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Development for whom ???

by IT Web Admin
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The spurt in developmental activities in the state is a positive sign of the Government gearing up to meet the challenges of the increasing needs of the people in all spheres of life. But this quickening pace of development entails an inherent risk of doing more harm than good. Mindless removal and destruction of natural resources and altering the social setup through these activities could create an irreversible and permanent change to the very identity of this land. The results of this haphazard and impulsive rush towards development are beginning to show- roads littered with stones and dust, left untended for months with the resulting protests and roadblocks becoming an everyday affair- something that has entered the realm of a basic procedure. The steps that followed suit – that of laying the long neglected roads are even more frustratingly interesting, sometimes with even carpets of tar that can be rolled up, but more frequently turning out to be works of art- an illusion of a road with the same bumps and rolls that was there before the whole exercise began. The plight of the people residing along these roads while all these are happening, or rather not happening can only be imagined. Another manifestation of development can be better experienced with the nose. Garbage being dumped along roadsides, drainage systems being filled up even before they are completed and the peculiarity of the stench in different parts have actually served as a landmark of sorts. Zero garbage campaign turned out to be utter rubbish. Lack of proper waste management system have turned half of Langol and Lamphel area into a dumping ground that will one day spread out to cover even the Capitol building. With Imphal Municipality office embroiled in agitations and strikes, we all should be prepared for a long smelly haul. Parking, or the lack of it is another outcome of development- construction of malls and multi-storied markets without giving a thought about the facility who comes shopping to park their vehicles. Should we also add the lack of subways and footbridges along busy intersections and junctions, as a result of which everybody is using the landing of the flyover to cross over, playing the dodging game, the prize- one’s limb and life intact. All these can be remedied and reversed, if the Government puts a holistic and sustainable plan of action and acts upon it in earnest. What is of greater concern is the danger of our ecosystem being changed irreversibly case in point- construction of Ithai Barrage. The tag of the largest freshwater lake in northeast India being given to Loktak Lake may soon be history, as is the threat to the last remaining natural habitat of the “Sangai” in the world- Keibul Lamjao being perished gradually. Development does not equate commercialization. We have a greater duty to preserve and build up our ecosystem. Development should complement and evolve around the unique natural identity of a place and not the other way round.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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