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Haotak Incident Reveals Gaps in Implementation of Central Flagship Schemes

by Aribam Bishwajit
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Haotak Incident Reveals Gaps in Implementation of Central Flagship Schemes

The tragic incident in Haotak, where four villagers lost their lives while collecting firewood, not only underscores the immediate consequences of communal conflict but also sheds light on the challenges in implementing crucial government schemes. The police report revealing the villagers’ kidnapping by Kuki militants emphasizes the complex security situation in the region. Chief Minister Biren’s compassionate visit showcased commitment, yet the incident highlights issues in the reach of the Ujjwala scheme and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.
Ujjwala scheme, a transformative initiative, launched in May 2016, aims to provide free LPG connections to families below the poverty line, reducing reliance on traditional and hazardous cooking fuels. The victims, unfortunately, were not beneficiaries of the Ujjwala Scheme, raising concerns about the accessibility of this impactful program. The scheme extends beyond promoting a healthier cooking environment; it empowers women by alleviating the burden of collecting firewood and contributes to environmental conservation by curbing deforestation.
In 2021, the Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Ramdas Athawale, reported that around 1,57,000 households without gas connections were provided with free LPG connections under the PM Ujjwala Yojana in Manipur. This aligns with the broader “Go to Village” outreach program by the Government of Manipur, emphasizing bringing essential services directly to people’s doorsteps. However, the tragic incident revealed that the victims were not beneficiaries of the scheme, highlighting gaps in coverage.
However, its effectiveness is hindered when it fails to reach communities facing socio-economic challenges and security issues, as witnessed in Terakhong Akasoi. The tragic outcome of villagers collecting firewood emphasizes the urgent need for a comprehensive and equitable distribution of government initiatives to prevent further incidents and ensure the safety of vulnerable communities.
Another concern is the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), a crucial housing initiative launched in 2015 for “Housing for All.” This significant housing initiative, launched by the Government of India, aims to provide affordable housing for all by 2022. The scheme plays a crucial role in enhancing living standards and promoting inclusive development, fostering partnerships between public and private sectors in both urban and rural settings. The victims were not beneficiaries of the PMAY, exposing gaps in scheme accessibility.
While Chief Minister Biren’s visit represents a crucial first step in acknowledging and responding to the immediate impact of the tragic incident, a sustained effort is required to address underlying issues. This particularly involves the effective implementation of government schemes to prevent further tragedies and promote the well-being of vulnerable communities in conflict-affected regions.
Regarding the monitoring of the implementation of these schemes, the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra which is government’s campaign on tracking and creating awareness about flagship central schemes, including Ayushman Bharat, Ujjwala Yojana, PM Suraksha Bima, and PM SVANidhi could help. This yatra serves not only to disseminate information but also to interact with beneficiaries and enrol potential beneficiaries by gathering details during the outreach. By tracking the implementation of the Ujjwala Yojana through the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra, the government can identify bottlenecks, collect feedback directly from beneficiaries, and address any issues they may be facing in availing the benefits of the scheme.
In conclusion, the integration of the Ujjwala Yojana into the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra could provide in Manipur a proactive approach by the government in monitoring, evaluating, and ensuring the effective implementation of this crucial scheme. The incident in Haotak highlights the critical need for comprehensive coverage and equitable distribution of these initiatives to prevent further tragedies and ensure the safety of vulnerable communities, emphasizing the interconnected nature of socio-economic challenges, security concerns, and effective governance.

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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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