Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Plan panel approves Rs 2,500cr outlay for Arunachal in 2010-11

The Planning Commission today approved a Rs 2,500 crore plan outlay for Arunachal Pradesh in 2010-11, which includes special plan assistance of Rs 1,100 crore for projects of special interest to the state.The annual plan of the state was finalised here after a meeting between Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Dorjee Khandu, an official statement said.During the meeting, commenting on the plan performance of the state, Ahluwalia said, "The geographical position of the state warrants focused attention on development of infrastructure, including road connectivity."He said the state should make full use of the initiative, aimed at improving infrastructure in general and road connectivity in particular.Ahluwalia said that plan realisation of the state was satisfactory and appreciated achievements in the social sector despite constraints.The state was advised to closely monitor progress on ongoing power projects, as their completion could help the state generate additional revenue and improve economic activities.Attention was also drawn to the widening literacy gap between the rural and urban population and human resource constraints in healthcare.The state government was asked to accelerate implementation of citizen-centric services across the state in a time-bound manner so as to take full advantage of core infrastructure established under the national e-governance programme.Briefing the commission on the performance of the state, the Chief Minister said, "The efforts are on to tap hydro power potential and plans are afoot to fully realise potential of 58,000 MW by the year 2021-22."Khandu said, "The number of domestic tourists have grown by over four times, while foreign tourists by about 12 times, over the last five years."He said the absence of an airport was coming in the way of full utilisation of the state's tourism potential.


The Mao Gate unprovoked shooting has given rise to another era of crisis in Manipur, a state which is plagued round the year by blockades, strikes and violence. Even as the Ibobi government has failed to bring law and order under control, the issue arising out of Muivah visit has given another reason for people to suffer the impacts that come with agitation.The recent Mao gate incident in which Naga supporters were killed and many injured has led to an adverse outcome in Manipur, as various Naga bodies and residents along the NH-39 has resorted to blocking of the route at many places making it virtually inaccessible. The highway from which most of the essential items are being brought into the state has been completely blocked leading to scarcity of essential items and intense price hike while various items like lifesaving drugs and petroleum products are running out of stock. On the other hand people who are to cross Nagaland to reach Assam and other states through NH-39 are stranded in the state and are facing hardships. The blockade at National Highway which was earlier called by various Naga bodies protesting the state government decision to hold ADC election in hill districts has got fresh impetus with the Mao gate incident. Apart from normal life being hit by the blockade, the artificial price rise has hit not only the common people but has kept many shopkeepers worried. The Manipur government is well aware of the impact of its ban on Muivah’s entry. The state government is contemplating to use the National Highway-53 to bring goods to the state via Jiribam route from Assam as an alternative means. Talking exclusively to NETV, the spokesperson of SPF government, N. Biren revealed that the state government had already approach the central forces for aid and other necessary steps in this regard. Two highways of the state, NH-39 and NH-53 are the lifelines of the people of Manipur. On the other hand the NH-39 which crosses Nagaland is the most preferred route and the recent total blockade of the NH-39 has made it insecure for people of Manipur to communicate through this route.


Even as the Naga integration issue has been rake up, Manipur has erupted in protest against the visit of Thuingaleng Muivah. Strongly contending that there should be no compromise on the issue of the territorial integrity of the state and the visit of the general secretary of the NSCN (IM), Th. Muivah in the state might pose a serious threat to the existing territorial integrity of the state, various civil society groups led by women organizations held protest demonstrations in various parts of the valley district of the state. Protestors like the Ibobi government have been apprehensive of law and order problem once Muivah steps onto the soil of Manipur. Banners and placards denounced the proposed visit of Th. Muivah. They further demanded that the seven Naga MLAs who resigned in connection with the issue should be detained under NSA for favoring militants.Meanwhile simultaneously there were protests against the continued violence in Manipur by armed miscreants. A dharna was held against the firing incident in Imphal West.


Hundreds of trucks carrying essential commodities to Manipur have been stranded at Khatkhati area in Karbi Anglong district of Assam near Dimapur in Nagaland following an indefinite road blockade imposed by the Naga Students federation in protest against the unprovoked firing on Naga supporters Last Thursday by Manipur police commandoes. For three days the highways linking Nagaland and Manipur have remained inaccessible due to blockade by Naga organizations to protest the Mao Gate firing incident. The strike has resulted in untold miseries to the people of Manipur as the state is running short of essential commodities. The indefinite road blockade programme has been launched by the Naga Stsudents Federation(NSF) following the killing of three Naga students at Mao Gate, the entry point to Manipur. Manipur security forces while had fired upon Naga demonstrators in a bid to prevent the entry of NSCN(IM) Genereal Secretary Th. Muivah into the state. It may be mentioned that the top Naga rebel leader has been camping at Vishema village bordering Manipur to visit his native village Somdal in Ukhrul district after a gap of forty years. Although the centre has given clearance to Muivah to visit his native village, the Manipur government has defied the centre's permission to the Naga rebel and is determined to prevent his entry at any cost as Ibobi feels that Muivah's visit may create serious law and order problem resulting in enmity between the Nagas and the Meities.

BCCI to construct stadium in Shillong

Cricket is still in its infancy in Meghalaya as the lack of a proper cricket stadium in the state has upset the State cricket association for long. Despite the fact that the Board of Cricket Control in India is ready to invest crores of rupees to build up stadium in Meghalaya, the State cricket association is still helpless, thanks to the casual attitude of the state government. Over the past decade, many of India's star players have emerged from the cricketing hinterland but ironically, nobody from the North east region has donned India colours in any version of the game till date. After granting its affiliation to the various Cricket associations in region, BCCI has categorically stated that if the govt can come forward or the MCA can get a relatively flat ground of 18 to 20 acres immediately the BCCI is ready to invest Rs 40 to 50 crore and build Stadium with modern state of the art facilities. However, the state authorities have made unheard the repeated appeal of the Association to give them land. While the state Government often crumbles upon on their stability issue the scope for development has become limited these days. In such case such a big offer from BCCI is bound to go unheard. However, Meghalaya cricket association has repeatedly urged upon the state authorities to give them the unused lands which are lying vacant in the town but to add to the woes of MCA no helping hand has till date come forward. This has become an important issue for MCA as the BCCI is all set to Organise a weeklong camp in Shillong from the 17th of this month to scout for and nurture talent from the Northeast. Barring Assam and Tripura, who are full members of the BCCI, five players each from Meghalaya, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Nagaland will be attending the Shillong camp to be conducted by National Cricket Academy. The idea of the apex cricket body is to initiate activities at regular intervals, primarily to encourage more boys and girls, umpires and scorers to get involved with a platform to harness their talent in different aspects of the game.