages also as any development has a tradeoff. But advantages can outweigh the disadvantages. But thing is certain- this will solve the endemic flood problem of the Imphal valley.

It is hoped that the new perspective of Urban planning will be a part of Vision 2030- Manipur.

DIPR
Imphal, Oct 23 : Eminent Manipuri Writer Ratan Thiyam will inaugurate the Eastern Regional Writer’s Meet on 24th  October, 2017 at Lamyanba Sanglen, Palace Compound, Imphal.  The Eastern Regional Writer’s Meet which will be held on 24-25 October, 2017 was jointly organised by Sahitya Akademi and Ashangba Communication.
The writer’s meet will have altogether four session and eminent writer’s like Santanu Kausik Baruah (Assamese), Tamal Bandyopadhyay (Bengali), Deva Kanta Ramchiary (Bodo), Ramnaresh Singh (Maithili), Kalusingh Ranapaheli (Nepali), Subhendu Mund (Odia), Badal Hembram (Santali), Reeta Baruah (Assamese), Nalini Bera (Bengali), Shyam Darihare (Maithili), Rajendra Dhakal (Nepali), Uthrisar Basumatary (Bodo), Anandini Devi (Manipuri), Jyoti Nanda (Odia), Madan Mohan Soren (Santali) will present papers.
In the inaugural session, Convener, Eastern Regional Board, Sahitya Akademi, Gangadhar Hansdah and Ramkumar Mukhopadhyay, Convener, Bengali Advisory Board, Sahitya Akademi will deliver introductory speech and keynote address respectively.

DIPR Imphal , Oct 23: Parliamentary Secretary, Transport and Planning, Manipur, Khasim Vashum attended the valedictory function of “3-months Certificate Course in Computer Application” (Border Area Development Programme) at ICM, Lamphel today. Speaking as Chief Guest, he said that in today’s Information Technology age, computer literacy is a must to perform a task and face challenges. He also said that Manipur is home to famous doctors and scientists who mostly had studied and practised outside the State. He also stressed on the need to create awareness to the people and students residing in the hilly border areas who still have no idea about computer. Expressing his satisfaction on maintenance of good relationship among the teachers, staffs and students of ICM, he said that he would be happier if the institute caters and provides the required training to the students living in the remote areas of the state who are still deprived of the facilities of computer literacy. The 3 months residential certificate course which started from 24th July, 2017 is availed by 50 students from the border areas of Ukhrul district. Training was given on word processing, excel spreadsheet, power point, image editing using photoshop and various aspects of internet. The course was organised by the Institute of Cooperative Management, Imphal under the sponsorship of Planning Department, Government of Manipur. Out of the 50 trainees, Miss SP Khankhami was adjudged as an all-rounder student and presented with a citation in today’s function. Apart from the computer course, an Entrepreneurship Development Program (EDP) of 10 days as well as a 3-days Orientation on Health and Nutrition and Fruit & Vegetable Preservation was also incorporated in the 3 months residential course in collaboration with MSME-DI. Attending the function as the Functional President, Dr. Th. Munindro Singh, Director, Planning Department, Manipur, also exhorted the trainees while feeding them with some take home messages. He also distributed Course completion certificates to the trainees. The valedictory function was also attended by Dr. N. Ranjana Devi, Director, ICM, Debrabrata Mitra, Deputy Director, MSME-Development Institute, K. Joychandra Singh, Course Coordinator/Sr. Faculty, ICM and Faculties and students of ICM.

IT News
Imphal, Oct 23: Though the water level of major rivers running in Imphal areas have been receded from the danger level as rain have stop showering , many areas in and around the Imphal city are still affected due to artificial flood cause by failed drainage systems.
The water level of Nambul and Imphal rivers is receding slowly even as some part of the low laying areas of both the rivers are still facing floods.
Many of the drainage are overflowing with water causing artificial floods.
Sagolband, Uripok, Naoremthong, Keisamthong, Lamboi Khongnangkhong, Pishumthong and many areas in Imphal West district are facing artificial floods.
Likewise, Porompat, Nongmeibung, Wangkhei Angom Leikai, Ayangpalli and some of the areas in Imphal East district are also facing the problems of artificial floods due to unavailability of proper drainage system.
On the other hand, many of the paddy fields in the state which are ready for harvesting have been affected at large scale due to the recent non-stop rains showered in the state.
Paddy farmers are left saddened with their hands on the head staring at their already seasoned paddy fields which have been submerged under the water.

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