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Items filtered by date: Tuesday, 05 January 2016 - Imphal Times - A Daily Eveninger

BJP demands immediate probe over the non-maintenance of quality control to the construction of Khwairamband keithel

BJP Manipur Pradesh President, Thounaojam Chaoba today demanded immediate probe over the non-maintenance of quality control to the construction of Khwairambandh Ima Keithel.
Speaking to reporters, while inspecting the damage portion of Ima Keithel at around 2.00 pm today, the BJP Manipur Pradesh, President Th. Chaoba said that it was unfortunate that the portion of Ima Keithel was damage when there is still controversy over the allocation of stalls at the first floor. He said the damage of certain beams and walls at the two Ima Keithel has proved how the constructors of the buildings had maintained the quality.
“Garbage plastic, hollow pipe and inappropriate iron rod were seen used for the construction of the historic Khwairambandh keithel only after it was damage after yesterday’s tremor”, Chaoba said.
He questions on why and how the constructions works of the two historic Khwairambandh Keithel has been allotted to Simplex Company, besides urging to details the name of those involved in the construction of the two Ima Keithel.
Chaoba further demanded to constitute an inquiry committee to probe over the issue or handed over of the investigation to independent central agency like CBI.

Chaoba further demanded to demolish the present Khwairamband Keithel building and construct new one by maintaining proper quality. He also urged the state government to provide immediate allocation for the vendor ladies at some places before any unwanted crisis occur.
The state BJP President said that the matter will also be put up to the notice of the central leadership.
On the other hand Keithel Phambi Apunba Lup and Manipur Keithel Nupi also demanded CBI or NIA probe over the crumbling of the major pillars of the Ima Keithel as the incident had proved that quality has not been maintain to the construction of the two Ima keithel.
President of the Keithel Phambi Apunba Lup Mema while speaking to reporters also demanded to constitute inquiry commission against the authority of the Simplex Company which had constructed the two Ima Keithel. She further questioned the reason on why the Chief Minister did not come out to talk with the  vendor ladies.
Interestingly, of the three Khwairamband Ima Keithel, the two which had been affected by yesterday’s tremor was constructed by the Simplex Company while the other which is not affected by the tremor was constructed by the state PWD department. 

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What is new?


 Another year has passed, and the unstoppable passage of time has brought us another new one, with all the hopes and expectations every new beginning entails. The state, as is the rest of the world is still reverberating with the wishes for and from one’s dear and near ones. But scrap the surface filled with festivity and gaiety, and one can feel the palpable sense of frustration and exasperation with things developing the way it is in the state- the way it has always been. So what can we expect from the new year that been welcomed with much fanfare and high spirits? If one could keep the judgmental part aside for a moment, there certainly are quite a few new things. For one, there are numerous new potholes appearing besides the ones which have been neglected and literally avoided for so long that they have taken the proportions of craters and small pools. There are also new and extra personnel being deployed to provide security along the way where heads of state are to travel. One must also include the new modus operandi being increasingly utilized by the administrators to preempt any negative backlash from the public for the innumerable deliberate mistakes and wrongdoings which has been carried on in cahoots with the cronies. The new system of power distribution should not be left out as the public, in spite of having made to pay for their power usage in advance, are still denied their right to electricity as and when they require. There are talks on the street about a new way of peddling contracts where those who strode the rarified corridors of power in the state are becoming silent partners with majority stakes. The people of the state are also witnessing a new method of ushering in development- one where construction and other developmental activities are increasingly confined to high exposure areas where maximum number of the public can actually see the works going on irrespective of the actual benefit such activities would provide to the public.

At the risk of sounding contemptuous of the developmental efforts of the state government, most of the changes the public are witnessing had been of a regressive nature- from the nature of rewarding contracts for public developmental works to the manner in which selection of various candidates for different jobs and professions are being carried out bears the unmistakable stamp of indifference and self-serving motives. Assurances and promises have so far come out to be empty. The state government should stop passing the buck and own up for the mistakes and screw-ups. It should draw up clear-cut objectives and the method of performing them. Responsibilities should be fixed and any discrepancies should be addressed before they are allowed to foment and become uncontrollable. And these things should commence from an earnest will.        

Earthquake history of Manipur


1. 18 August 1926 – East of Palel, Manipur (Indo-Myanmar Border region), 6.0(TS) 23:58:48 UTC, 24.50N, 94.50E.
2. 20 May 1927 – Near Kangpat, Manipur (Indo-Myanmar Border region), 6.0(TS) 10:51 UTC, 24.50N, 94.00E
3. 11 July 1930 – North of Imphal, Manipur, 6.0 (TS) 07:06:34UTC, 25.00N, 93.80E
4. 22 September 1930 – Near Karong, Manipur, 6.0 (TS) 14:19:14 UTC, 25.30N, 93.80E
5. 2 June 1934 – East of Ukhrul, Manipur (Indo-Myanmar Border region), 6.5(TS) 05:04:27 UTC, 25.10N, 94.70E
6. 23 April 1935 – East of Ukhrul, Manipur(Indo-Myanmar Border region), 6.0 (TS) 16:45:41 UTC, 25.10N, 94.70E
7. 9 September 1937 – East of Ukhrul, Manipur(Indo-Myanmar Border region), 6.0 (TS) 23:37:27 UTC, 24.90N, 94.70E
8. 6 May 1938 - East of Ukhrul, Manipur(Indo-Myanmar Border region), 6.5 (TS) 03:40:57 UTC, 24.90N, 94.70E
9. 21 May 1937 – SW of Kohima (Manipur-Nagaland Border region), 6.0 (TS) 16:12:02 UTC, 25.50N, 94.00E
10. 27 May 1939 – South of Palel, Manipur, 6.7 (TS) 03:45:37 UTC, 24.30N, 94.10E
11. 11 May 1940 – Near Imphal, Manipur, 6.0 (TS) 21:00:19 UTC, 24.90N, 94.10E
12. 8 March 1947 – East of Imphal (Indo-Myanmar Border region), 6.0 (TS) 14:33:05 UTC, 24.90N, 94.70E 13. 30 April 1952 – SE of Kohima (Manipur-Nagaland Border region), 6.0 (TS) 1:49:?? UTC, 25.500N, 94.500E
14. 7 November 1952 – SW of Kohima (Manipur-Nagaland Border region), 6.0 (TS) 04:33:57 UTC, 25.500N, 94.000E
15. 1 July 1957 – Near Moirang, Southern Manipur, 7.25 (TS) 19:30:22 UTC, 24.400N, 93.800E
16. 30 September 1983 – East of Ukhrul, Manipur (Indo-Myanmar Border region), Mb 6.0 (BKK) 10:39:27.0 UTC,25.0393N, 94.6695E, 60.3Kms depth
17. 5 March 1984 – East of Palel, Manipur (Indo-Myanmar Border region), Mb 6.2 (HFS) 21:26:42.0 UTC, 24.5160N, 94.6204E, 67.50kms depth
18. 6 May 1984 – NE of Aizwal (Manipur-Mizoram Border region), Mb 6.0 (HFS) 15:19:11.0 UTC, 24.2152N, 93.5256E, 31.60kms depth
19. 18 May 1987 – Near Karong, Northern Manipur, Ms 6.2 (PEK) 01:53:51.0 UTC, 25.2287N, 94.2076E, 52.80kms depth
20. 6 August 1988 – East of Imphal (Indo-Myanmar Border region), Mw 7.2 (HRV) 00:36:24.6 UTC, 25.149N, 95.127E, 91kms depth Three people were killed in this earthquake. Tremors were felt over much of eastern and noth-eastern India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Eastern Nepal and Myanmar.               Felt as far as Kolkata and Patna. Some damage was also reported from Homalin in northern Myanmar
21. 15 April 1992 – NW of Mawalik, Chin Division (Indo-Myanmar Border region), Mb 6.3 (HFS) 01:32:11.0 UTC, 24.2680N, 94.9275E, 130.90kms depth
22. 18 September 2005 – Myanmar-Manipur border, Mw 5.724.653 N, 94.807 E, D=82 kms, OT=07:26:00 UTCA moderate earthquake struck the Myanmar-Manipur border, on 18 September 2005 at 12:56 IST causing isolated minor damage to property in some parts of Manipur. The earthquake had a magnitude of Mb=5.7 and was felt at many places north-east India and Bangladesh as well as in tall building in northern Thailand.
23. 4 September 2009 – Myanmar-Manipur border, Mw 5.924.381 N, 94.712E, D=97.6 kms, OT=19:51:03 UTCA moderate earthquake struck the Myanmar-Manipur border, on 4 September 2009 at 01:21IST. It was felt widely in north-east India and in Bangladesh
24. 4 Jan. 2016 – Epicenter-Noney, District Tamenglong 6.8 magnitude, 55 km depth Imphal, Manipur, India 8 dead,100+injured

Works Minister clarifies on Khwairamband keithel crumbling

Works Minister Kh. Ratan today clarified that state PWD had no hands to the construction of the two Khwairamband keithel which was severely damage in yesterday’s tremor. Speaking to media persons at his office chamber today afternoon, Works Minister Ratan said that the entire construction work of the two Khwairamband Kethel has been done by National Building Construction Company Limited (NBSS) after it has been handed over to them by the Central Government authority.
Ratan said that the matter about the non maintenance of quality control to the construction of the Khwairamband keithel has been put to the notice of the Cabinet Secretary of the central government. On the other hand Ratan said that the state government had invited 3 experts from IIT Roorkee including a geo-technical expert to inspect the condition of the Khwairamband Keithel which was damaged in yesterday’s tremor. He said the Geo –technical expert will review the soil of the state. The three experts is likely to arrive in the state on January 7 and will return back on January 11. The experts are Dr. Yogendra Singh, Prof. of structural earthquake engineering IIT Roorkee, Dr. Manish Shrikhande Prof. of structural earthquake engineering IIT Roorkee and BK Maheshwari, Prof. Geo technical IIT Roorkee.

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Women vendors of Yairipok bazaar stage protest over lack of quality in market complex construction

Women vendors of Yairipok bazaar today staged sit in protest claiming low quality while constructing the New Yairipok Market Complex leading to damage of the market from yesterday’s earthquake. Federation of Clubs Yairipok submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister demanding alternative arrangement of the vendor ladies and to reconstruct the damaged market.
According to a woman protester, some workers who might be sent by the concern authority came with iron pole to set up support at the damage portion of the market, however, they resisted to enter. The woman said they are afraid to enter the market again to reopen their business. The women demanded to reconstruct a new on instead of repairing it.The new market complex was inaugurated by ex-works minister K Ranjit in October 2009.
Meanwhile, Federation of clubs Yairipok, an apex body of Yairipok area submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister O Ibobi  through local MLA, Keisham Meghachandra demanding reconstruction of tremor damaged Tampha market and New market complex of Yairipok. The body also demanded for alternative arrangement of the market.

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Congress legislature Rajkumar Imo Singh questions bias nature of media

Congress legislature, Rajkumar Imo Singh has slammed the mainstream media for its bias attitude towards Northeast and failure to report the massive earthquake in Manipur that jolted on Monday morning.
Many lives have been lost in Manipur and other Northeastern states of India due to the natural calamity, the MLA of Sagolband Assembly Constituency told exclusively to NeLive.in while visiting different quake-hit places under his Assembly Constituency on Monday.
“We the people of Northeast India wish that, apart from giving full coverage there (Pathankot airbase attack), the Indian mainstream media shows some concern to the earthquakes affected in Manipur and other Northeastern states,” said RK Imo.
While stating that the people of Northeast are deeply concerned with the recent attacks at Pathankot airbase by terrorists and pray for the lives lost, the MLA appealed the mainstream media specially TV News channels to give bit more overage in detail to what has happened in Manipur and other Northeastern states of this country, where many lives have been lost and so many properties have been destroyed due the worst earthquake. This is a time of grief for all and should stand united together and help each other side by side. There should be any political dram by blaming at such time of grief, as this a natural calamity and no one could stop this force of nature now or in future, the MLA appealed to all, and he said, “Manipur will emerge stronger than ever before this earthquake.”
The earthquake that jolted at 6.8 Richter scale affected some dwelling houses at Wahengbam Leikai, Moirang Leirak Machin and other parts of Sagolband Assembly Constituency in Imphal West district. During the visit, the MLA assured the affected families of Wahengbam Leikai to extend all possible help personally from his side as well as from the government through concerned authorities.
Meeting the locals of Moirang Leirak, Imo also assured to rebuild the temple situated at Moirang Leirak Machin, which was badly damaged by the earthquake, and affected portions of Community Hall of Moirang Leirak Chawungbam Mapa.

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Bomb found at Kakwa area; Maoist claims responsibility

A lethod Shell was found today at the gate of Elite Senior secondary school at around 5 am today morning. The school gate is also the residential entry of JNIMS Director Laishram Deben and his wife L. Sumitra Devi is the Chairperson of the School.  At around 8 am today a team of Singjamei police had retrieved the Lethod shell safely.
Protesting the placing of the bomb school students, teachers and local meira paibis of the area today staged a sit-in-protest in front of the school at around noon today. Placards which wrote condemnation to the placing of the bomb were displayed during the protest. Meanwhile Maoist Communist Party Manipur had claimed responsibility to the placing of the Lethod Shell. But clarified that the bomb was not placed as a threat to the school. It said it is a warning to the Director of JNIMS Laishram Deben over his failure to run the hospital. The Maoist alleged fund misappropriation by the director to the running of the hospital.The outfit warn the director JNIMS to clean himself before more action followed.

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Muslims in the history of Manipur


Muslims (Pangal/Meitei-Pangal) constitute almost 9% (2 lakh) of the total population of the State. Manipuri speaking Muslims are also found scattered in parts of Assam (Barak Valley), Tripura, Bangladesh and Myanmar. They found their way to these places in the wake of the Chahi Taret Khuntakpa (1819-26) or Seven Years of Devastation.
Muslims became a significant part of the Manipuri society from the early part of the 17th century during the reign of King Khagemba (1597-1652) when one thousand Muslim soldiers, led by a General Muhammad Shani, from Taraf in Sylhet were captured and later settled in the valley of Manipur. The events of the Muslim invasion are recorded extensively in Nongsamei Puya and Pangal Thorakpa. However, there are evidences and records which suggest presence of few Muslim families before the reign of King Khagemba. It is believed that the progenitors of the Aribam sagei were the earliest Muslim inhabitants in Manipur. Muslims in small number continued to come and settle down in the valley of Manipur even after the reign of King Khagemba. 
As most of the Muslim captives were endowed with skills in different trades and vocations, the secular and forward-looking King Khagemba possibly realized the advantage of settling them in his kingdom. The indigenous sources (esp. Nongsamei and Pangal Thorakpa) are replete with instances of rewarding the Muslims with local women as wives and land in appreciation for their skills in different trades. Interestingly, many of the Muslim families were given family titles, which later became the name of their sagei (clan or lineage group), on the basis of their vocations. For instance, Phu-sam-mayum: pot maker, Phundrei-mayum: carpenters who used phundrei/lathe, Che-sam: paper maker, Khut-hei-bam: skilled in handicraft and designing, Kori-mayum: those who made copper utensils, Hawai-igkhol-mayum: lentil cultivators, Phisa-bam-mayum: weavers, Hidak-ingkhol-mayum: tobacco cultivators, Mansam-mayum: acrobats, Sangom-sum-pham: those who produce milk and its products, etc.
The process of the settlement of Muslims in Manipur was made complete by King Khagemba with the establishment of an administrative office (loishang) exclusively for the Muslims called Pangal Sanglen, also referred to as Mangal (Mughal) shang at Kangla. The principal head of the Sanglen was designated as Kazi, who was authorized to take up the general administration of the Muslims, including judicial matters. 
Gradually the Muslims were integrated into the local culture. They absorbed a number of local customs and traditions, which were seen in their language, dress, food habits, habitation pattern, social organization, life-cycle rituals, past-times, festivities, beliefs, etc. They started using Meiteilon as their mother-tongue. Their womenfolk adopted phanek, khudei, khwangnam (a piece of cloth tied around the waists of married women), etc. as their traditional dress. They started to relish themselves with the local food-items (esp. uti, eromba, kangsoi, ngari, etc.). They started constructing their houses just like that of the Meities. Their marriage custom was a striking amalgamation of the Islamic (nikah) and Meitei traditions. The traditional games and sports of Manipur (mukna, mukna kangjei, sagol kangjei, yubi lakpi, etc.) became the favourite past-time for the Muslims. Surprisingly, the Muslim community made all these adjustments without loosing their Islamic identity. 
Muslims soon became useful and productive subjects of the kingdom. They rendered their military services and offered their skills in different trades and vocations, which helped in enhancing and enriching the economy of the kingdom.
Muslims served military and economic duties under the lallup system (military organization). They took part in many of the military campaigns made by kings of Manipur. King Khagemba for the first time inducted Muslims in his army during his campaign against Maring tribes. They took part in the Battle of Wangjing fought between Garib Niwaz and the Burmese in 1718. Many Muslims, then settled in Barak Valley, also rendered their services in the Manipur Levy, formed in 1824 to drive the Burmese from the valley of Manipur. Muslims stood along with the other Manipuris to face the British attack in 1891. Many Muslims fought at the historic battle of Khongjom in 1891. A royal photographer and a close associate of Tikendrajit, Dasu Sardar and his family members were brutally murdered by the British. Not only Muslim men, but Muslim women too showed their courage. Muslim women vendors of Khwairamband Kheithel, took part in the women uprising of 1939 (Second Nupi Lal) against the British and the Indian business community.
In the time of peace, Pangal Khutheiba or those Muslims skilled in various trades like carpentry, black-smithy, pottery, weaving, boat-making etc. were engaged in various production units (Pangal Phundrei-shang, Pangal Fisa-shang, Pangal Hisa-sang, etc.) of the kingdom. Other Muslims rendered their services as Ingkhol Sangba or those who manage the vegetable farms of the kingdom.
During the British rule (1891-1947), there was a group of departments (loishang) which were in charge of affairs relating to the Muslims (Pangan Sanglen, Pangan Inkhol, Pangan Singa Loisang, Pangan Phundrei Loisang, Pangan Kumar, Pangan Mall and Pangan Likli). Muslims were seen in many other departments. Almost all the buglers and drummers attached to the royal army were Muslims.
The Muslims, according to Political Agent R. Brown (1867-75), had the reputation of being honest and hard-working. Political Agent W. Mc Culloch (1863-67) observed that the Muslims were the most industrious sections of the population of Manipur. 
 Muslims continued to take active part in the political development that took place in Manipur after 1947. Two Muslims - Md. Qazi Waliulla and Md. Basiruddin Ahmed - represented the committee formed to draft a constitution for Manipur in 1947.
Md. Basiruddin Ahmed was inducted in the Interim Council (Aug. 1947 to Oct. 1948) constituted after King Budhachandra (1941-1955) abolished the Manipur State Darbar in July 1947. He held the portfolios of Medical, PWD and Jail.
Four Muslims were elected to the first general election held in 1948 for the State Legislative Assembly. Md. Alimuddin was inducted in the first Council of Ministers. Muslims continued to represent the Territorial Council/Electoral College/Legislative Assembly elections held after Manipur was officially merged to India in Oct. 15, 1949 as a Part-C State.
Muslims took active part in the statehood movement. Md. Alimuddin, who was one of the prominent leaders of the movement, became the Chief Minister of Manipur (March 1972-March 1973) after it got its statehood in 1972. 

By : Dr. Syed Ahmed

Earthquakes will strike again!

Is Imphal Earthquake a bolt from the blue?
I would say that we all knew or were jinxed that a big earthquake would one day hit Manipur! A scientist at the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI), Jorhat once told me – Not a single day passes without an earthquake in Manipur. Readers; for your information - it is true! Earthquakes relentlessly strike Manipur everyday. We feel only the strong ones.
Now, we have been struck by a strong one, 6.7 scale, January 04, 4.35 am local time and the hypocentre (depth) variously reported in the range from 17 km to 55 km. (IMD 17, GEOFON 37, EMSC 50, USGS 55).
Imphal City is just 29 km from the epicentre as the crow flies. Fortunately, very few people were killed, a little more than a hundred injured and a few buildings collapsed.
Could the Imphal earthquake have been more disastrous? You never know. But, we need to ask.
I personally witnessed an exactly identical earthquake 20 years ago on January 17, 1995 in Japan – the famous Kobe Earthquake; 6.8 scale, hypocentre at 17 km, epicentre 20 km away from the worst hit Kobe City. I was thrown out of bed but not killed because I was a little farther away in another city.
Both these earthquakes of identical features struck their cities at the wee hours of the night (Kobe 5.46 am; Imphal 4.35 am) when most people were still asleep.
But, the Kobe earthquake killed 6500 people, pulled down hundreds of tall buildings and flyovers, flattened thousands of traditional tile-roofed houses and it sent bullet trains off their tracks. The damaged monetarily cost Japan 100 billion dollars.
How was Kobe earthquake much more disastrous? How couldn’t Japan, a much more earthquake-aware and technologically advanced country stop it or at least reduce the damage?
The answer is that a myriad factors determine the severity of the impact of an earthquake. Some of those factors are beyond human control (the geologic factors) while some (like building codes, drills etc.) still can be managed to reduce impact. Since earthquakes are frequent in Japan it is quite possible that smaller scale earthquakes of some casualties became a way of life for Japanese and they even became careless about controlling some of the controllable factors during the relatively calmer decades after the Fukui City Earthquake of 1948 that killed about 4000 people. The heavy ceramic roof tiles on weak wooden frames of traditional Japanese homes were blamed as killers during Kobe earthquake of 1995. How come the Japanese did not know about this problem before Kobe? The Japanese learned a new lesson and reviewed their Earthquake Disaster Management Protocols after Kobe.
What can the Manipuris do? How prepared are we to face another major earthquake? When I checked in on the 6th floor of the brand new solid building 20 days before Kobe earthquake, I saw wall-mounted instructions in the hallway about what to do in case of an earthquake. One of the instructions was to take refuge under a table in the room. When the rocking woke me up when the earthquake struck in the wee hours on January 17, 1995, I found myself under the table in my bedroom. I could not figure out how I landed there from my bed still asleep. I believe, the hallway instructions etched on my subconscious mind worked in my sleep.
This anecdote tells us how awareness helps at times of crises like earthquakes that visit us unannounced.
We can surmise a much more casualty and chaos had the Imphal earthquake struck not during the sleep time but during daytime when people are out at work and vehicles are on the road.
We have plenty of national and state disaster management authorities and their written protocols. But, when the disaster strikes, there is no time to open and consult a manual or ask others for help. Each victim has to react instinctively based on the Dos and Don’ts information etched on his brain by systematic awareness education.
Manipur falls in one of the world’s most earthquake prone areas. We know this. Then, let every person know about what to do about it through general education at primary. Secondary and post-secondary levels. Some sporadic episodes of awareness lectures by disaster management people may not be enough.
When the newly constructed Ima Keithel suffered extensive damage this time, somebody wrote,
“Buildings constructed by government engineers fell while those constructed my non-engineers (my mom [sic]) survived”.
We need strict enforcement of building codes both for RCC buildings and traditional wooden CGI sheet roofed homes as well.
Let’s act proactively. Earthquakes will strike again!

By : Raj Singh
Toronto, Canada

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