Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Landslide on NH 39 causes food scarcity in Kohima

Kohima, August 22: Fresh landslide has occurred between Mao Gate and Kohima on Saturday evening. The landslide occurred near Kigwema but the authorities are clearing it on war-footing.Meanwhile, prices of essential commodities in the Nagaland capital Kohima are sky-rocketing due to the scarcity of the goods.Though the detailed reports in this regard have not been obtained, it is said that there have been scarcity of food items and fuel in the Nagaland capital.The disruption of traffic had started since August 13 evening.The main factor for the scarcity of goods in Kohima is due to the sinking of the National Hoghway-39 near KMC dumping ground which is few kilometres from Kohima towards Dimapur.The number of goods trucks stranded on the NH-39 between Kohima and Dimapur bound for either Manipur or Kohima are increasing everyday.Some reports said that the number of loaded trucks stranded along the NH-39 has crossed one thousand mark today.Some vehicles are taking the By-Pass route but drivers of the loaded vehicles/heavy vehicles do not want to risk themselves in this alternative route since the condition is bad.Meanwhile, the Border Road Organisation (BRO) officials said that they may take atleast 10 days to mend the road as the distance of the re-alignment of the NH-39 in the ‘sinking zone’ is some 350 metres.However, if the rains continue the time to fully revert the NH-39 will be longer than slated.

Mizo CM’s RTI statement flayed

AIZAWL, Aug 23 – Aizawl-based anti-corruption watchdog People’s Right to Information and Development Implementing Society of Mizoram (PRISM) has criticised Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla for stating that there was no need to appoint a State Chief Information Commissioner (SCIC).Lal Thanhawla recently had said that there was no urgent need to appoint an SCIC as the people of Mizoram did not fully utilise the Right to Information Act and appointing an SCIC would be a waste of public money.Reacting to the Chief Minister’s statement, PRISM president Vanlalruata said that the RTI Act had been well utilised in Mizoram and a number of corruption cases unearthed by the people. “PRISM alone organised social audits in nine villages and has filed a number of public interest litigations in the Gauhati High Court, all based on information acquired invoking the RTI Act,” Vanlalruata said.He alleged that full utilisation of the RTI Act could not be done because the State Government refused to implement the section 4 of the Act and was not keen to create public awareness as demanded by the section of the Act.The PRISM also flayed the Congress Government in the State for failing to constitute the State Vigilance Commission as promised in the party’s manifesto in the 2008 Assembly polls. – PTI

Kuki armed groups to deposit arms, ammo by September 20

Imphal August 22: All arms and ammunitions of the Kuki based militant outfits under Suspension of Operation (SoO) will be kept at the Armoury of designated camps or with the nominated police stations or security force camps under double lock by 20th of next month, September 20.The development to the tripartite Suspension of Operations (SoO) agreements between the Government of India, Government of Manipur and two umbrella organizations of 18 Kuki based outfits – Kuki National Organisation (KNO) and United people’s Front (UPF)-came up in talks held on August 20 in New Delhi leading to the extension of the SoO for 45 days.Separate agreements regarding the extension of the SoO which were effective from August 22, 2008 for a further period of 45 days was signed at New Delhi, said a release of the Press Information Bureau, New Delhi today.It has been agreed that all arms & ammunition shall be kept under double lock by September 20, 2010 either in the Camp Armoury or with the nominated Police stations or Security Forces camps, the release added.A decision on further extension of the SoO would be taken after a review of the progress made in this regard. Talks will commence after all the cadres shift to the designated camps and weapons be kept under double lock.The agreements on the deposit of arms and ammunitions of the 18 outfits came up after violations of ground rules of the SoO were discussed seriously.Government is examining more than 30 cases related with violation of ground rules by cadres of the 18 Kuki outfits a highly reliable official source here said.A total of 22 designated camps are to be set up in five locations as per agreement. Manipur government had earmarked Rs. 4,43,03,950 for the construction of designated camps during the year 2008-09.More than five sites of designated camps have been confirmed by a team of the Joint Monitoring Group (JMG) after conducting a survey in 2008. Construction works of some of the camps taken up by the Manipur Police Housing Corporation in consultation with the respective outfits who chose the sites have been completed and inaugurated.The designated camp for the Hmar People Convention (D) is at Vangai Ridge, a place located in Tamenglong district bordering with Churachandpur district,the designated camp at Nathanjang (Chongkhonjou) in interior Churachandpur district will be housing cadres of the Kuki National Front (P) and Zomi Defense Volunteers.The designated camp of the United Kuki Liberation Front will be constructed at Chelap in Chandel district while that of the Kuki Liberation Army (KLA) and Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA) at Samusang area under Saikul police station in Senapati district and the camp for Kuki National Front (P) will be located at Sehjang (Gamnom) in Senapati district.Infrastructures like barracks, arms depots, kitchen cum dining halls, ration stores, commanding officers office cum residence, security towers etc., are included as per provisions of the agreements.

Former Arunachal CM Gegong Apang held for PDS scam

Former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister and veteran Congress leader Gegong Apang was on Tuesday arrested by sleuths of the Special Investigation Cell (SIC) for his alleged involvement in a Rs.1,000-crore public distribution system (PDS) scam. A government spokesperson said Apang was arrested in capital Itanagar around midday. The SIC was constituted by the state government to probe the Rs.1,000-crore PDS scam under the direct supervision of the Gauhati High Court.The probe began following a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Arunachal Citizens' Rights (ACR) chairperson Bamang Anthony and public leader Domin Loya June 13, 2004.Apang was the chief minister during the period when the scam took place. During the period it was found false and fraudulent transport subsidy bills were cleared without financial concurrence, besides inflated bills were paid for procuring items. Apang was dominating politics in Arunachal Pradesh the past 25 years -- 22 years as chief minister although he lost the assembly elections in 2009.

Nagas extend blockade for 25 more days in Manipur

The United Naga Council (UNC) on Tuesday decided to extend its economic blockade, which was to end on Tuesday after over three weeks, to 25 more days on two vital highways of Manipur, saying its demands have not been met. The blockade had began by the UNC on Imphal-Dimapur-Guwahati NH-39 and Imphal-Jiribam-Silchar NH 53 on August 4 demanding, among others, lifting of Section 144 CrPC and withdrawal of state forces from some hill areas.A UNC spokesman said the decision to extend the 20-day blockade was taken at a meeting on August 21 as the government had not conceded to the demands. Official sources said the UNC's decision to extend the blockade followed the August 19 statement of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram in Lok Sabha ruling out division of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh to accommodate the demand of Nagalim or Greater Nagaland.They said despite the blockade, vehicles laden with essential items and escorted by central forces have been plying along the two national highways. The August 4 blockade began after a crippling 68-day economic blockade of the NH-39 and NH-53, called by the All Naga Students Association, Manipur, had ended on June 18. It was called in protest against holding of elections to the autonomous district councils in the hills.