Thursday, 23 April 2020 - Imphal Times

By Marina Seyie and Narendra Singh
Dieze colony, Chumukedima, Dimapur, Nagaland

There is an urgent need of our government to introspect policies and directives for our better future and healthy life. We are working day and night in public and private sector to meet our daily requirements. Nothing is hidden from all of us and government that how our routine lives have been  paralyzed by COVID-19 epidemic and we are also very well aware that lockdown and social distancing is the only option left for us and government to contain Corona virus from spreading further. I would like to request policy makers of  our government to dwell upon under mentioned views/opinion for our better future and healthy life.

  1. Government offices - Most of the offices should run from home twice in a week.
  2. Private sector - 50% of manpower to work from home. This will help in following manners:-

   (a) Requirement of less infrastructure at work place.

   (b) Reduce traffic on road which leads to less air and noise pollution.

   (c) Journey time can be utilise in a fruitful manner.

  1. Large & medium scale Industries - They need to work in two to three shifts to avoid clattering of labour.
  2. Banking & Financial sector - Earmarking of alternate days for depositing and withdrawing money. It will reduce load of bank employees.
  3. Transportation:-

    (a) Train - No more waiting list tickets and platform tickets to avoid crowd at platforms and in trains. General compartments from trains should be detached immediately. Confirm ticket holders be allowed to board the train.

    (b) Bus - Passenger be allowed to board buses as per availability of seats.

    (c) Motivate passengers to book tickets online to avoid rush at ticket booking counter.

    (d) Strict action against defaulters whether government employee or passenger.

  1. Education - Schools, colleges and universities should give online classes to their students and motivate students to give online exams. Coaching classes be allowed online only.
  2. Every state need to have minimum one medical and engineering college. All States need to have same education system to avoid interstate movement of the students.
  3. Competitive exams and Interviews - Government need to motivate candidates to prepare themselves to undergo written exams and Interviews online. They can be called for physical tests only.
  4. Every state need to have sufficient Industries and MNCs in their state to give employment to their people. Need to avoid interstate movement of labour force. States needs to generate work for their own people only.
  5. Government need to eradicate illiteracy by applying compulsory education to all children above four/five years. Free education till class 10 to all children. Strict actions against parents for not sending their children to school.
  6. Reservation be allowed to the students in professional courses and job whose parent's income is less than two lakhs per annum. Availability of books, stationaries and writing materials on subsidize rates for students.
  7. All States need to have minimum three to four fully equipped hospital in their each district.



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IT News

Imphal, April 23

Remembering the heroes who valiantly fought in the Anglo-Manipuri War in 1891, the Khongjom Day was commemorated at Khongjom War Memorial Complex, Khebaching today. 

Chief Minister, N. Biren Singh led the small group of delegates in laying floral wreaths at Khongjom War Memorial atop Khebaching, Paona Brajabashi Statue, located at the foothill later. The dignitaries also offered Tarpan at Khongjom River as done in preceding years.

The observation was attended by Minister (TAH & Fishery) N. Kayisii, Minister (CAF & PD) Karam Shyam, Minister (Health & FW) L. Jayantakumar, MLA P. Brojen, MLA Y. Surchandra, ex-MLA M. Hemanta, Chief Secretary Dr. J. Suresh Babu, DGP L.M. Khaute, civil and police officials among others. 

Unlike the previous years, the Thoubal District Administration had made sure that social distancing was maintained devoid of large public gathering in view of the prevailing lockdown due to COVID-19 epidemic.

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Imphal, April 23

Around 100 Manipuri workers stranded at Kakkanad area of Kochi in Kerala sought intervention from the Government of Manipur as they are left with no means in getting essential commodities due to the ongoing lockdown in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

Around 60 to 70 of them work as labourers in CSEZ Company which deals with processing and packing of fish. Others work at various hotels as service boy while some of them work at Parlour.

Talking over phone to Imphal Times, Nabachandra, who hails from Kakching district, said that after the lockdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic across the nation they have stopped working and due to that they have stopped getting their daily wages.

“Almost every one of us who are working here have run out of money and we are not getting any essential items from the government side as we are outsiders”, Nabachandra said. He however added that a local club has been providing cooked meal a day but queuing every day to get a meal for a day make their life more difficult as not all family members could wait for that.

Another worker said that they tried to get help from the Manipur Government by registering in opened by the Chief Minister but none of them have so far received any help from the Government of Manipur.

Nabachandra and his friend told to Imphal Times that if they get some help from the Government of Manipur either by talking with the authority of the Kochi to provide them some essential edible items as they have no means to return back to Manipur as of now or by providing some help directly from the Government of Manipur, it will give some help to the workers.

“Now all our savings are running out and we are left with no means for survival and we cannot return to Manipur due to the lockdown”, a Manipuri workers working at CSEZ Company told Imphal Times. 

It may be mentioned that Kerala is one among the worst hit state of COVID-19 pandemic in India. As of today, number of positive COVID-19 patients reached 423 with 11 new case reported today. Three have died so far as per report from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.     

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Chandel, April 23,

YAS and Water Resources Minister Letpao Haokip yesterday ensured that any rice consuming person (non-infants) above the age of 2 years be given 5kg of rice per head in his constituency during the current critical times because of the lockdown of COVID-19. He also revealed that apart from the existing quarantine centres, he will push the government to set up more quarantine facilities as the districts of Chandel and Tengnoupal is a high-risk area because of its close proximity with the international-border.

It is worth mentioning that the remote villages lying along the Indo-Myanmar border and innermost recesses of Chandel and Tengnoupal have been facing extreme hardship to get essential commodities owing to the lockdown.
Apart from the rice distributed under PMGKAY and OMSS schemes, he had arranged personally from his local MLA FUND and some additional fund amounting to 9 lakhs from his pocket to distribute rice to the 50 thousand-plus persons of his 41-Chandel AC.

Yesterday, the minister reached personally to the remote villages of Chandel district such as Khambarol, Khengjoi, Sajik Tampak Kana Area and Sugnu Hill Area to distribute rice and other essential items.

Addressing to media persons, Letpao said that the number of voters differs by a double from the actual number of persons living in this constituency. So, he had arranged to ensure reaching of rice to each and every person of the AC free of cost. He added that even if the lockdown is extended for a longer period of time after May 3, he will ensure availability of rice for his people free of cost always.

He also appealed that complaints should be made to him or the district administration if any individual or group is found to demand a single paise of money for this distribution from the public.

At Khambarol village, Letpao met with the MDC members and village chiefs of surrounding villages. The meeting discussed about implementing more effective methods of tackling effectively the global pandemic of COVID-19. There, he assured that more quarantine centres will be set up.

The minister also said that the issue of shortages in terms of medical equipments and testing facilities faced by the medical department offices located in this area, will be brought to the notice of higher authorities and will be settled soon.

During the tour conducted on Wednesday, he appealed the people of the villages he reached to maintain social distancing and other necessary guidelines and to extend full support to the district administration, police and medical department officials.

It may be mentioned that Minister Letpao Haokip had chaired a review meeting of the COVID-19 tackling measures being implemented in the two districts of Chandel and Tengnoupal, in the attendance of DCs, SPs and DLOs at the Chandel DC Complex on April 21.

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Mumbai, April 23

Over 40,000 Seafarers stranded at different ports are expected to get great relief with issuance of orders on the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for sign-on and sign-off,  by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to allow them to continue their duty or disembark and return home.
As per the notification issued by MHA on 21 April, the seafarers will have to intimate their travel and contact history for the last 28 days to the ship owner/RPA(Robotic Process Automation) agency by e mail as per procedure laid down by the Director General of Shipping (DGS). They will be examined by DGS approved medical examiner. Besides, they will be screened based on their travel history for the last 28 days and if found asymptomatic for COVID- 19, then will be proceeded for sign-on. 
Similarly those whose contracts have expired and are due for sign-off, will have to go through the same procedure and the local authority will have to make arrangement to quarantine them as per prevailing system.
They will be given special passes by local authorities to enable them to reach their homes.
In first such case a cruise vessel “Marella Discovery” (carrying flag of Malta), with 146 Indian seamen aboard, is expected to land at the Mumbai port soon. The seafarers will undergo a full medical check up and will be quarantined at a building made available to them for isolation, besides following all other protocols of the Covid-19 pandemic. After dropping the Indian crewmen on board at Mumbai, the ‘’Marella Discovery’’ will sail to Norway.
The ‘’Marella Discovery’’ was scheduled to sail to Kochi, New Mangalore, Goa and then Mumbai from 2 April to 6 April. However, after the COVID -19 outbreak, all the passengers on the cruise ship disembarked at Laem Chabang, Thailand, on 14 March. After it arrived in Kochi on April 12, the crew was denied permission to disembark and they continued sailing to reach Mumbai. Since then, the crew awaited the permission to disembark though none on board was infected.
After Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was apprised of their plight, a team of top officials, including Principal Secretary in Chief Ministers Office (CMO) Vikas Kharge, Additional Chief Secretary to CMO Ashish Kumar Singh and Mumbai Port Trust Chairman Sanjay Bhatia followed up the issue with the Centre.
Following the intervention by Thackeray, who spoke with the Union Minister of State for Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya, MHA issued orders on the standard operating procedure (SOP) for sign-on and sign-off for the Indian seafarers, paving the way for the return of an estimated 40,000 sailors stuck on different ships.
The stranded seafarers include over 15,000 onboard nearly 500 cargo vessels and another 25,000 on cruise ships across the globe. National Union of Seafarers of India (NSUI), Maritime Union of India (MUI) and The Maritime Association of Ship owners Ship managers and Agents(MASSA) had also raised the issue with the shipping ministry, for the return of these seafarers after the lockdown is lifted.
 In a petition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mandaviya, the NUSI had pointed out that the seafarers, including those on board the cruise ships, who have finished their contract were stranded abroad and were accommodated onboard their ships. Some of the seafarers who had signed off from their ships were held up in hotels abroad. Also some of them were stuck within India due to the lockdown.

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Imphal, April 23

Joint body of rebel group operating in the region CorCom paid fitting tribute to the war heroes of Manipur who laid down their life fighting the British army at Khongjom in 1891 at Khongjom.
A statement of the joint body called upon all the people to study the underlying spirit and messages of the war whose outcome was a foregone conclusion while paying tribute to the war heroes on occasion of the 129th anniversary of the Anglo Manipur War.

The CorCom recalled that Manipur (Kangleipak), though small in terms of population and territory, existed as an independent Nation in western South East Asia throughout history. Compared to the then sprawling British Empire, Manipuris were quite inferior in terms of weapons and manpower. Yet, Manipuris fought against the invading British forces to protect the dignity and independence of the Nation, conveyed a statement issued by CorCom publicity committee.

“It is our obligation to study and decode the messages embedded in the Anglo-Manipur War which our forefathers fought valiantly even though they knew very well that they stood no chance”, the CorCom asserted.

Disunity among the Manipuri princes is often cited as the immediate cause of the Anglo-Manipuri War but the people of Manipur fought against the invading British forces. However, the present generation, even after getting modern education, seems not fully aware of the alleged colonial policies of India, it remarked. It said that the Indian electoral politics has deeply polarised the masses. Many people are now unable to differentiate between freedom and bondage, and they have little concern over the imminent distortion of National identity.

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New Delhi, April 23

Amidst the nationwide lockdown announced by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, the Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India issued Notification of schedule of Round 1 of NEET PG Counselling 2020 for states on 17/04/2020 at the MEDICAL COUNSELING COMMITTEE (MCC) website directing the State counselling authorities to conduct the Counselling sessions from 20th April 2020 till 4th May 2020.

Respecting the guidelines and the travel advisories issued by the Government of India to control the outbreak of COVID 19 in the country, 10 Manipuri Medical students currently stranded outside the state shared that It would be very difficult to travel from one state to another for attending the said counselling session during the nationwide lockdown, as some of the students are residing currently on the Hotspots COVID-19 areas of the metro cities.

The students requested the Hon’ble Chief CM to kindly intervene and reconsider to Re-schedule round 1 state NEET PG counselling 2020 in Manipur until normalcy resumes in the country or suggest possible arrangements to resolve the issues.

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Imphal, April 23

All Tribal Rights’ Protection Forum Manipur (ATRPFM) in a statement said that some tribal people residing at Checkon and Konung Mamang areas under Wangkhei Assembly constituency, Imphal East have been excluded from availing the rations and other essential commodities.
The statement said that Aadhar Cards were collected from the tribal tenants of the area but when the items are distributed, they were told it was only for card holders.  It is also learnt that in some areas like Dewlahland, tenants were left unattended and only householders are recognized for providing rations and other items, the statement added.
“Not any kind of assistance were given for these helpless tenants who are not voters except 2 koktas / rasgula tins of rice per head with some grams of dal availed by some tenants through Tribal Tenants Committee, Imphal by its own approached to the concerned authorities, otherwise even 2, 3 Kgs of rice might not have been given to the tenants which is a grave concern for us”, the statement issued by James Haokip, General Secy. of ATRPFM said.
The ATRPFM said that excluding the tenants in getting their share during crisis time on political ground is morally wrong and also inhumane on the part of the concerned authorities as disease epidemic has nothing to do with politics but it is purely a question of survival for all the inhabitants of the areas.
The ATRPFM appealed the Chief Minister and Minister (TA&Hills) and the Chief Secretary, Govt. of Manipur to make a separate arrangement for the tribal tenants who are residing in valley areas as a matter of compulsion and necessity, for these tenants have no any source of survival because they were left unattended by the system.

Published in News
Thursday, 23 April 2020 16:53

Tribute amid COVID-19 scare

The people of the state today paid fitting tribute to the martyrs who had sacrifices their life fighting to safeguarding the freedom of the erstwhile kingdom at the battlefield of Khongjom in 1891. The day is significant to the people of the state that even COVID-19 scares cannot stop them from paying tribute to the martyred war heroes of Manipur. Amidst lockdown across the globe the Manipuris following the physical distancing pay tribute to the ancestors to prove the world that we the Manipuri were courageous, hardworking people who had always wanted to live life with dignity.
Be it those governing the state or those in the opposition or those waging war against the state, all comes out to pay tribute to the ancestors of this region who had fought the British for the sake of the freedom of this erstwhile nation.  
Even though the people of this state have so much respect to their forefather none ever recognizes and try to convert the dream of our forefather into reality.
Dependent character of the state still hangs to the mind of the sons of the ancestors without bothering the reality that the peculiarity of the situations confronting Manipur- from its geopolitical to socio-economic conditions needs to be tackled in ways that involves innovative and unorthodox methods.
Every aspect of public life and governance has been beset with corruptions, controversies, scandals, accusations of favoritism, despotism and cronyism. The sooner the present guardians of the state admit to the allegations and own up to such aberrations, the sooner it can address and rectify itself. Bringing in a system of governance that takes into confidence its people and their needs rather than dispensing administration by tweaking the system to suit its every whim will eventually prove to be the spark that lit up the fire of frustrations trampled expectations.
People faced draught in non-rainy season and flood during rainy season. The drainage system constructed in and around Imphal city by spending huge amount of many do not serve its purpose. And every one of us knows that these moneys meant for construction of the public properties are hijacked by people who are near and dear ones with those in the government.
This situation is not what our ancestors had wanted. They might now feel shame of what we are no. A simple offering of floral tribute is really not enough to pay respect to our ancestors, we need to build a strong state if we really wanted a fitting tribute to our leaders.  

Published in Editorial
Thursday, 23 April 2020 16:50

Turn it off and see what happens

By Mikhail Puyam

Today’s era has been evolving very fast and in a very different way that, for over a few decades, with technologies shaping up the world there has been an exponential increase in the developments for making one’s life more serene and comfortable. These developments include extensive amount of devices that contribute to our survival in the modern world. Almost all of these devices are powered by electricity that, electricity has already become an essential part of a living by improving our lives and meeting our needs. And when compared to direct sources of energy such as wood or natural gas, electricity is an energy carrier whose main benefit is its multitude of uses. And we all know that it has been carrying out bulk of lighting in homes, offices, factories, industries, public buildings etc. and has been the mainstay in today’s times. We are all very well aware that access to electricity has an impact on individuals’ abilities that if the power goes off for some hours or if there is a sudden major power outage for a day long then; we all will be without the conveniences of electricity and there will be assured outrages amongst the people. We will have troubles in many of our lives comforts and essentials such as education, water, communication, cooking, heating, cooling etc.
Even there are many publications claiming that, access to energy or to electricity in particular is a basic necessity for human beings and can be termed as essentials of human rights. It can even be mentioned that right to electricity supply is an integral part of right to life under Article 21 of the constitution of India. But there are also many claims that defend the above claims and this debating of ‘for’ and ‘against’ scenario keep continuing. But here, this article wants to focus on the other areas that, in developing states like Manipur, the state government has made almost all the required infrastructures to cross the benchmark and has been trying hard to provide all the citizens access to electricity. Of course, all the credits go the people behind, the field Engineers and maintenance staffs of departments concerned for looking after in providing the power to the consumers. In the times of major power outages, all the pressures such as pressures from public, pressures from higher officials and pressures from work itself; are actually faced by these field Engineers and  maintenance staffs who are actually working at the ground level. They face indecent acts from people, sometimes abused by being offensive to such an extent that they suffer injuries due to the destructive rampage. And above all, when an emergency situation arises in the state such as the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic case, these Engineers and staffs put their selves and duties first to provide 24/7 power supply, mainly to the health sector such as hospitals in order to cope with any emergency with comforts and as well as to the people to have a comfortable home stay during this lockdown imposed by the Government. And at this time when the peoples of the country are facing difficulties such as scarcity of basic necessities like foods, edible items, water etc. due to this lockdown, nobody has even thought about these staffs behind, who are stationed and locked down at their far-off respective power sub-stations and  trying to supply power to the state. Well, It has been learned that some of the staffs were helped by the nearby locals by providing them with food and edible items but there are still no proper addresses by any of the groups nor heard any grants or announcements made in this regard thus, making these people feel totally neglected.
Although this article doesn’t tend to criticize any groups or individuals, it looks forward to attract peoples’ attention as well as to give awareness amongst the citizens that if you regard electricity as an essential service and essentials of human rights then remember that, there are many people behind who are working hard in the frontline to make you realize that feeling. Therefore, It would be a huge moral support if the citizens also appreciate these peoples’ efforts and also if the deserving essential service acknowledgments are provided to them by the concerned as an appreciation.

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