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Friday, 29 May 2020 - Imphal Times

NPF MLA Awangbou Newmai inducted as Minister in N.Biren Singh led Govt.

IT News

Imphal, May 29:

MLA of the Naga Peoples’ front (NFP) Awangbou Newmai has been inducted as Minister of the N. Biren Singh led government of Manipur today. He takes oath as Minister today evening.

With the induction of Awangbou Newmai in the state Cabinet, NPF now have 2 cabinet ministers in the BJP led Government of Manipur.  NFP MLA L. Dikho is already in the Ministry.

Awangbou Newmai has been inducted in the ministry after a ministerial berth remains vacant after the disqualification of MLA Shyamkumar who was the Minister of Forest and Environment and MAHUD in the N. Biren Singh Government.

Source said that BJP’s central leadership had given approval for induction of the new ministry late yesterday evening.

It may be mentioned that NPF has been demanding increase in the Ministers since the last 6/7 months in the aftermath of the demand by BJP MLAs for major reshuffle of the ministry. The party even field its candidate, Honreikhui Kashng,  for the lone Rajya Sabha seat. However for reason best known to the NPF and the BJP the candidate the NPF withdraw its candidate and support the BJP candidate Leishemba Sanajaoba who will be contesting with Congress candidate T. Mangibabu. Assam Finance Minister Himanta Bishwas Sharma who is also the convenor of BJP Election Management Committee also came to Manipur and made an understanding with the NPF.

With the disqualification of MLA Shyamkumar, 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly now has 58 members excluding the Speaker of the Manipur Legislative Assembly. If in case the fate of Shyamkumar falls to the 7 other MLAs who had joined the BJP then the total seat in the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly will be 51. Total number of MLAs required by N.Biren Singh government to continue is 26 which he had even without the support of the 4 (four) National Peoples’ Party (NPP) MLAs who are Ministers in the government as Congress now have 20 MLAs. It is likely that a major reshuffled may take place after the measures being taken up to contained the COVID-19 pandemic has been settled. If in case the NPP MLAs drop from the government due to misunderstanding the congress will have 24 MLAs that means BJP still will lead the number taking into account the BJP play well with the Independent MLA Ashab Uddin.

Moreover, it is just about 1 years and  8 months left for the N.Biren Singh government and it is likely that his government may not face that much problem as the BJP too needs to prepare for the next election. 

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“I feel regret about Steffie” MLA Sushindro on war against COVID-19

IT News

Imphal, May 29:

Khurai Assembly constituency MLA, L. Sushindro (Yaima) expressed regret about sending away a young girl call Steffie (not real name) who wanted to stay at a quarantine center opened at his constituency after returning from Guwahati on May 10.

Steffie who hailed from a place in Churachandpur district and returned back along with her friends from Khurai area, wanted to stay along with them as quarantine is mandatory for returnee from outside the state. However, as per the quarantine centers regulatory system in the state of Manipur she could not stay at the quarantine center opened at Khurai Assembly constituency. The shocking part is that she was tested Coronavirus positive along with 11 others from Churachandpur district on May 20.

“I feel regret about Steffie, had I allow her to stay with her friends at the quarantine center open in my constituency she could have been saved”, MLA Sushindro said. The MLA said this as none of her friends who came along with her were tested positive.

The MLA opined that she may have contracted the virus from carriers whom she travelled along with after she was taken from Khurai the day she returned to Imphal.

Steffie was first taken to Institutional Quarantine Center opened at JNV Navodaya and after there were no seat, she was again taken to Sainik School and then to Chrachandpur Quarantine center along with others.

Sushindro said that the present quarantine system need to be reviewed to make sure that those who come clean do not contracted the virus from carriers after reaching here in the state.

It may be mentioned that at some quarantine centers people who came in separate vehicles were mixed up with those who came in different vehicles. They were even deported to centers without segregation who came first or who came later.

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Sagang Villagers help daughter in quarantine to attend father’s funeral with due precautions

IT News

Imphal, May 29:

Many young people from Manipur who were living outside the state for years are returning to Manipur due to the rising spread of COVID 19 pandemic in other places of India. We also hear about irresponsible behaviour on the part of those who are returning to Manipur but Sagang Villagers have set an example how during this pandemic, people can be both responsible, maintaining due precaution and at the same time help a daughter fulfil her wish of seeing her father for the last time. 

A young woman from Sagang Village, Saikot Constituency in Churachandpur returned from Chennai and reached Churachandpur on May 24. She reached the district level institutional quarantine centre at Sielmat Christian High School early morning. She talked to her father around 3 am in the morning and was happy thinking that she would be meeting her as they have not met for almost three years. But around 6 am on the same day she was informed that her 67 year old father suffered a heart attack and passed away. She being in a quarantine centre has not be able to meet her father while he was alive and also it seemed to her that she would not be able to attend even funeral even. 

Acknowledging her grief, the village Chief and villagers of Sagang decided to help her see her father for the last time even if it was only for five minutes, with due precautions. The village chief sent for PPE and an ambulance to bring her from the quarantine centre, another PPE was provided by the Quarantine centre and she was brought to the village. When she reached her village, the ambulance was sanitized by the volunteers from the villages and she was allowed to see her father for the last time wearing a PPE. Later the place was sanitized. The village of Sagang, in this manner managed to fulfill the wish of the grieving daughter at the same time fight the pandemic.

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Miscreants attempts to rob ATM booth arrested

IT News

Imphal, May 29:

A miscreant who attempted to rob ATM booth of UCO Bank Kakching branh was arrested by a team of Kakching Police today morning.

According to report, the person attempted to rob the ATM booth on the night of May 27. The matter was reported to Kakching Police on the following day by the Branch Manager of UCO Back. Following the complaint a case was registered and the accused person identified as Yengkhom Leekish Singh age about 28 years, son of (late) Y. Ibomcha Singh of Kakching Sumak Victory High School Pareng, who was recorded at CCTV was arrested.

A statement from the police said that the arrested accused revealed that in between the night of May 27 and May 28, he climbed the iron shutter of the ATM booth attached to the UCO Bank, Kakching branch and broke the upper part of the shutter. Then he entered into the ATM booth and tried to break the ATM with the intention to take our money.

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Minister Letpao inspects Molcham PS in Indo-Myanmar border, distributes essential items to adjoining area

IT News

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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Contemplating on the impending changes

What next- a short question that needs a comprehensive answer, one that will determine the future of the state and mankind. With the rapid increase in the number of returnees, the number of Covid-19 positive cases in the state is on the rise correspondingly. No surprise there, but the growing concern is the increasingly frequent reports of inadequacies and mismanagement in a number of designated quarantine centres across the state save a few which are situated in and around the city. Regardless of the government decision on the lockdown, a new social norm is in the making, and the sooner we all adapt and embrace these norms, the safer we all will be as from now onwards, our social conducts and behavior will determine not only our own safety but that of others. Social change is the significant alteration of social structure and cultural patterns through time and the present situation is definitely proving to be a turning point- the beginning of an era if one may put it.
And as with any change, there will always be accompanying sociological and psychological impact which needs to be discussed and analysed in detail. There definitely will also be consequences of these changes which may be beneficial or detrimental to the society, and the outcome will depend to a large degree on the awareness and eagerness of the authorities to influence it. Social change is conceived mostly as an autonomously controlled and unidirectional process toward group change; these conceptualizations do not account for social changes that are outside of human control, such as natural disasters of which we are experiencing one. This is certainly a time of great opportunities and challenges depending on how one perceives the developments. We are indeed experiencing these changes in the way we conduct business to the way government departments and institutions are functioning. Another major change we are witnessing right now is in the education sector with almost every educational institution resorting to the internet to conduct online classes or distributing assignments and lessons through WhatsApp and other applications, an opportunity for children to take up other useful hobbies and pursuits which were difficult during the school going days.
Hygiene has become a big social concern and with the increase in social awareness, our collective outlook towards nature has taken a positive turn which is a very encouraging sign. We are also witnessing a positive change in the environment which is becoming more vibrant. The unfolding changes will run its due course and it would be impossible to revert back to our old ways, not that everyone is eager for it, but the change is certainly proving uncertain and unsettling for a few. The government needs to anticipate and prepare for the developments which will make an impact on the society as a whole and as well as on the different communities of the state on a broad spectrum ranging from business to health and education, among others. Verbal assurances must be replaced with concrete actions and sustainable plans must be implemented in time if we are to make the best of the unfolding change.      

COVID-19: Maharashtra Guv’ announces austerity measures to reduce Raj Bhavan expenses

IT Correspondent
Mumbai, May 29:

The Governor of Maharashtra Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Thursday announced a series of austerity measures to reduce the expenses of Raj Bhavan so as to make more resources available for COVID-19 relief measures.
The Governor gave instructions to Raj Bhavan to undertake the following measures in the current financial year to reduce its expenses: No new capital works to be undertaken. There will not be any new major construction / repairing works in Raj Bhavan. Only ongoing works in progress will be continued and completed, The Independence Day Reception to be held on 15th August 2020 at Raj Bhavan, Pune, will be cancelled and there will be no new regular recruitment in Raj Bhavan until further orders.
Besides, the proposal for the purchase of new car for Raj Bhavan has been deferred, the practice of offering gifts/mementos to VVIPS will be discontinued until further order, the practice of welcoming VIP visitors with bouquets will be discontinued. Guest house rooms in Raj Bhavan should not be decorated with vases and flower-pots and meetings and interactions with Vice-Chancellors and various officers will have to be conducted via video conference to avoid any expenses on travel.
It is estimated that these measures will save nearly 10 to 15 percent of the budget of the Raj Bhavan in the current financial year. The Governor has already contributed his one month salary and further pledged 30% of his salary for one year to the PM CARES Fund for COVID – 19. In the Governor’s estimation, these austerity measures will be a small but significant contribution to save resources that can be used to reduce the sufferings of the people in the backdrop of the situation arisen because of the Corona Virus Disease.
Maharashtra Governor’s pay scale was hiked from Rs 1.1 lakh to Rs 3.5 lakh in November 2019. If the other perks are included then the annual emoluments go up to Rs 3 crore. The emoluments include: Furniture and house repairing/renewal: Rs 26.7 lakh, Hospital expenses: Rs 25 lakh, Entertainment expenses: Rs 1.5 lakh, Office expenses: Rs 2.5 lakh, Office furniture repair: Rs 10 lakh, Contract allowances: Rs 37 lakh, Tour expenses: Rs 23 lakh, Miscellaneous expenses: Rs 82 lakh, Garden expenses: Rs 13 lakh, Electricity: Rs 45 lakh, Water expenses: Rs 15 lakh, Improvement expenses: Rs 25 lakh and Annual pay: Rs 42 lakh.

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COVID-19 ICU beds are full in Mumbai; No of containment zones reach up to 696

IT Correspondent

Mumbai, May 29:

While the efforts by the Maharashtra Government and the BMC to make more beds available by setting up field hospitals is on, the strength of beds in hospitals has reached saturation point with more and more COVID-19 positive patients are pouring in.

With addition of 1467 new patients, the total number of positive patients reached 35,485 by Friday, with 18,616 patients cured and discharged.

As of now 99 per cent of the 645 ICU beds in Government run hospitals have been occupied. 96 per cent of the 6099 beds meant for acute symptomatic patients are full. Similarly 80 per cent of the beds reserved for “Mid level” patients have also been occupied.

The BMC has claimed that it has kept 75,000 beds ready in Mumbai (while taking into consideration the beds taken over from private hospitals), which has emerged as the hotspot of the disease and “Chase The Virus” mission is being implemented for contact tracing in the country’s financial capital.

Up till now the BMC has sealed 3097 buildings and the number of containment zones has increased up to 696 from 674 zones earlier. The long list of containment zone includes: (South Mumbai): M.R.A. Police Quarters, M.R.A. Road,Fort, M.R.A. Bmc Colony,M.R.A. Road,Fort, Sabusiddique Chawl No.1,Sabusiddiqe Road,Fort, Sunder Nagari,Azad Nagari, Darya Nagar,Lala Nigam Road, Near Colaba Market,Sunder Nagar,Colaba, Machchimar Nagar,Capt. Prakash Pethe Marg,Colaba, Ganeshmurti Nagar Part No.1,2,3,Captain Prakash Pethe Marg and Ganeshmurthi Nagar,Colaba.

(Central Mumbai): Spring Mill,Gd Ambekar Marg,Spring Mill,Dadar, Vayangankar Chawl,S S Wagh Road,Vayangankar Chawl,Dadar, Kohinoor Mill Chawl,M.J. Phule Road,Kohinoor Mill Chawl,Dadar, Naigaon Police Quarters,Naigaon Cross Road,Naigaon Police Quarters,Dadar, Dulaba Prasad Chawl,S M Jadhav Marg,Dulaba Prasad Chawl,Dadar, Ahmed Sellor Compound,B J Devrukhkar Road,Ahmed Sellor Compound,Dadar, Gautam Nagar,Dadasaheb Phalke Road,Gautam Nagar,Dadar, Prabudhnagar Slum,Jerbai Wadia Road,Prabudhnagar Slum,Sewree, Sewree Koliwada,Sewree Fort Road,Sewree Koliwada,Sewree, Krantinagar Chawl,T J Road,Sewree, Gopal Baug Slum,T J Road,Gopal Baug Slum,Sewree, Ganesh Baug Slum,T J Road,Ganesh Baug Slum,Sewree, A M Jetha Chawl, Sewree Cross Road Slum,Sewree Cross Road,Sewree Cross Road Slum,Sewree, Shakti Chawl, Nityanand Chawl,Khamba Devi, Madina Chawl, Sanjay Chawl, Dambar Copmound, Ganesh Rahiwasi Sangh,Khambadevi Road Veer Lahuji Ustad Chawl,Sion Bandra Link Road and Mukund Nagar,Dharavi.

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Maharashtra Minister joins ‘Speak Up India’ from hospital bed

IT Correspondent
Mumbai, May 29:
Maharashtra PWD Minister Ashok Chavan (Congress) who is receiving treatment in a hospital in Mumbai, for COVID-19, on Thursday shared a video through twitter demanding that the Central Government should deposit Rs 17,500 in the bank accounts of poor people.
Chavan stated that the Central Government should make a one time payment of Rs.10,000/- besides depositing Rs 7,500 per month, for the next six months, in the accounts of the poor people who have lost the means of livelihood due to COVID-19 and resultant long lock down.
The campaign ‘Speak Up India’ was launched by the Congress party to raise public support for the people suffering from the coronavirus induced lockdown and asked the central government to unlock its coffers.
In a video message shared on party’s social media, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said “that due to the lockdown, many jobs were lost, work places were shut down, farmers had to struggle to sell their crops but the government did not take cognisance of this”. To overcome this crisis, Gandhi suggested direct cash transfer to migrants and poor families and financial relief to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).
“Put direct cash of Rs 7,500 per month in the account of every family for the next six months and provide Rs 10,000 immediately; ensure safe and free travel of labourers back home, employment opportunity and rations; and also increase the number of work days under MNREGA to 200 days to facilitate jobs in villages,” Gandhi said and added that “Instead of loans, provide financial relief to small and medium industry so that crores of jobs will be saved and the country will make progress”.
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said the government should ensure free and safe travel to the migrants who are leaving for their home. “We demand that each migrant worker family returning to their homes should be given free transportation. After being tested, each migrant worker family should be given Rs 10,000 to tide over the present crisis,” he said in a video message.

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