Maheshwar Gurumayum

Maheshwar Gurumayum

Maheshwar Gurumayum, Sub-Editor of Imphal Times is a resident of Sagolband Salam Leikai. He has been with Imphal Times since 2013. An avid adventure lover, writes mostly travelogue. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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IT News
Imphal, June 16:

As a part of the Government’s initiative to development infrastructure in Health Sector of the State, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh today handed over 10 Basic Life Support ambulances to Six Autonomous District Councils (ADC) of the State. The distribution programme was held at the Western Gate of the Chief Minister’s Secretariat.
Two ambulances each were provided to the ADCs for 4 districts namely Churachandpur, Chandel, Kangpokpi and Ukhrul while one ambulance each to the ADCs of Tamenglong and Senapati District. The ambulances were received by the concerned Chief Executive Officers of the respective ADCs.
The ambulances were procured with the funding from the Department of Tribal Affairs & Hills, Manipur amid the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department had earlier placed an order for 18 ambulances consisting of 12 Basic Life Support (BLS) and 6 Advanced Life Support (ALS). Of the 18 ambulances ordered, 10 BLS which were distributed today had reached Imphal as 1st phase while another 2 BLS, one each for Tamenglong and Senapati ADCs and 6 ALS, one each for all the six ADCs are expected to arrived by 25th of this month as 2nd phase.
It may be mentioned that the ambulances were distributed to strengthen the infrastructure of the health sector at district level as well as block level under the initiative of the ADCs. The ambulances which were distributed today shall be jointly utilized and maintained by ADC and District Hospital Concerned.
Tribal Affairs and Hills Minister Vungzagin Valte, Chairman, MANIREDA Ginsuanhau, Deputy Chairman, Manipur State Planning Board L. Rameshwor, Additional Chief Secretary Letkhogin Haokip and other Government Officials also attended the programme among others.

IT News 
Imphal, June 15:

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh has said that the Government continues to address the key challenges of agriculture in the State and the North East region, including low productivity, small holdings, under utilization of irrigation potential and inadequate infrastructure along the supply chain.
He was speaking at the inaugural session of a national virtual workshop organized by ICAR NEH Region, Manipur on the topic, ‘Potential Crops of North East India: Prospects and Challenges’ as the chief guest. Agriculture Minister O. Lukhoi Singh and Commissioner (Agriculture) M. Joy Singh were also seated with the Chief Minister as guests of honour.
N. Biren Singh said that agriculture continues to be the mainstay for the majority of the population in Manipur and the NE region, which is endowed with diverse agro-climatic conditions with varied soil types and abundant rainfall. As a result, there is huge potential for promising agricultural and horticultural produce and value-added products that can be marketed within the country and abroad, he added.
Stating that there is a changing demand for not only more quantity, but food with quality, nutrition and taste, the Chief Minister said that the answer to these demands lies in crop diversification and use of new technology. Towards this end, he said, ICAR Manipur Centre, which was established in 1975, has been rendering valuable services to the State. It had been providing regular advisories, weather data and forecasts for the benefit of the farmers, the Chief Minister said and added that ICAR had also supported in formulation of State action plans and strategies during COVID pandemics, floods and droughts in collaboration with various State Government Departments.
Maintaining that the NE region has many more potential crops, horticultural and vegetable plants, which need to be studied and commercialized as high value organic and nutritious food, he expressed hope that ICAR would explore further on the rich natural resources available for the benefit of the farmers.
Speaking at the occasion, O. Lukhoi Singh said that the State Agriculture Department is working along with ICAR with its full scientific and technical supports. In the State Government’s strategy for self-sustained agriculture through double cropping, production of 9 lakh MT of rice is being targeted against the present production of 5.10 lakh MT by increasing the seed replacement rate from the existing 20% to 60%. The seed distribution programme is also a part of the strategy, he added.
With new varieties of rice coming up from ICAR, he also expressed hope that the target production of rice would be achieved within five years in the State. O. Lukhoi Singh also urged the Central Government to explore the possibilities of increasing manpower in ICAR Manipur Centre.
He also expressed glad that ICAR had been collaborating with the State Agriculture Department in proper distribution of the high yielding variety of rice seeds particularly RC Maniphou-13 which had the highest demand by the farmer in the State.
M. Joy Singh said that the State Government had constituted a sub-committee for enhancement of rice production in Manipur. After rounds of discussions, the sub-committee had made recommendations like increase in seed replacement rate, increase of cropping intensity, enhancement of irrigation facilities, adoption of more intensive cultivation practices, maintaining soil health, providing judicious soil nutrients, facilitation of credit finance crop insurance, marketing and creation of rural storage infrastructures, farm mechanization etc. for increase in rice production.
He also expressed confidence that the workshop would make meaningful recommendations to transform the agriculture sector for the welfare of Manipur, in particular, and for the region in general. The State Agriculture Department would definitely like to make use of the outcome of the workshop, he added.
Earlier, the dignitaries released eight different crop varieties introduced by ICAR Manipur Centre. The three rice varieties were RC Maniphou 14, RC Maniphou 15 and RC Maniphou 16 while the two maize varieties introduced for the first time in Manipur were RC Manichujak 1 and RC Manichujak 2. On the other hand, two varieties of Perilla introduced for the first time in the country were RC Manithoiding 1 and RC Manithoiding 2 while the variety of Brinjal was RC Manikhamen 1.
They also virtually distributed agricultural inputs to about 1000 farmers. These include 10 tonnes of certified seeds of RC Maniphou-13 provided by the State Agriculture Department.
Among others, Dr. S.K. Chaudhari, Deputy Director General (NRM), ICAR, New Delhi, Dr. V.K. Mishra, Director, ICAR RC-NEH Region, Meghalaya, Dr. A.K. Tripathi, Director, ICAR-ATARI, Megahlaya, Dr. Lakshmi Kant, Director, Vivekananda Parvatiya Krishi Anusandhan Sansthan (VPKAS), Uttarakhand and Dr. Hanuman Lal Raiger, Co-ordinator, AICRN on Potential Crops, New Delhi also attended the workshop.

IT News
Imphal, June 13:

As in past years, airlifting of fresh organic pineapples grown in different parts of Manipur has begun for this year as well from today. The first consignment of 1.2 MT to Gurgaon and Jaipur was flagged off by Additional Chief Secretary P. Vaiphei from Bir Tikendrajit International Airport.
Krooshi Karma Naturals Private Limited, Imphal in collaboration with Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA) has set a target to export at least 250 metric ton (MT) of pineapple to Gurgaon, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Jaipur. It will benefit around 900 farmers. From 2018 to 2020, airlifting and marketing of pineapples outside the State had benefitted more than Rs. 78 lakhs to organic farmers of the State. The efforts of the firm and MOMA shall boost confidence of farmers during COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, around 220 MT was exported.
Apart from pineapples, the company has also been marketing Kiwi fruit and avocado outside the State since 2018. It has made huge strides in facilitating and enabling business ecosystem for pineapple marketing by increasing linkage between organic pineapple growers and buyers every year. The support of MOMA in terms of assistance towards local transportation, connecting organic farmers and provision of corrugated boxes to the firm has been pivotal in the success of this venture. The pineapple being marketed is mainly the Queen variety, cultivated in Thayong, Andro, Chiru-Waithou areas.
Fresh queen pineapples of the State have good demands in different markets of the country. It may also be highlighted that various firms have marketed more than 800 MT of fresh fruits and spices outside the State this year with institutional support from MOMA benefitting large number of farmers of the State.
Speaking at the occasion, P. Vaiphei said that there is nothing to worry for market by farmers now. Under a market intervention scheme, he said, the State Government had created a corpus fund of Rs. 3 crore to buy all the horticulture produces from farmers and store it in cold storages for supply to different markets. He said that it is a matter of satisfaction that with dedicated efforts from MOMA, Manipur had been able to export organic pineapples to different cities for the fourth consecutive year despite facing COVID-19 pandemic. The Additional Chief Secretary also urged the farmers to contact MOMA to sell their produces.
MOMA Project Director K. Devdutta Sharma and Imphal Airport Director Alok Nath were also seated on the dais as dignitaries.

IT News
Imphal, June 8:

The Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) has exploded the series of mismanagement that is being taken up in the name of containment of the Covid-19 pandemic in the state.
In a written speech, circulated to media houses, President of the MPCC, K. Govindas said that the state government led by the BJP fails to learn anything from the first wave and thus left the people unprotected from the 2nd wave. He said, “ The Chief Minister of Manipur has assured to build 200 bedded Emergency Covid Hospital at Langthabal, Imphal on March 30, 2020 in the 1st wave of Covid pandemic. But, it is 2021 now, and we are in the midst of the 2nd wave of the Covid pandemic, there is no such Covid Hospital in the state. Had the hospital been there in the 1st wave itself, many lives could have been saved today”.
The anguished President of the MPCC strikes at the present BJP government asking - Is this not the failure of preparation on the part of the government? Is this not the Covid mismanagement of the government in the state?
“We believe that there could be neither excuse nor forgiveness for the government’s gross failure on Covid in the 2nd wave”.
He said that as the people unitedly fight against the Covid pandemic, the MPCC has donated ambulances, oxygen concentrators, food packets and other relief materials to the people.
He added that the Congress party has been consistently raising questions, giving suggestions to the BJP government in the state. And even written to the Prime Minister, requesting for DRDO to build 1000 bedded exclusive Covid dedicated hospital in the state.
“Is there any harm if the Chief Minister pursues  the Prime Minister’s Office on our request for DRDO’s 1000 bedded Covid hospital in the larger interests of our people to fight the 3rd wave of Covid pandemic?” Govindas asked.
He said that questions raised in the interests of the people of the state by the Congress party  to both the BJP governments in the state and New Delhi, have not been responded positively. 
Govindas further said that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has been advocating vaccination as the only primary solution to fight Covid pandemic in the country. All accepted that it is only through free universal vaccination that the innocent lives of our people can be saved and protected from Covid deadly infections and deaths. But, unfortunately, today, not even 3% of our state’s population has been vaccinated with 2nd dose. Many of those, who are waiting for the 2nd dose, are clueless of their specific dates to get the 2nd dose in the state.
“We, from the Congress, along with our CLP Leader O. Ibobi Singh, have submitted to the Governor of Manipur for the free universal vaccination of all in the state before the third wave of Covid pandemic hits us”, Govindas said.
In connection with the announcement of free vaccination to all by the Prime Minister, Govindas said that the announcement came only after the Supreme Court’s directives and due to people’s sentiments. Had the announcement been made earlier, many lives would have been saved in Manipur and other states of our country, he added.
“Today, in Manipur, vaccination rate is so low, that hardly 3% of its population is inoculated with 2nd dose. Even for 1st dose, Tripura has inoculated more of its population than that in Manipur. Unfortunately, the Chief Minister of the BJP’s state government can’t give a timeline in which the 100% eligible population will be vaccinated”, the Congress President said.
Govindas also added that even though the congress people and common people don’t have the right to know the types of variants of Covid infecting our people in the state, so far, the state government has not released the results of the genomic sequencing of the samples sent from the state. Without knowing the variants or the hybrids of the variants of Covid, how can the state government fight Covid pandemic in the state, Govindas questioned.
Govindas also showed serious concern about the economic condition of the people.
“We demanded for free treatment of all Covid patients in private hospitals too. But, contrary to our demand for our poor and needy people, the BJP government, instead of fixing the maximum total overall treatment of Covid, has fixed the cost in favour of the private hospitals, thereby allowing the rapid commercial profiteering over the daily covid treatments from the people of the state. Why did not the BJP government include the prices of Remdisivir and PPE kits in the costs of treatment fixed by the government? How can the poor, who has been stopped from earning due to curfew and containment restrictions by the government, be expected to buy Remdisivir and PPE kits on their own?”, Govindas said.
 The MPCC president asked the BJP government to release the policy on how the government is going to tackle the 3rd wave of Covid pandemic in Manipur. What is the policy of the Chief Minister to tackle the 3rd wave? Is the Chief Minister prepared for the 3rd wave so that the public can also prepare?

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