Friday, October 22, 2010

What ails North-East?


Insurgency has affected the people both in the hills and the valley of Manipur. The veteran leader lamented that because of insurgency there has been no sign of any Government or governance in the hills. So, to ensure proper administration, there is the need to ensure deployment of full security in the hills. He pointed out that for deployment of full security in all the district headquarters and sub-divisional headquarters of the hill districts, IRB, Police and every other available force should be utilised. Only when there is adequate security deployment, insurgency related violence may be controlled and deliver the taste of real democracy to the people. It is meaningless to take a Cabinet decision on deployment of IRB and Commandos in the hills, he added. Mr. Keishing made these comments in an interview with a local daily.
On the peace talk initiatives, Rishang Keishing observed that the Government should ensure that the ground rules are not violated by the armed UG groups which have entered the peace process. "It is good that the Government has started talk with some of the armed UG groups. But the ground rules have to be respected. Otherwise, it is meaningless if the ground rules continue to be violated and innocent people are being allowed to be abducted for ransom", he said. Likewise, public should be wary of the police commandos if they have no qualm over killing people, extort money in the name UGs and are involved in recruitment of UGs, Rishang said, adding that people in the hills would never welcome deployment of such police commandos. Stating that the Government of India has been assuring there would be no dearth of fund for development of NE States and adequate fund has been provided to Manipur, Rishang observed that development cannot come about just because there is enough fund. The condition of roads and bridges here are testimony to how far Manipur has been developed despite receiving adequate fund. Reiterating that there can be no development without peace, Rishang observed that development has to come from outside. How can there be any development, when there is killing every day, he questioned. He went on to say that now the Government of India has started providing adequate fund to Manipur. At one time, only Rs 230 crores were provided as annual plan amount of the State. But despite the meager fund, a lot of development works could be taken up. But now people are not afraid to die for money. He disclosed that a proposal had been placed before the Government of Indian for setting up a special cell to ensure proper utilisation of the fund provided to Manipur. The MP lamented that although there is road connection between Imphal and other district headquarters there has been no inter-district connectivity to bring the people of one district to another closer. He observed that National Highway 39 has been the lifeline of Manipur for more than 100 years and the people have been depending on it. So, there is the need to upgrade National Highway 39 into four-lane and National Highway 53 and 150 into double-lane. Along with developing these National Highways properly, pressures should be exerted for extending railway line at the earliest. Only then most of the problems being faced by the people of Manipur would be resolved, he said. Stating that the Government of India had been prevailed upon to entrust the task of maintaining the National Highway to BRO as it has enough machineries despite lack of manpower, Rishang Keishing opined that instead of the Govt, it would be better for the BRO to handle the task.