During the best of times, the drainage system in the state, particularly in the valley areas has been a makeshift one. The activities surrounding the development of the drainage system has evidently been focused on distribution and management of the work rather than on the real purpose or end result of the work. The result is for all to see. Cracked and seeping walls, crumbling concrete, disjointed drains and chocked channels. Of all these unfortunate aberrations being practiced by various government departments from the prescribed procedures of implementation, the one single biggest eyesore would undoubtedly be the unending works on the ‘Imphal sewer project’ even after more than twelve years of listless execution and clueless implementation. While the IFC Minister publicly declared that the project is heading for completion in a couple of months, the ground reality tells a different story.
For the lakhs of residents who have been subjected to much inconvenience and even physical perils for more than a decade due to the unsystematic and haphazard working methods being carried out at the sites of the project, the projections of the IFC minister, made a few months back carries very little hope and certainly rings hollow, as had happened umpteen times in the past.
The incessant rain over the last few days has caused flooding and overflowing of rivers in various parts of the valley resulting in extensive damages to crops and properties. The incidence of flood in the state was quite uncommon, if not rare a few years back. But the increasing frequency and regularity of the disaster should be taken note of and accord the seriousness of consideration it deserves. Makeshift embankments, last minute frantic exercises in containing seepages and commencement of drainage works to coincide with the arrival of the monsoon have become the norm rather than the exception when it comes to activities of the concern departments in dealing with the recurring flood situations in the state. Inspection visits to flooded areas and show of sympathy to the flood- affected victims are all very well. Better still is the financial largesse shelled out from time to time to a few of these unfortunate victims and adequately covered by the media.
But in its overarching effort to cultivate a caring image, the state government failed to address the reality. While contract works were drawn up with practiced efficiency, the actual implementation or objective of the work was lost in the melee.
The new state government has so far shown promise and a positive vibe to suggestions. And the suggestion Imphaltimes would very much like to put up through this editorial is that the much delayed Sewer project should be looked into and made necessary changes and alterations in consultation with technical experts so that the whole exercise can be brought to a beneficial conclusion and that the practicality and objective of the project is achieved. The public is prepared to extend any and all assistance and cooperation to see the project through thereby bringing to a closure an unending bad dream.