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Jeet Akoijam

Jeet Akoijam

Jeet Akoijam, Resident Editor of Imphal Times hails from Singjamei Liwa Road. Has been with Imphal Times since its start. A National level Rugby player and  a regular Trekker and Nature Lover, loves spending time in lap of Mother Nature. Jeet is the father of two lovely kids. Jeet can be contacted at [email protected]

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Myopic leaders and misplaced priorities

Now that the people of the state is unmistakably clear as to where the priority of the elected representatives lies, it is time to come together and draw up an alternative course of action- one which does not involve inconveniencing the common people only. For how would one explain away the inexplicable silence of these representatives of the people on matters which are threatening to push back the state to those turbulent and uncertain times which we unwittingly believed we moved past? Is the security or rather gain of position and power more important the life of a young child who died under suspicious and still-mysterious circumstances? Or the looming scarcity of food grains due to the drought like situation presently haunting the farmers mean little for those who have the resources to pile up on essential commodities without the slightest consideration for those who are depending on their proper discharge of duties and responsibilities to those who put them in the very position of authority and affluence?
In a country ruled by a party which has the temerity to spend thousands of crores on advertisements and image-creation rather than actual implementation of welfare projects and development schemes which are the need of the hour, it is little wonder that many of these leaders have been unduly influenced to overhype themselves and their personal opinions to the point that the observations and suggestions of subject experts and resourceful individuals have been summarily discarded. Perhaps the new political mantra dictated is ‘Self before service’.
The inability of the state investigating agency to present any development in the case of the suspicious and mysterious death of a girl child inside a private hostel has brought the state to a grinding halt once again, and the frustration of the public on the issue is unlikely to subside anytime. The silence of the leaders and the apparent attempt to wash their hands off the matter by announcing a decision to hand over the case to the central investigating bureau (CBI) does not sit well with the public either, for the very fact that each and every crime occurring in the state cannot be handed over to the central investigating agencies, and nor is it plausible.
The icing on the cake of woes for the people of the state is perhaps the news of a group of dissident elected representatives preparing to approach the masters at the centre to push forward the demand for change of leadership in the state. It stands to reason that their trust in the present leadership is gone, but the pertinent questions that need to be answered for the public are: has a more versatile and promising candidate emerged from their ranks? Are the supporters joining in the fray for the development of the state or for their personal gains? Other than personal differences, what major leadership flaws have the present CM exhibited to warrant the demand for change of leadership? Is the demand for change in any way related to the present social situation and unrest in the state?
The people of the state have been taken for a ride too often and for too long. Wasting precious time and opportunities by those who won the confidence and trust of the people will only result in outbursts of frustrations and anger. It is time to learn our lessons and change our mindsets before taking up hasty steps based on our emotions and instincts. We need to stop turning against each other to voice our concerns. We need to come together and demand answers from those who sold us dreams. Lest we forget, the real power flows from the people, and the people should have the right and the liberty to withdraw the same from any and everyone not worthy of our trust and support.

An opportunity to turn back nature

Manipur received a much needed shot in the arm towards efforts to regenerate green cover of the state with the central government’s decision to hand over an amount to the tune of rupees three hundred and nine as Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) fund to undertake afforestation and other related activities to preserve and regenerate nature and improve the environment. It is an Indian legislation that seeks to provide an appropriate institutional mechanism, both at the Centre and in each State and Union Territory, to ensure expeditious utilization in efficient and transparent manner of amounts released in lieu of forest land diverted for non-forest purpose which would mitigate impact of diversion of such forest land.
Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) are meant to promote afforestation and regeneration activities as a way of compensating for forest land diverted to non-forest uses. National CAMPA Advisory Council has been established as per orders of the supreme court with the mandates to lay down broad guidelines for State CAMPA, to facilitate scientific, technological and other assistance that may be required by State CAMPA, to make recommendations to State CAMPA based on a review of their plans and programmes, and to provide a mechanism to State CAMPA to resolve issues of an inter-state or Centre-State character.
 The amount handed over to the state will be utilized for compensatory afforestation, wildlife management, forest fire prevention, soil and moisture conservation works in forests, voluntary relocation of villages from protected areas, management of biological resources and biodiversity, research in forestry and monitoring of CAMPA works and activities provided in the Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) rules, 2018.
The fund, if and when utilized properly will surely make a marked difference to the overall climatic condition in the state as well as the country as a whole as the funds are disbursed to twenty seven states in the country. The most significant change will undoubtedly be the rapidly soaring temperature each passing year. As in other parts of the country and indeed the world over, climate change has truly started to impact lives in more undesirable ways than the governments would care to admit, and such steps at reclaiming the rapidly declining green cover is a vital and timely step to curb the soaring temperature and the accompanying changes that are already impacting lives the world over. The significance of this step can be gauged by taking into consideration the panicky situation arising right this very moment across the farming sector due to the failure of monsoon this year, and if the past is any indication, the situation is bound to worsen with each passing year if preventive and corrective measures are not implemented in right earnest without further ado. A strict monitoring and constant appraisal of performance for which the funds are allocated need to be put in place with staffs who are well trained and motivated and equipped with the latest technology for the purpose.
There is however a word of caution that needs to be spelled out at this juncture because, either by institutionalized convention or out of personal greed by a few persons entrusted with such funds, the manner of implementation of such funds has always left a bitter taste for the public and are seen as easy sources of personal wealth. The public’s perception towards such development funds in the state have so far been pessimistic, and are viewed with suspicion and fatalistic outlook. There is still a big slip between the cup and the lip, and the act of disbursing the fund should be taken as a starting point of a challenge we as a collective cannot afford to lose. The vagaries of climate change has left many parts of the world writhing in misery, and we are having it easy for now as nature has endowed the place with such generosity, but the time to lay back and look the other, expecting nature to heal itself is past. Climate change is a real and present threat which will spare none. We are given a lifeline, and what we do with it will determine the future course of this state, and for those who wields authority for such a vital task, how they perform will decide their future as either a redeemer or a pariah.   

‘Connectivity vital to development of society’

IT News
Imphal, Aug 29

Works Minister Thongam Biswajit, said that connectivity is vital in bringing development to a society and assured improvement works for the approach road to Sinakeithei after the moonson season.
Addressing the public of Sinakeithei in Ukhrul District at the village playground yesterday morning, Biswajit encouraged the young students of the area to work hard stating that they are the future human resource of our State. He explained that human resource is the best resource available to the humans. Parents and guardians should also mould their wards to their best level and help them become successful persons in their live.
Biswajit also observed that the ecological imbalance we are witnessing today has brought droughts and floods to us. He encouraged the villagers to plant trees in the surrounding area. He said plantation of fruit bearing trees in the area will only act as a beautification of the area.
Stating that development should begin from oneself, the Minister said that no one will come and work for the development of our area until we start ourselves. He said development has been neglected for long, but we should also remember that the best time to start acting is now. He continued we should start from now to develop good thoughts and improve relations among ourselves.
Meanwhile, in reply to memorandum submitted by the villagers, the Minister expressed the need to construct a multi-purpose hall for sporting purpose and a separate community hall in the village. Regarding upgradation of the local school to a higher secondary school, the Minister said it has a certain set of criteria and as such, he will discuss the issue with the concerned Minister at the earliest.
Biswajit also announced that tender process for construction of a Power Sub-Station in the area has been completed and will commence soon.
Explaining the Mission for Economic Empowerment of Traditional Artisans and Craftsmen, Biswajit who is also the Industries Minister said that trainings are provided for certain crafts under MEETAC to develop crafts, and financial assistance are also provided to provide alternative livelihoods.
Biswajit also encouraged the use of solar roofing lights in the village. He further explained the UJALA scheme.
PHED Minister L Dikho who was also present at the function announced the construction of a Water Supply Scheme in the village.
The function was also attended by MLA K Leishiyo.

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UPF Manipur observes 21st Foundation Day

IT News

Imphal, Aug 29

United Peoples’ Front (UPF) Manipur today observed its 21st Foundation Day at Leishemlok  Community Hall in Senapati district.

The auspicious occasion of the civil society body which has been working for bridging the gap of misunderstanding among various ethnic communities of the region was graced by W. Second, President of UPF, Y.K. Dhiren Meetei, Co-Convenor of  JCILPS,  AS Amo Shunaolong, Headman of Lishamlok Village, H. Angamphy, Chairperson of Lishamlok Village, H. Benjamin , President of Lishamlok Sporting Youth Club and Pastor Absalom Zimik.

Benjamin while speaking on the occasion lauded the service of the UPF and expressed gratitude to the organization for choosing the village as venue for observing its 21stFoundation Day. He stressed on the need to convert into action those words which have been delivering on public platform by various leaders while calling on the need for unity among ourselves.

Angamphy, the Chairperson of Shunaolung Lishamlok, while speaking on the occasion blamed the pseudo intellects for dividing the people of various communities.

“We are being divided by these pseudo intellectuals for their mere benefits”, H. Angamphy said while appreciating the work of UPF for their relentless effort to unite the people of the region.

Various representatives from different civil society organizations also attended the 21st Foundation Day of UPF. 

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