Imphal, May 29:
Hon’ble Minister of WR and YAS Letpao Haokip conducted a 2-day tour on Wednesday and Thursday to the most interior areas of Chandel district and personally took stock of the COVID-19 tackling measures being taken up. Distribution of essential items to the villagers, meeting village chiefs, inspection of PMGSY roads/projects in these areas and inspecting the recently re-installed Molcham Police Station were the main activities of the tour.
It is worth mentioning that Letpao has been distributing rice and other essential items since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown to the villagers of his constituency 41-Chandel AC. And the ongoing distribution drive is the third phase of this distribution drive.
One very note-worthy feature of this tour is the inspection of the newly re-installed Molcham PS by the minister. The police station had been lying non-functional since the last 30 years. But in relation with the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, the state government, after much pressure from the minister, the district administration and the village chief, successfully re-installed the Molcham PS so as to effectively seal the international gate and border.
Letpao, while speaking to us, said that with the re-installation of this PS, the sealing of border will become more effective and law and order situation will be improved. He assured that he will look into the shortages faced by this PS because of its remote location, and will arrange fulfilment of necessary infrastructures.
On asking the extra precautionary measures taken up by the government to seal the border to control COVID pandemic, the minister said that under his initiation, the SDO and village chiefs of the border-adjoining villages have been co-ordinating and sealing the border gates quite effectively. And basic commodities are provided regularly so that the villagers do not depend on Myanmar at least during this pandemic, he added.
This time, he is bearing the Rs 3 per kg expense of the 5kg per head amount of rice that will be receive by each beneficiaries of the district. In addition to that, for the non-NFSA card holders but rice consuming persons including small children, he is arranging rice to be made available to each and every individual without any leftouts from his personal capacity. Apart from this, he is arranging dal, oil and soaps too.
During the tour, the Minister also inspected the PMGSY roads that are being constructed in these remote areas and along the international border. Officials of PMGSY headed by EE Devendra and contractors were present. He appreciated the satisfying performance of the works at New Somtal to Molcham and New Songjang to T Nampao and lauded the efforts of the engineers and the contractors. However, the minister expressed displeasure at T Nampao to Molcham, stretch and instructed those concerned to fasten up the road construction works. He stated that comparing to the past, road connectivity in the interiors of Chandel has transformed drastically for the better, and appealed the officials and contractors to know the importance of roads in such remote areas and to carry out their works dutifully.
On Wednesday, the Minister started the first distribution of this tour at Khangbarol village where he along with SDO Khengjoi and the village chiefs distributed rice and other essential items such as dal, mustard oil and soap to the villagers. These will reach to the more-than-60 villages in the adjoining areas of Khangbarol and Dingpi areas.
The minister’s team halted the night at T Nampao village, which is situated just adjoining the Indo-Myammar border and one of the last villages of India along the border.
On Thursday morning, Letpao distributed the essential commodities including rice at T Nampao village. Thereafter, he went to Molcham and New Somtal villages, where he continued the similar distribution programmes.
Addressing the villagers at the distribution sites, Letpao appealed the villagers to act responsible and to be extra-careful as the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic is higher in border lying areas. He advised them to follow social distancing rules and other guidelines. The minister also assured them that he will continuously provide essential items until this pandemic lasts, either from the government arrangements or from his personal capacity, and told that they need not depend on Myanmar side and not to worry about shortage of basic items.
As a part of the tour, the minister also installed many solar lamp posts in T Nampao and Molcham villages.
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